Plenty of Fish (POF) is a free dating site which puts no restrictions on people who want to engage in conversation. The problem with POF is that it still suffers from all the noise that certain members receive. You have ads, messages, other profiles that are “online now” and a notification of how many people recently viewed you. While I applaud that the site/app are open for one to be the initiator there are still some serious flaws in how the site is structured. A lady friend of mine volunteered to sign up and received 68 messages in a 3 hour window. The numbers don’t necessarily surprise me, it’s clear that men are usually the ones to initiate contact, but what is most annoying to me is how timing plays such a huge factor online. You get penalized for sending messages to new members right away and are pushed to the back of the line. Shouldn’t it be the other way around if it must be structured this way? Why not reward those who initiate contact first? Should the receiver go through all this work just read individual messages? Isn’t that an exhausting amount of work just to browse around a dating site? How is that fun? It’s also not fair to the initiator that there is a situation in where they messaged first, but could very well be read LAST, if at all. In addition, the receiver must click on the message and then click yet again to view a larger image and profile for said person.
POF also allows members to “upgrade” their profiles. You are greeted with this enticing message on the sign up page:
As an upgraded member, you will show up FIRST on Meet Me. This means that new users will let you know if they are attracted to you or not within minutes of signup! Messaging users who already find you attractive is the most effective way to use the site!
Here is the full list of upgrades:
- Show up first on Meet Me!
- Unlock every user’s Extended Profile
- See if your emails were read or deleted
- Experience POF ad-free.
- Find out the date and time someone viewed your profile
- Massive increase in emails
- Number of people viewing your profile triples
- Stand out in all searches
- Send three gifts per day
- This upgrade more than doubles your chances of meeting someone
- Upload 16 images
This monetization strategy makes more sense than Tinder, but still not ideal in my opinion. Ads suck, most would agree that it is a necessary evil, but an evil we would rather live without if possible. I prefer the POF apps on android and iOS over the web layout as it streamlines things a bit.
So I’ve put in a solid 20 hours this weekend into
untitled and reached a major milestone in getting a test member authenticated. Between doing that and also continuing my one month iOS course, it has been a very busy weekend. I have to say that I was skeptical of the one month courses, but Alfie Hanssen has done a great job at making this stuff very easy to understand. Swift is a new language and things changing very quickly during this infancy stage, but I am excited at the opportunity go continue to grow from this class once I have completed it. The good news this week is that the iOS version of this app will be completed way ahead of what I had originally anticipated. Not many have seen what I am working on and I am very excited to see how people react to what I have to show.
With more people meeting online as time pushes forward, I think it’s important to focus on trying to replicate the feeling one gets when first meeting someone new in person. I have tested dozens of apps out there and none are doing a great job at making the extremely important first meet memorable. What is considered memorable on a device? What exactly qualifies as an intimate connection established between people only connected via these devices? Can it ever be closely replicated? These are all tough questions with many different answers. I think I am getting close, but will not rest until I feel comfortable with achieving this very important goal of mine.
This week I will post a song I play in the background while I am in my brainstorming sessions. It’s called “The Nothing Song” or “Njosnavelin” by Sigur Ros. It is the song played in the absolutely heartbreaking ending to Vanilla Sky.