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Timeline of online dating services

This is a timeline of online dating services that also includes broader events related to technology-assisted dating (not just online dating). Where there are similar services, only major ones or "the first of its kind" are listed.

1690 Personal advertisements first appear in British newspapers 1959 Happy Families Planning Services Started by Jim Harvey and Phil Fialer as a class project at Stanford. 1963 Ed Lewis's matching program (no name) Ed Lewis at Iowa State University used a questionnaire and an IBM computer to "to optimize the meeting potential at dances". 1965 Started by Jeff Tarr and Vaughan Morrill at Harvard. Used a questionnaire and an IBM 1401 to match students. There was a $3 fee for submitting a questionnaire.

"By the fall of sixty-five, six months after the launch, some ninety thousand Operation Match questionnaires had been received, amounting to $270, 000 in gross profits, about $1.8 million in today’s dollars."

In the 1960s there still was no stigma about computer-assisted matching.

1965 Eros (Contact Inc.) Started by David Dewan at MIT. Used a dating questinnaire and Honeywell 200. "In one distribution of questionnaires, he drew eleven thousand responses at $4 each, or $44, 000 in gross profits, about $250, 000 in today’s dollars." 1965 personals column Slater writes:

Classifieds made a comeback in America in the 1960s and 1970s, encouraged by the era’s inclination toward individualism and social exhibitionism. “Everybody was letting it all hang out in other ways, ” said Raymond Shapiro, a business manager for the New York Review of Books, “so suddenly it was okay to display oneself in print. It was very important to be ‘self-aware.’ So you’d get ads like: ‘Astrologer, 27, psychology student, desires to establish non-superficial friendship with sensitive, choicelessly aware persons who are non-self-oriented, deep, and wish to unearth real, personness relationships.’ ”

1968 Data-Mate Questionnaire-based matching service started at MIT. Early 1970s Phase II A "computer-dating company" started by James Schur. 1974 Slater calls Cherry Blossoms "one of the oldest mail-order bride agencies". Started by John Broussard. 1976 Great Expectations Video dating service started by Jeffrey Ullman. The service achieved some notability, but it never overcame stigma.

There were also apparently other video dating services like Teledate and Introvision, but it's nearly impossible to find anything about them online.

1980s messengeries roses (pink chat rooms) Chat rooms for dating started by Marc Simoncini. France. 1984 Matchmaker Electronic Pen-Pal Network A bulletin board system for romance started by Jon Boede and Scott Smith. Matchmaker grew to 14 local BBSs throughout the US. Eventually people lost interest as BBSs lost out to the World Wide Web, and Matchmaker was superseded by Matchmaker.com. 1989 Scanna International Mail-order bride service focusing on Russia and Eastern Europe. Early 1990s Patricia Moore Group An "offline matchmaking service in San Francisco" started by Trish McDermott. 1995 1997 1997 Lavalife 2000 Online dating service for long-term relationships. 2002 Founded 2003 PlentyofFish Online dating site started by Markus Frind.

Significant for being (one of the first?) free dating sites.

2003 Proxidating Dating service that used Bluetooth to "alert users when a person with a matching profile was within fifty feet". 2004 OkCupid 2006 A "dating-focused social networking service" (Wikipedia). 2006 A sugar daddy/sugar baby site in the US. 2007 A "location-based social networking and dating application and website". 2007 Blind dating service started by Sam Yagan. 2008 GenePartner Matching service based on "DNA compatibility". 2009 2011 LikeBright Online dating site by Nick Soman.

By 2014 the site shut down.

2012(?) Slater calls it a "location-based dating app", though this doesn't seem to be its main function (it seems more social than romantic). 2012 Dating app. 2012 MissTravel.com Dating service for people seeking companionship when traveling.

Started by Brandon Wade.

2015 OpenMinded
Year Service Notes
Dating: Dating advice for women: Women's Guide to Dating and Being Irresistible: 16 Ways to Make Him Crave You and Keep His Attention (Dating Tips, Dating ... and Dating Advice for Women Book 13)
eBooks ()
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