Now that dating digitally has become so common, companies are constantly collecting information about our human mating behavior.
It turns out it’s seasonal.
For example, there’s a big spike of activity on the first Sunday of every year — after people have gotten over their New Year’s hangover and have had some time to collect themselves.
“It’s like a magical jump that continues through Valentine’s Day, and then there’s a spike after Valentine’s Day, because the day didn’t go as planned,” Amarnath Thombre, the chief strategy officer of Match Group, told Business Insider.
Match owns 45 dating platforms, including massive apps and websites like Tinder and OK Cupid and smaller niche services like Black People Meet and Plenty of Fish, which it purchased for $575 million in July of last year. In the first quarter of 2016, the company brought in $285 million in revenue, up 21% from the same period a year before.
Dating’s Busiest Season (yes, they call it that) is from December 26 to January 14. During that time, there’s a 60% spike in new singles registering on Match platforms. Fifteen million new photos are uploaded, one million dates take place, and 50 million messages are sent.
This contrasts sharply with the time right before Thanksgiving into Christmas, when Match experiences a pretty dramatic drop-off in activity. There’s a short spike on December 26 and then another lull until the new year.
There’s also a small drop-off at the end of the school year. Because kids are at home more, single parents tend to put dating on the back burner.
Thombre’s charge is to constantly reimagine the future of online dating. He has been at Match since 2008 and has seen how its business has evolved from something for lonely singles in their late 30s to a bunch of niche platforms for every kind of person you can imagine to what is now essentially a fun game for young people.
People’s behavior has also changed during that time. From 2013 to 2015, for example, Match saw its users shift to mobile platforms at an accelerated rate, and the company had to rush to move all of its platforms along with them.
But more important is that the line between real life and app life is blurring almost beyond recognition.
“Before you enter a bar you may have already made an introduction,” he said.
Match is now working on a way to attack the holdouts — the people who still count on in-person chemistry rather than a photo and a profile to decide whether to date someone.
“Increasingly, users are attending Match events like cooking classes and rock climbing, settings that foster that type of interaction,” Thombre said.
The company is also working on incorporating video — anything that gives you more about people before you actually have to meet them.
In the future, the internet will vet anyone you see before you even buy the person a drink.