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Online Dating Sites Mine Troves of Data to Select Your Best Match

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TWC News: Online Dating Sites Mine Troves of Data to Select Your Best Match
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Think there's a stigma to online dating? Think again. Meeting your match through the Internet is increasingly common. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

For some, it’s a no-brainer. It just makes perfect sense in these high tech times—trying to find that special someone via an online dating site.

“Everybody’s so busy that it’s hard to meet somebody. So I think—everybody’s on their phone all the time anyway, so it’s a new way to meet people,” one man says.

Though not so new—it's been around since 1995. For others though, it still holds a certain stigma, enough so that some won’t even fess up to having used a dating site successfully.

"(Why would they lie about that?) I don’t know, they’re embarrassed. There’s something unnatural about it,” says one woman.

“I don’t know. I just feel like you don’t get to know a person really well through online—like, I’d rather just meet people I see in person, then go from there," another woman says.

According to online dating behemoth Match.com, that's an attitude often shared by 18-to-30-year-olds, who tend to go to more parties and bars and gatherings where they can find potential suitors, so they have typically been the least likely demographic to try online matchmaking.

For others tied down to jobs or busy with kids, clearly it’s become one of the go-to options according to Sam Yagan, CEO of The Match Group, the parent company of Match.com, OKCupid, and the hot new Tinder.

"If you look at marriages that have happened in the last six months, one in three of those marriages started online,” Yagan says.

Yagan says for the power of online dating is clear. It exposes you to, potentially, millions of other singles and then helps you narrow them down with help from sophisticated, 21st century computing.

“We can use mathematical algorithms to actually find your date. That’s where the industry has gone, using algorithms to mine through tons and tons of data about you, about your activity on the site—you may say you like blondes but you click on brunettes. We use all that data to sometimes overrule your own preferences and find people that are good matches for you," Yagan says.

Yagan’s two tips for success are simple: first, be truthful since your online profile is essentially a marketing tool marketing you. And for safety reasons, for obvious reasons, always make your first date at a public place.

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