Looking for something new and inexpensive this year in your search for love? Frustrated with the crowd on Plenty Of Fish or OkCupid? Match.com has just launched DownToEarth.com, a new site for free online dating.
I, for one, am intrigued… let’s take a look!
Why The Switch?
Paid Sites Are Becoming Obsolete…
I think match.com is starting to realize that paid dating sites are becoming obsolete. Most people are thinking, “Why should I pay $xx.xx a month if I can go to Plenty of Fish or OkCupid and get the same thing for free?”
Nothing Is “Free”
My first trip to DownToEarth to check it out shows a good deal of Adsense boxes. On the home page, there’s a banner at the top, one at the bottom, and an Adsense square on the left side. No matter what page you’re on, you will see ads.
At the moment, these ads aren’t going to generate much revenue, but if DownToEarth pulls the same kind of traffic that the other free dating sites do, those nickels and dimes could add up to some big profit.
The “Partners” page is another money grubbing opportunity. It lists other online dating services, including… oh gee! affiliate links.
What’s Good About It
- Free for you.
- There could be an exodus of people from paid services to test out this one.
- People who gave up on the existing sites may come back to try this one out (aka: new faces!).
- Nice interface (way nicer than Plenty Of Fish or OkCupid in my opinion!!).
- Ability to rate the truthfulness of people’s profiles once you’ve been communicating/meeting them. A system called RealRatings allows users to rate other users’ profiles. Supposedly, this will keep girls from putting up their skinny pictures and guys from putting up their pre-balding pictures.
So What’s The Catch, E?
From what I can tell at first glance, the biggest catch here is the EXTREMELY limited search functionality. Your only options to search are by sexual orientation, age, distance from you, and pictures/no pictures.
If this site gets as big as they hope it’s going to get, finding a match will be the proverbial needle in a haystack problem.
But perhaps that’s what they want… remember the Partners page? Here’s what DownToEarth says about its partners:
Finding the right one can require exploring more than one location. We understand this and have done the footwork to find other websites that could help you in your pursuit. We are constantly building new partnerships to give our community the best tools to find that special someone.
Translation? “You probably won’t find love here, but if you click these links, we’ll make some money wherever you go after ditching us!“
My advice? Stay where you are. This isn’t worth jumping ship from your current service.