Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CNBC's Inside Look at Online Dating

Amy Robach, CNBC
Online dating, once a refuge for the socially challenged, has gone mainstream, and is now a multi-billion dollar a year business fundamentally changing the way we seek relationships. Hundreds of websites cater to every preference—all trying to unlock the secrets of the human heart—with science. But can a computer algorithm really help find your perfect match?

On Thursday, February 9th at 9pm ET/PT, CNBC presents “Love at First Byte: The Secret Science of Online Dating” a CNBC Original reported by NBC News and Today Show Correspondent Amy Robach that takes viewers inside the booming online dating industry. From major corporate players to the hundreds of niche websites that accommodate daters of every conceivable interest and background, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, explores the science that claims to use secret computer algorithms to convert the desire for companionship into romantic success.

Robach goes behind the scenes at the headquarters of the most influential online websites—Match.com and eHarmony—profiling the small armies of computer scientists, mathematicians and psychologists who claim they can draw revealing conclusions about you, not only by what you say, but by what you do—and don’t do—on their websites. With both sites claiming a high success rate, CNBC speaks with experts who examine those claims and question whether the algorithms actually capture a client’s personality and preferences. CNBC also profiles a number of online daters who have used these sites—both successfully and unsuccessfully—in hopes of finding the perfect mate.

CNBC introduces viewers to Samantha Daniels, a former divorce lawyer thriving in a trade that pre-dates the Internet by centuries. Daniels is a modern-day matchmaker, who claims that the rise of online dating has actually revived her old-world industry. With many of her clients being unhappy refugees from the land of online dating, Daniels claims that even the best computer equation can’t outmatch human intuition.

Roughly one in ten Americans visit online dating websites each month, spanning in range from digitally savvy twenty-something to baby boomers seeking a fresh start. Whatever their age, a growing number of online daters are using cutting-edge mobile technology in their search for love. Robach accompanies a group of young singles who use a mobile application called “Skout” to connect to other nearby mobile daters with just the click of a button. Mobile dating applications have taken off not only in cities like New York and Los Angeles, but are gaining steam all over the country. Many experts and credible observers agree that the future of online dating is on mobile devices.


  1. Interesting piece tonight on online dating and matchmakers. I am part of a referral based dating and social network called Linx Dating www.linxdating.com in the Bay Area where the primary focus is matching EDUCATED men to EDUCATED women. The CEO, Amy Andersen, is incredibly gifted. Not only does she have a tremendous rolodex but she has hit a home run seeing a true niche- Silicon Valley to San Francisco dating and doing exclusive intros based on that premise. People in the Silicon Valley want it "all" and all the guys I know desire attractive but often more so is brainy! Maybe it is different in other states and cities?!

  2. Just found this article and comment. Linx Dating has definitely hit a home run figuring out a really unique niche business. Great timing for them surrounding the FB IPO. Andersen works with some very high profile clients from what I hear and has her finger on the pulse of the who's who. Scalable? Not sure. Genius concept, without a doubt.

  3. This sounds like a PR flack for Linx Dating. I joined her service since it was considerably less expensive than Kelleher International but I regret that decision in retrospect. Amy basically ignored me once I joined and I was definitely not impressed with her or with the database or rolodex of singles she provided. I did better on my own and through my own social circles.