“Dating sites are the most successful subscription-based businesses on the Internet.” —Freakonomics, page 78
When you use a dating site, you pay a monthly subscription. In addition, you have to always be careful not be shamed by your peers, friends, family, and partner.
What if you had a dating site, which everyone uses, and no one knows that it’s a dating site?
The real secret to Facebook’s success is that it is a ‘masked’ dating site, that is ‘free’.
Users use it because of its dating features; without themselves knowing that it’s a dating site. And if no one knows that it’s a dating site, then no one can shame anyone else for using Facebook.
Those who don’t use Facebook because of the dating features are mainly late adopters who joined in to get a sense of belonging. Or because they felt they were missing out on the events, and all the action. Everyone else was on Facebook. They were the lone exception.
How can anything compete with a free and so-geniously masked dating site? The question remains: Does Mark Zuckerburg know this?