Thursday, December 3, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


On Plenty of Fish, I had to scroll through irritating ads to see distorted pictures of my potential matches.

Looks don't matter for Plenty Of Fish

If you’ve managed to find a meaningful relationship, you’ve probably realized that looks aren’t everything. That sentiment holds true on…

By Emily Jackson , in Vancouver Gets Down to eBusiness , on March 30, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

If you’ve managed to find a meaningful relationship, you’ve probably realized that looks aren’t everything.

That sentiment holds true on , a Vancouver-based online dating service that The New York Times

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How has a website that plays matchmaker become number one without being visually appealing?

When I joined, I was told that I’d increase my chance at love by 230% if I uploaded a photo. Judging by this note, it’s likely that creator Markus Frind understands the importance of visuals.

This was what I saw when I didn't upload a photo. Oopsies.

Aesthetics play an important role for businesses. In particular, Apple’s for its sleek designs that keep people shelling out cash for its iProducts.

Even websites fight over who’s the prettiest. At the Internet’s version of the Oscars – – Plenty Of Fish has yet to receive accolades. (To be fair, it didn’t make the either.)

Plenty of Fish was the only dating website on the Top 20 sites visited last week.

Yet, week after week, millions of people visit the website. Last week, it was the 20th most visited site in Canada. Frind’s blog says that although the is shrinking, Plenty Of Fish continues to .

The website works because it gives people what they want, for free. (This is , yet seemingly effective.)

When you have to pay to join a dating website, such as competitors eHarmony.com or Match.com, you might feel as though you’re paying for love. Many daters are willing to look at ugly ads or unformatted photos to avoid this sentiment. It has been that people care more about content than context. is another website where less has proven to be more.

Perhaps I should apply this concept to dating.

Plenty Of Fish is also an advertising goldmine. It collects masses of personal information to help people find their closest matches. Frind his advertising model to Facebook’s, where ads are targeted based on intimate details.

If Frind’s profits are an indicator, the online advertising business model is far from dead. This Vancouverite earns about annually.

I bet he has no trouble getting a date.