Looking for Love in All the Online Places

For Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a look at the question on the minds of at least a million single folks around the world: Can data help me find love?

Online dating websites have monetized the idea of finding true love for over 15 years now, and some of them have been very successful – financially and in delivering results to their users. Many of them bring traffic through data-driven methods, and they spend big money to build and maintain their data infrastructure. One international dating service reportedly spent $5 million over 2.5 years to gain insight into which television advertisements convinced users to join the dating site, and then assigned lifetime values to the members based on site usage and membership fees.

Meanwhile, some of the data analysis in online dating veers more towards amazing and funny. Take the case of a different popular dating site a few years ago, when they revealed that they ran experiments on their users. To determine whether or not manipulating their site’s matching algorithm result would affect the frequency of messages sent, they told some people with a 30% compatibility rating that they were a 90% match, just to see what would happen.

Guess what? The amusing blog article explained that, when given a false percentage calculation of compatibility, members were both more likely to send messages to prospective mates and more likely to engage in a conversation (four messages or more)! It was data – although based on deliberate lies – and the power of suggestion that encouraged the unaware human test subjects to take a chance at finding love.

Do you believe in the promise of love like we believe in the promise of data?

A couple of years ago, we wrote about our love for big data. How it’s helping researchers discover genetic causes for disorders, helping reduce the environmental impact of urban systems, contributing to crime prevention, and inspiring teachers to make better decisions.

You can see our passion for data every day in our innovative technologies that create environments for data to thrive. Our tech helps doctors to practice precision medicine and launch a crowdsourced data research project. It’s helped others to harness data science and big data from the private sector to innovate ways to fight climate change, and we’ll continue driving innovation with our ongoing Game Changer Series, including support for an open source instruction set architecture.

We love data for helping us connect with each other! Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the holiday with your loved ones!

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