“That’s the real issue—how happy are people with their interactions on the dating sites,” says Scott Kominers, a lecturer in economics at Harvard University.On a site like Ok Cupid anyone can send you a message, whereas on the free app Bumble or on Tinder or e Harmony, only people you are matched with can get in touch.“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.“There are people of different intentions on every platform; it’s more important what your intention is.” Perhaps the key factor that determines whether you’ll like a site is not the price to join but the kind of people you find on it and how they behave and communicate.Dating may be tricky but most mobile apps operate the same way.Download the app, create a profile, upload some fabulous pictures, write an equally impressive bio and voila.It's also the perfect opportunity for women to take control. I find that women are more cautious when it comes to initiating contact but this could be the perfect way to eradicate the 'damsel in distress' attitude, where women are seen as 'needing a man' to take the lead.The serial dater: I would never chat a guy up or ask for someone's number, I couldn't deal with the rejection, so this was way out of my comfort zone, but I did love the fact that I had all the power.
A dating app that reduces the chance of harassment? The expert: I really like the idea of this app because it creates a safe environment for women online.
“If sending messages had a price or you could send only a fixed number per day, people you contact online would know you had to give up something to do so, which would incentivize better behavior,” he says.
Perhaps beyond just charging for messages, sites could adjust the price according to how high quality someone's engagement seems to be.
Kominers thinks online daters could be well served by a service that isn’t quite free but doesn’t involve a subscription fee either.
Inspired by Jiayuan.com, the largest online dating site in China, he thinks dating sites would have happier customers overall if they did away with their current pricing models and charged users per message sent.
For every dating site or app that charges close to $40 per month, such as Match, e Harmony, or JDate, there are plenty of other popular ones like Ok Cupid or Tinder that are free.