VIP Interview with Match.com SVP Beth Wilson

SDA gets the scoop on what's up and coming at Match.com!

                                             

What do you do at Match, and how long have you worked there?

As SVP of Product, I am responsible for the complete user experience on the match.com website, iOS and Android apps, our mobile website, Chemistry.com and a handful of international markets. This is my 8th year at match and I love it.  The mission of match is something I’m incredibly passionate about, creating more dates, relationships and marriages.

How do you think the dating game has evolved in recent years?

The dating space has evolved dramatically over the past few years! First, the shift to mobile has dramatically changed the landscape.  Location based features, on-the-go and always online, micro-payments, text messaging, etc. have fundamentally changed the way people communicate and date.  These shifts have certainly impacted the dating space. Secondly, matching and searching algorithms have become far more efficient, self-learning and just plain smarter. And perhaps most importantly, acceptance of online dating continues to expand while stigma continues to erode.  More single people are trying online dating than ever before across all demographics.  There was once a stigma around online dating that is now nearly gone.  This has expanded the online dating category greatly. The general perception now is that online dating is not a last resort  but a primary choice when seeking a relationship.

What has Match.com done with its site to keep up with these ongoing changes?

Match is investing a great deal in mobile.  In April of this year, we launched a completely redesigned iOS app, reimagining the match experience for mobile.  And we aren’t stopping there - a redesign of the Android app as well as our mobile web experience is currently underway. Authenticity is also a key theme to our roadmap this year.  In the coming weeks, you will start to see the ability to verify your profile through a number of different mechanisms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  These verification badges signal authenticity and commitment to the dating process.

What special/insider tips would you give singles today who are looking for love on Match.com?  

Don’t be afraid to make the first move!  There is only one way to be successful using a dating tool, and that is, be willing to communicate.  We know that often our female clients do not want to send the first message, but this is definitely a mistake seen too often among our female members. Also, a few other tips:

  • Add at least 5 recent photos in a variety of settings.  And be sure to add captions, even mention the date when the picture was taken.  

  • Use the match app.  On our iPhone app, we’ve introduced  new exciting ways to discover people with the Mixer and Stream feature.  It’s fun and easy to use and keeps you ready to message and respond to others quickly.

  • Encourage others to join match too!  We find that people enjoy the match experience more when they have a friend to compare notes with. 

What do you foresee in the future for dating and online dating?

Mobile plays a huge role in the future of online dating and for Match.  We are investing heavily in building out amazing mobile products and features that will dramatically enhance and streamline the experience. We are also introducing a number of “power tool” features letting members customize their experience completely.  To date, Match has been a "one size fits all" experience, but we recognize our members aren’t all alike.  These power tools will allow a member to pick and choose features that they might need to be most successful.

As a happily married mother of two, can you share your best relationship pearl with us?

Believe me, I know it’s not easy to balance it all. In fact, I have the word "balance" spelled out on the cork board at my office desk! But I’m currently crazy about taking a 1-hour brisk walk with my husband. We get to catch up on all things big and small and use this time to keep communication lines clear and open. We try and walk together at least 4 times a week. Additionally, we set aside time to have fun as a whole family, whether that is skiing, four-wheeling, camping, etc...This family play time definitely helps me to recharge! We reserve at least four long weekends a year just for this purpose.