EHarmony taps mobile for bigger role in dating experience


Looking to update its mobile experience, eHarmony decided to launch a new Datebook feature to its iPhone application that lets users plan a date using resources such as Foursquare.

The Datebook feature is exclusively available on eHarmonys iPhone app and is the first feature to be released on mobile before desktop. With almost 45 percent of eHarmony users registering via mobile, the company realized the opportunity in going mobile-first.

As our mobile base continues to grow, we wanted to give those users an easy way to plan dates right from their phone, said Vanessa Petrosky, mobile product manager for eHarmony, Santa Monica, CA.

EHarmony sends you compatible matches and provides great ways to communicate, she said. With the addition of Datebook, we’re helping you take that conversation offline.

The dating industry is experiencing an upward mobile trend, and eHarmony is capitalizing on the shift to mobile. It’s important to us that our mobile users enjoy the same great experience our Web site provides, as well as new features that are built just for them.

Datebook will help users keep track of who they are dating and where they go on dates. EHarmony users can add their matches to their Datebook contact list as well as other people they are dating outside of eHarmony.

Additionally, the feature integrates Foursquare so users can search for date spots and get helpful tips from the Foursquare community. This makes it easier for users to find information such as phone number, address and pricing information for date locations.

The Datebook dates will also sync to a consumers iPhone calendar so they can receive reminders.

Another interesting feature in Datebook called Date Questions helps break the ice on a first date by easing users into conversation.

Datebook also lets consumers keep track of their dates with private notes.

Users will also be asked to provide feedback on their dates, so this will help eHarmony improve its matching. Users can rate dates to help eHarmony suggest future dates.

The feature is free for registered eHarmony users on iPhones only.

Mobile first
EHarmony made an interesting move rolling out Datebook to mobile first. This demonstrates the companys commitment to the medium and the value it places on mobile.

EHarmony has been seeing a spike in mobile traffic for a while now, reporting a 25 percent increase in the number of times users accessed one of its apps last February compared to 2012 (see story).

Other dating sites such as ChristianMingle and JDate have also been responding to an increase in mobile traffic. This past summer, both dating sites release new apps to offer their users more on-the-go access to member profiles and pictures (see story).

Datebook seemed like the perfect feature to release to our mobile audience first, since we know they use our services while they’re on the go, Ms. Petrosky said.

We have about 45 percent of users registering for eHarmony on a mobile device, she said. With the addition of Datebook, the eHarmony app is the dating wingman you want to keep in your back pocket.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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