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Online dating's future doesn't have to go one way or the other, though.
They simply need to be innovative enough to capture significant market share. New apps that have found success, including Tinder, have been gobbled up by IAC through investments and acquisitions.
If two people are interested in each other, they're going on a date.
Tell the app when you're available, and it'll tell you when and where you're meeting."I liked it because I felt like it wasn't super involved; I didn't have to write a biography about myself," said Jamie Stuckey, 29, who took part in the beta test for Peters' app, Whim, which is due to launch this year.
They can swipe left to pass on a person or right to express interest, a feature the Tinder dating app pioneered.
If they find a "match" (when both people swipe right), Whim sets them up on a date.
Arranging a date will be as easy as ordering "a pizza or a cab," said Clover Chief Executive Isaac Raichyk.
Clover's researchers found that users suffered the same online dating fatigue Peters described: They invested time and emotions upfront, only to be disappointed to see their digital dream in the flesh."People don't have a lot of time to devote to dating nowadays, and most of the existing dating services and apps are painfully inefficient," he said. Getting the whole 'Hey, let's meet up' stuff out of the way upfront is a huge psychological icebreaker for people."Eli Finkel, social psychology professor at Northwestern University, said the direct approach to online dating reduces the chances of people embellishing their profiles or creating unrealistic expectations."At the end of the day, having a live, face-to-face interaction with someone is the best way to figure out who is compatible with you," Finkel said.
"If you're going to use something like a dating app, you want it to be time friendly.
With Whim, you know if you're matched with someone, it's someone looking to go on an actual date.
Tedious, frustrating, emotionally draining — that's how Eve Peters felt about online dating after seven years in the industry.
Customers repeatedly told the former product lead at OKCupid Labs the whole affair is too time-consuming, and, based on complaints and her own personal experience, she felt it was burning people out.
In 2013, IAC's online dating properties made a combined 8 million.