- On Tuesday, Match rolled out its new member service, AskMatch, to better compete with dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.
- Members can set up free one-on-one appointments with expert dating coaches to work through issues like dressing for a first date, defining a relationship, or even pick up line workshopping.
- According to Match CEO Hesam Hosseini, the service performed best with young men in its beta test, with three times more men opting into the service than women.
- Hosseini told Business Insider that he hopes the service will help men open up about dating and relationship struggles, something he says women are more comfortable with.
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Match is rolling out a personal trainer for your dating life.
On Tuesday, the dating service announced AskMatch, a free phone-based service for members that provides one-on-one calls with an expert dating coach. Members can turn to experts for everything from appropriate first date attire, to crafting the perfect pickup line, to how to start the tricky process of defining the relationship IRL. The service is available in New York City starting Tuesday, with plans to roll out nationwide through 2020.
Match CEO Hesam Hosseini told Business Insider that men on the platform were three times as likely as women to opt into the service during the program’s beta test in early 2019.
“I’m 34 and married, my friends know where I work and they won’t even talk to me about their dating life,” Hosseini told Business Insider. “I think in general, men are half as likely as women to talk to family and friends about their relationships because they struggle with opening up.”
In January, razor-maker Gillette polarised customers online and off with its controversial ad telling men to stand up to toxic masculinity in wake of #MeToo. While Hosseini is cautious about addressing the issue head on, he did tell Business Insider that he thinks a service like AskMatch could be instrumental in making men more comfortable with asking for help in the dating arena.
“We see that women want a second opinion and validation for the path they’re on, and men are just asking advice,” Hosseini said.
The dating advice will come from a team of in-house Match employees. These matchmakers don’t have any special certifications, and it’s not clear exactly how personalised or effective their advice will be.
Facing stiff competition from mobile dating startups like Tinder and Bumble, Match has been forced to innovate beyond the dated web-based profiles to attract a younger audience. Match’s parent company Match Group also owns Tinder, which has gained notoriety for its game-like approach to dating. Hosseini joined as CEO in January 2018 and was swiftly tasked with helping the service appear to his millennial peers.
“It’s kind of like a personal trainer”
“I’m a millennial, and this is a service my generation wants and needs,” Hosseini said. “Yes, they don’t want to talk on the phone and are automating grocery delivery, but they also seek one-on-one advice for relationships. It’s kind of like a personal trainer. These parts of your life that are nuanced and emotional, you see millennials investing more and going one-on-one.”
He added: “Our advice has always been to not date over text, and we’re living by that.”
Match’s history, Hosseini explained, is more of a benefit than risk. In an increasingly automated world, Match.com has never considered itself a technology company. Its core members are between their late 20s and early 40s, and tend to be looking for more serious relationships, Hosseini said.
“We know that singles don’t date alone, so it’s nothing new to seek advice from family and friends,” Hosseini said. “It helps to get a second opinion or objective opinion on any questions you have. We want to be in your corner beyond just the app.”
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