We all know the stereotype of people who use AshleyMadison.com, the dating site for married people who are looking for affairs: Sleazy guys, who vastly outnumber women on the site.
Turns out that’s changing, according to a new set of user data provided to Business Insider by Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman.
Among users under 35, women and men are now split 50-50. The site is seeing growth from female members in part because of AM’s new mobile app, which over-indexes with female users.
What’s driving the change?
Historically, men logged in on Monday morning from their desktop, maybe at work. Now, with the service available anywhere via mobile, women’s access has been made a lot easier. They no longer need to risk using a shared computer at home, for instance.
There are still more men than women on the site, but interestingly the proportion of single women looking for married lovers — 28% — is far greater than that of single men.
Biderman gave us his new deck on AM’s user stats.
12.7 million Americans are currently looking for affairs on the site. Biderman says growth is coming from women and international markets. 'Dating' might be different in the U.S. and India (where there are arranged marriages), but the market for adultery is pretty much the same globally, he says.
Growth among female members is particularly noticeable on AM's mobile app. Female members are more likely to use the app than men. Biderman believes women will become majority mobile users this year or next.
Under age 35, the gender balance of members is now 1:1. But it skews more toward men the older members become. Male members over 75 have virtually no chance of finding a female cheater their own age, Biderman says.
AM used to be a Monday morning desktop login for men who'd just had a lousy weekend with their spouse. Mobile has changed that, Biderman says. 'Before the internet I think women restricted their extra-curricular encounters to their close social circle.' That, of course, is risky. Online dating lowers those risks.
Although the average age of male cheaters is 41, the AM population is dominated by those in their 30s and 50s, Biderman says. That's because interest in adultery peaks in the first few years of marriage, and then again in later life when children leave home, he believes. Women skew younger, and more than a quarter of female members are single women looking for married men.
Among women, the prominence of healthcare workers is new, Biderman says. It probably reflects the growth of that sector. For men, finance types, lawyers and doctors have always been the cheating professions. But male IT workers are new on the list.
IT is new
New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day bring the most new signups. 'Those days are litmus tests for how you feel about your family,' Biderman says. 'You look across the table and have an expectation of being put on a pedestal and celebrated (and then discover) 'I never realised how miserable I was.'
Ashley Madison uses a lot of billboards because 'I don't benefit from virality' in social media, Biderman says. People can't like Ashley Madison on Facebook, in other words. Brand recognition is still low enough for there to be room for more growth.
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