It is worth considering then, what might happen if a dating site were to operate like a social networking site? Free online dating site Mamboo allows users to interact with prospective partners and engage in a variety of games, activities, public and private conversation and even giving gifts to each other whilst giving users the freedom to find a perfect match in their own time and by their own rules.
Seeing that the market was desperate for a dating site which behaved like a social networking site and gave users access to a much more interactive world Mamboo began in 2004 and has since claimed a spot as the UK's fastest growing online dating service.
It is acknowledged that the reason for this success is due to it the wide variety of services and functions it allows the user and it is these functions which set it apart from other sites and free dating services.
Whilst many dating services now claim to put the user firmly back in the driving seat when it comes to finding the ideal partner or mate, there are few which offer the level of interactivity which is available here.
Firstly, there is the Real Service. With much of the distrust or fear of online dating being a result of the number of fake or heavily exaggerated profiles which undermine the real value and needs of €true users€, having a feature which means that those users who have been certified as real by the site and can be trusted makes it a lot easier to root out a false or made up profile. Verification is relatively straightforward too as the user merely registers their mobile phone, receives a unique code and is verified as €real€. This is extremely useful as it not only gives the user an extra reason to trust a profile but means that interested people will know that they can trust their profile too.
A further criticism of traditional dating services isthat it has been difficult in the past to get to know people online. A large aspect of this is that although the traditional likes, dislikes, aspirations and future plans profile questions give an idea of what a person wants they don't actually tend to give information on what the person is like and don't allow for sense of humour, true personality or any quirks. The blogging section of Mamboo then gives an ideal opportunity where an interested party can read the users blog and as well as get a much better idea of their personality gets to agree or spark conversation based on what they read
If the problem with traditional online dating was that it did not allow users the freedom and interaction to make their own education decisions for dating and meeting future partners, then Mamboo gives them everything they might expect of a social networking site with the added bonus of finding a partner at the end of it.