As well as internet dating there is also mobile dating, so-called WAP, with nearly the same number of users countrywide. The service is connected by GPRS and costs a standard fee at mobile operators. Both versions of dating service offer a wide array of interactive tools, including chatting, sending PMs, viewing and exchanging photos, accumulating gift points, and being active on forums, etc.
According to just face.ge stats, the first such service in Georgia, they have 106,144 users already, with up to 10,000 certain visitors spending at least 1 hour on the website every 24 hours. There are 76,571 18-40 year olds, with a proportion of the sexes of 51/49%. The website is unique because there are more than 6,000 Georgian users who are living abroad, like in Athens, Russia, Kiev, Turkey, and other places.
The cost of advertising on the site is also high, up to 350-500 GEL per month for an ad space on the main page, with 110,000 contacts per day. As site administrator Mirza Sartania says, the website could also be used for conducting polls, sending alerts to site users, and other campaigns.
Another popular website, Gacnoba.org, has almost 20,000 members living just in Georgia.
As site Admin says dating services were so popular in newspapers and on the web that he decided to create a website with the purpose of letting people date and consequently earn money from that.
“Website Gatsnoba.org, (originally Gacnoba.us) was created in May 2008 and up till 2009 was able to attract more than 60,000 people registered on the website. At the time we were aiming to create a service that’d connect people over the internet, to be able to chat, share files, be active on forums and of course have the opportunity to fall in love. Then there were some problems with maintenance of the original domain, so we moved to Gacnoba.org which now has 19,551 users, (18-22 year olds mainly), most of them active during the night hours.”
“Our first attempt to create a dating service was via mobiles which is still quite popular among our users. This was one of the first mobile dating services in Georgia, after Face.ge I suppose,” said Lasha Chikhladze, site Admin.
“I’ve heard dozens of stories of users getting married after having first interacted and met through our website in Georgia. A month ago, there was a couple from the city of Rustavi who finally got married. They were 18 and 21 year olds Mari and Levan respectively, if I’m not mistaken. They got registered approximately 2 years ago and since then were very active on the web, sending pictures, chatting, etc. Then their relationship turned serious and now they’ve become a wonderful young couple. Since getting married, they are obviously no longer using our site,” Chikhladze told The FINANCIAL.
“90% of Gacnoba.org’s revenue is from ads (0.04¢ per click), currently 1,091 sites have a banner ad on our site. There are ten times more Russian ads than Georgian ones.
In addition users can also send voice messages to each other, 50 voice messages adds up to 5 GEL revenue. And lastly they can also deposit money on each others’ virtual accounts,” added Chikhladze.
The FINANCIAL also got an insight in to how dating services work worldwide. Julia Gryzunova, who now runs Mamba’s corporate office has 12,221,160 users worldwide, including a couple of hundred Georgians too.
“Mamba was created in 2002 and in 2004 its active audience exceeded 1,000,000 customers, spending 5-6 hours on the site daily. We have a special service where people can write about their successful dating history. Every day we receive more than 100 messages about happy dating and 1-3 of them are about weddings. Customers even send us their weddings photos. We are satisfied that our work brings such wonderful results and helps people find each other.
The revenue that Mamba earned last year was 25 million USD. And the surge in revenue was 40% compared to the previous year. The revenue structure is given below:
68% – SMS payments
22% – Alternative ways of payment
8% – Advertising
2% – Others
The partners’ profit growth goes up by 47% every year.
“There are many dating sites but we are trying to provide our audience with interesting services and quality support service not found on other websites.
Not long ago (about 4 months ago) a man and woman participated in the project “Happy Couples who Met on Mamba”. The man was 65 years old and the woman 59. It was a really fascinating story. In general the average user’s age on Mamba is about 25-27 years old,” Julia Gryzunova told The FINANCIAL.
The online dating industry is worth 4 billion USD worldwide, (2010, *datingsitesreviews.com) and according to estimates 17% of couples who married met on a dating site.