Plenty of Fish, the industry’s foremost free dating site, is looking to buy True.com, a once significant casual site currently in the grips of a bankruptcy hearing.
POF is reported to be buying the site, which at its peak attracted 3.8m people a month, for $700,000.
GlobalDatingInsights recently reported on True.com’s bankruptcy hearing, as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is trying to stop the sale of the site’s 43m strong database.
True.com fell into huge debt following massive spending on advertising and securing affiliates.
And user reviews are far from positive, many suggesting that scammers operated on the site.
So why might POF be in for True.com?
We think Markus Frind, CEO and founder of POF, must be solely interested in True.com’s domain name, and have three theories as to why he wants it.
1. To relaunch True.com as the casual hookup arm of POF.
True.com was a renowned casual brand, particularly know for their provocative ad campaigns, and Frind might be looking to sustain this brand, under POF.
In May, Markus sent an email to members in which he announced the closure of Intimate Encounters, their casual spin-off site.
He also reiterated his stance that POF is “all about relationships”, and outlined some rules aimed to drive any hookup elements from the site.
This included: “Any first contact between users that contains sexual references will not be sent. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will be deleted without warning.”
By removing any casual aspects from POF, he could be creating space for a more adult-orientated site, which would be filled by a relaunched True.com.
2. True.com could be a Frind’s second attempt at a paid site.
He launched eVow.com, a premium site specialising in long-term relationships in 2010, which had very little success – offering nothing new to the market, at a price.
Frind might want to have another stab at a premium site, and is thinking of using True.com as the name under which to do it.
3. The acquisition could have less to do with pre-planning, Frind thinking that at such a low price, the True.com domain is a good investment for any future ventures.
Whether the sale goes through or not, it looks like Plenty of Fish are looking to diversify beyond their free, relationship-centered main site.