Match Group CEO Shar Dubey has published an open letter discussing how the online dating company and its brands are being impacted by the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Isolation is apparently causing online daters to have longer conversations, but is lowering the chances of meeting new prospects.
Dubey said that conversation times had lengthened by 10-30%, but services were struggling to attract new users and paying subscribers in some countries that have been hit harder.
She explained in the letter: “In Europe, we’ve seen new subscriber declines of around 5% in aggregate since the crisis began, but in countries severely impacted by COVID-19, like Italy and Spain, we have seen more significant declines.
“In the U.S., the impact also depends on the level of cases in the region and varies by brand. For example, Tinder in New York State has seen low double-digit declines in new subscribers since the outbreak accelerated, but much of the rest of the country has held up much better.”
As a result of these changes in behaviour, Match Group are “moving quickly” to implement video chat across their various platforms. It has already brought forward the release date of live video capabilities on two of its platforms, Plenty Of Fish and Twoo, and usage has surpassed expectations.
There are now expectations to implement face-to-face video chats on Match.com in early April.
Match Group is still working towards a separation from parent company IAC and is optimistic that it will be completed a some point in Q2. However, Dubey admitted that the plans “could be impacted by the current pandemic“.
Stock declined 19.6% to a market cap of roughly $18.7 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as the novel coronavirus spread across the globe, roughly in line with an 18.7% decline for the S&P 500 index.
Read the full letter here.