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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Man Who Invented Online Dating

Andrew Conru was a busy graduate student working on the cutting edge of internet technology at Stanford in the early '90s. He didn’t have time to get out and socialize to meet girls. He tried personal ads in newspapers and video dating (in the VHS days), but found them slow and expensive. So he invented online dating. Conru founded the first online dating site, Web Personals, in 1993, the same year Match.com was founded. But Conru’s site went live in 1994, a year before Match.com went online. He also launched an early service that created websites. And he was a pioneer in web tracking. Conru sold Web Personals and then launched FriendFinder, which blossomed into a conglomerate of interpersonal sites. Has owning those companies helped him personally?
Conru has been dating online for 20 years and has never been married. “When you’re in your 20s, you get a lot more dates than when you’re in your 40s,” he said. “It sucks but people in their 20s are looking to mingle and it’s a new experience. It’s much more dynamic than your 40s or 50s.”
On Conru’s AdultFriendFinder profile, it says he collects 1930s movie posters and that he’s had a threesome. “I’ve had more than one,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate a lot in having a full life; I’m comfortable in all kinds of sexual experiences.”
Conru, who has a Yahoo email account (“does that date me?” he asks), and doesn’t like Snapchat (“I can’t screengrab my friend’s porn photos fast enough”) has no plans on settling down – he’s realized the traditional life of getting married and having kids is probably not in his cards.
“I’m still single, which is the irony of all this,” he said.
Read the story of Andrew Conru and the development of internet dating at Motherboard.

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