|Type of site||Online dating service|
|Alexa rank||487 (December 2013[update])|
The site was founded by Andrew Conru. It claims to have over 30 million members. In 1996, the site was launched as FriendFinder, a more traditional online dating service, but Conru created Adult FriendFinder as a spinoff when members began uploading home-made Internet pornography. FriendFinder has since spawned numerous niche dating sites, including Senior FriendFinder, Amigos.com, and BigChurch.com.
The parent company had difficulty finding venture capital due to the adult nature of its signature property. In December 2007, the company was sold to the Penthouse Media Group for $500 million. The acquisition is the subject of a 2008 lawsuit by Broadstream Capital Partners, a merchant bank that assists with mergers, alleging Penthouse breached a 2006 contract in order to purchase the company, a claim Penthouse denies.
AFF ranks among the 100 most popular sites in the United States and is a major competitor to leading personals sites such as Match.com.
Joining and creating a profile is free. However, users cannot access certain features without a paid membership, which comes in three levels, Silver, Gold and VIP (the third an upgrade only available to existing Gold members). Members can use the blog system to write their own blogs and respond to others in the community. Free members also have access to regular chat lobbies. Paying users can view others' profiles and access communication services such as e-mail, private chat rooms, webcams, blogging, and a webzine. Members can purchase subscription upgrades for benefits such as higher search rankings. Members can broadcast their webcams publicly to each other. Chat room viewers can page the broadcasting member to ask to initiate a personal chat session.
Adult FriendFinder has one of the web's most popular affiliate programs, whereby webmasters refer users to the site and are compensated up to $1.01 per unique click.
There is some controversy over the true ratio of male to female members. Their own disclaimer reports that the user database is rarely purged of expired members or those who have not logged on in years, and that they reflect anyone as being "online" if they have logged on within an hour. They have also been criticized for having excessively high numbers of fake profiles and for their stated policy that
- "From time to time models who are not site members or expired member profiles are used in external advertising of our sites and thus you should not rely upon the availability of any particular person(s) as being a member of our site in making any membership or payment decisions." [Disclaimer page|*Note About Numbers]
They have also been criticized for a larger-than-average number of members who are prostitutes "looking for clients". Others are scams advertising fake profiles using photographs taken from the Internet to phish for e-mail addresses, or to advertise for other websites.
- "Adultfriendfinder.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- Matt Richtel (July 27, 2007). "A Thaw in Investment Prospects for Sex-Related Businesses? Maybe". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- Duncan Riley (2007-12-11). "Confirmed: Penthouse Buys AdultFriendFinder For $500 Million". Techcrunch. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- Hymes, Tom (2008-08-31). "Penthouse Denies Every Claim in Broadstream Adult FriendFinder Suit". Xbiz.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- Stein, Joel (March 30, 2007). "The Accidental 'Friend' Finder". Money.CNN.com (CNN).
- LaVallee, Andrew (2009-10-26). "Flo Rida Video Premieres on AdultFriendFinder". The Wall Street Journal.
- "XBIZ Award Winners". XBIZ. February 2011.
- Adult Friend Finder Dating Site Review - Adult Friendfinder
- Robert McMillan: AdultFriendFinder settles pop-up adware charges in PC World of 2007-6-12 (online version)[clarification needed]]]
- Jim Hopkins: 'Penthouse' makes $500M hookup with social site Various in USA Today of 2007-31-12 (online version)[clarification needed]]]