||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (June 2014)|
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (June 2014)|
|Type of site||Online Service|
|Owner||Anastasia Date Ltd
103 Sham Peng Tong Plaza
|Revenue||$110 million USD (2012) |
AnastasiaDate is an online dating service with several web properties that primarily connects Western men with women from Russia, the former Soviet Republics, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. It was founded in 1993 by a Russian-American couple.
AnastasiaDate have also partnered with marketing research companies to provide statistics for a number of dating surveys. This included the Harris Interactive research on Valentine’s dating in 2013, which received coverage in the NY Daily News, Mashable, and CNET.
AnastasiaDate was founded in 1993 by a Russian-American couple, Elena and David Besuden. The couple met in 1992 through an introduction service and married in the same year. The brand AnastasiaDate was said to originate from Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who was seen as role model for young Russian women.
The company at the time of foundation was known as AnastasiaWeb, before later becoming AnastasiaDate. In the early nineties the Internet was still becoming established, which meant catalogs were used to introduce US men to Russian women during the early years of the company's existence. After using catalogs for the first 4 years, Anastasia launched their first website in 1997, with major growth taking place from 2003.
AnastasiaDate launched three spin-off websites during 2007, each providing western men with access to women from different areas of the world. AmoLatina was the best known of the three new sites, which provided mainly North American men with the opportunity to meet women from Latin America. During the same period, the company also launched AsianBeauties and AfricaBeauties. These sites were created to allow western men to meet and speak to women from Asia and Africa respectively.
Love Translated was released in 2010 and featured AnastasiaDate. The Canadian documentary film directed and edited by Julia Ivanova and premiered at the 46th annual Chicago International Film Festival. The documentary film later aired on Discovery Fit & Health. Roger Ebert stated the film follows young women from Ukraine, where ten men from the United States, Canada, France, and Sweden as they travel to Odessa, Ukraine, on a series of international social events, arranged by AnastasiaDate, to try to meet the right woman. Variety Magazine explained that while there, the men go to several social events, including a beauty pageant at a nightclub, where they meet large numbers of attractive, single women. The interactions at the socials and on the dates the men go on are facilitated by translators. In 2011, AnastasiaDate was sold by Anastasia International to a private investor.
AnastasiaDate first released its financial figures in 2012, with a turnover figure of $110 million USD. At the time the company announced that they expected the company to grow by $30 million during the following year. CNN announced at the time of the figures publication that the increase in growth was largely down to the growth of the International dating and mail order bride industries. According to U.S. immigration statistics and analysis from the Tahirih Justice Center, there were roughly 200 international marriage broker agencies in 1999, which coordinated between 4,000 and 6,000 marriages. In 2010, there were 400 such agencies, and between 10,000 and 15,000 resultant weddings.
A survey conducted by Harris Interactive in partnership with AnastasiaDate from February 4–6, 2013 was published in various media outlets. The survey was carried out among 2,090 adults age 18 and older. The survey results revealed that one in four men are too lazy to go out and find the woman of their dreams, and of those who do, one quarter are too nervous to speak to a woman they find attractive. 74 percent of all respondents believe that technology has made dating much easier, and 55 percent said that one of the benefits of online dating is that they can get to know the person before committing to an actual in-person date. Results from the survey were featured in numerous articles online, including NY Daily News, Mashable, San Francisco Chronicle, and CNET.
In 2013, the company launched its first mobile app for iTunes and Google Play. On May 1, 2013, Anastasia International filed a suit versus the Australian company EM Online Ltd. dba Elena's Models, in US Federal Court in New York. The complaint revolves around the sites anastasiadatefraud.com and ruadventures.com, allegedly owned by Elena's Models, which according to the complaint, have fabricated negative testimonials and used the trademarked name AnastasiaDate illegally. AnastasiaDate lost the case against the Australian-based modelling company.
AnastasiaDate advertises that its aim is to connect western men with Russian women. According to Fortune, the site is mostly used by wealthy American men, between the ages of 35 and 60. While the article in Fortune suggested there were over 4 million registered users, their most active seem to be men from North America and Europe. For interaction to take place between two registered users, credits must be purchased. For every minute of instant message-style chatting, the cost is on average one credit.
The methodology is that western men speak with women who primarily hail from Russia and The Commonwealth of Independent States. The conversations take place through the AnastasiaDate website and if the two get along, they may meet in person. Anastasia, a member of the site, stated that she keeps safety in mind when meeting a male from the site in person. She also makes sure that AnastasiaDate translators are present.
It has been stated in the media that the site is attractive for both men and women. Many women from the Soviet states, use the site to try and meet men from a different background to themselves and there are varying reasons for this. Two examples are that some of the women on the site are interested in a prosperous western lifestyle and secondly some don't like how women are treated in their own country when compared to the west.
While AnastasiaDate has sometimes been categorized within the mail order bride industry, it is now classified as a premium international dating site, as women on the site are free to meet and date whoever they feel compatible with. Some men who haven't received the results they wished have left negative reviews on the Internet to vent their anger at not meeting the women they set out to meet. While some have complained about the site, Fortune and other magazines have stated that the process of meeting a woman on the site isn't like a mail order bride website, but that of a dating website and meet ups are at the discretion of each individual woman. This can leave some men frustrated if they are unable to find a woman willing to meet up.
Fortune magazine reporter Anne VanderMey documented that she chatted online with a woman on AnastasiaDate who said she got a small kickback for minutes chatting, although the company's Chief Strategy Officer said that this practice was strictly forbidden by the company and that the company was working to stamp it out.
Dan Slater included a chapter in his book, Love in the Time of Algorithms, focused on AnastasiaDate. This included research done on the site in Moscow as well as in Colombia, where Slater was invited by AnastasiaDate to document an AmoLatina tour. He stated that it is common knowledge that staffs of local bride agencies will often pose as the women in the profiles in order to increase their profits. It was documented that two men on the tour to Colombia had believed that they would be able to meet website members on the tour (with whom they had paid to correspond in order to build relationships), but their female counterparts did not show up. However, in spite of the obstacles, he did note that at least one couple had met and been married via AnastasiaDate's AmoLatina at some point previous to the tour.
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