POF (dating website)
|Headquarters||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Markus Frind (Founder)|
|Revenue||US$100 million (2014 estimated)|
Number of employees
Plenty of Fish is a Canadian online dating service, popular primarily in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, and the United States. It is available in nine languages. The company, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia generates revenue through advertising and premium memberships. While it is free to use, Plenty of Fish offers premium services as part of their upgraded membership, such as allowing users to see who has "liked" a member through the service's MeetMe feature, and whether a message has been read and/or deleted.
In 2004, Plenty of Fish became a full-time money making business for Markus. He ran the site independently until 2008, when he began hiring other employees at his new Vancouver headquarters. In 2009, Plenty of Fish also launched a contest with Lady Gaga allowing single members to go together and meet the singer during The Fame Ball Tour.
The website for Plenty of Fish appeared in several music videos in 2010: in Lady Gaga's "Telephone", Natasha Bedingfield's "Touch", Ke$ha's "We R Who We R", Flo Rida and Akon's "Available", Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo", and 3OH!3's "Double Vision". In 2011, it appeared in Britney Spears's music video for "Hold It Against Me". Many of these appearances are undisclosed paid product placements which have been met with highly negative reviews.
In 2010, Plenty of Fish launched mobile apps for iPhone and Android. A few years later, it was made available for both the iPad and Windows phone. In a June 2014 interview, Frind attributed 85% of all Plenty of Fish traffic to mobile with the number growing weekly.
On January 21, 2011, it was discovered that the Plenty of Fish website had been hacked which exposed the personal and password information on nearly 30 million user accounts. Since the alleged hacking incident, Frind alleges he has identified persons he believes are responsible for the hacking, and alleges he is threatening legal action in response to the widespread negative media exposure. At the time this received global media exposure and security experts blamed Plenty of Fish for the security and privacy lapse specifically for keeping users' passwords unsecured.
On February 28, 2012, the parents of US Army Lieutenant Peter Burks sued Plenty of Fish. The parents' lawsuit alleges photos of their son, who was killed in Iraq in 2007, were used without permission. The parents were seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Paul Bloudoff, the firm's legal affairs manager responded by saying "Lt. Burks’ image was never used by POF.com in any way, shape or form, [a] third-party advertiser, with no affiliation to Plenty of Fish, ran an ad promoting another dating site using Lt. Burks’ picture, and one of the places this advertiser ran this ad happened to be our site."
In an August 2012 Forbes interview, Markus Frind stated that based on the millions of relationships and marriages Plenty of Fish has created over the past several years, it is estimated that over one million babies have been born as a result of the website.
On May 20, 2013, Frind implemented several changes to the website with the stated goal of focusing on "meaningful relationships". Among these changes were the removal of the "intimate encounters" option. A related eliminated feature was the option to contact clients of age differences greater than "Markus", presumably Frind, found tasteful. Although the Plenty of Fish site and its "matching" criteria continue to match couples with age differences greater than the 14-year guideline, attempts to contact these "matches" resulted in an inbox message from Markus stating, among other things, "[t]here is no reason for a 50 year old man to contact a 18 year old woman." Another restriction implemented in the updates is that male users could no longer attach images to messages. Additionally, the site automatically blocks messages from male users containing certain words while showing such messages as being sent.
The image sending restriction was apparently reversed after Plenty of Fish was acquired by Match Group (but not "quick messages" directly from the match's profile page) and members outside of the 14-year age limit no longer appear as matches or in searches. Attempting to contact members outside of the 14-year limit now displays a page stating the user does not meet the member's contact criteria (even when untrue) and suggests several matches to contact instead of sending a message to the user's inbox.
On July 14, 2015, Plenty of Fish was sold for $575 million to Match Group (owner of Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder and Hinge, based in Dallas, Texas). The headquarters remain in Vancouver and have recently been expanded.
In March 2020, Plenty of Fish (now owned by Match Group) launched a livestream feature after a partnership to interact with users from other apps MeetMe and Skout (both owned by The Meet Group) and Zoosk (owned by Spark Networks SE).
The site relied on volunteers to monitor forums and sort through the 50,000 new photos that, at most come in each day. By 2019, Plenty of Fish employed over 100 people, including programmers, marketing managers, product managers, designers and customer success representatives.
- Registered users: 100,000,000 (March 2015)
- Dating site ranking in the UK: 1 (Comscore May 2011)
- Dating site ranking Worldwide: 1 (Hitwise, August 2011)
- U.S. site by market share: 1, with 18.57% of the market (Hitwise, August 2012)
- Number of page views a month: 2 Billion (April 2012)
- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Plenty of Fish reported a 0.7% increase in monthly active users in the final quarter of 2020.
In December 2019, Plenty of Fish pushed out a fix for its app after a security researcher found it was leaking information that users had set as private on their profiles, including hidden names and postal codes.
- Orton, Tyler (March 17, 2015). "PlentyOfFish hits 100 million users, releases revenue numbers for first time". Business in Vancouver. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
- "POF Takes Top Spot in Brazil at OPW". Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- "PlentyOfFish.com How one man beat the big guys at ARCast.TV". Retrieved August 3, 2007.
- "Plentyoffish fires darts at eHarmony, Match.com on Valentine's Day". Itbusiness.ca. February 14, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- "Plenty of Fish Fact Sheet at POF". Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
- "Plenty of Fish Upgrade". Retrieved January 13, 2011.
- "School of Computing and Academic Studies: Computer Systems Technology". B.C. Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- Lehman, Michael (2007). "IIS Show #10 – PlentyOfFish.com and IIS 6 = Plenty of performance". Channel 9. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
- Ein, News (November 2010). "PlentyofFish.com Teams Up With Lady Gaga". Retrieved January 19, 2010.
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- "Jason Derulo Is Ridin' Solo on PlentyofFish.com". June 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- Hampp, Andrew (March 13, 2010). "How Miracle Whip, Plenty of Fish Tap Lady Gaga's 'Telephone'". Advertising Age. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Elliott, Stuart (February 17, 2011). "Plenty of Fish, a Dating Site, Promotes Itself in Music Videos". New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Weiner, Juli. "PlentyOfFish.com, Get Out of Music Videos and Get Back to the Internet". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Kelly, Liz (February 18, 2011). "Celebritology 2.0 - Britney Spears debuts 'Hold It Against Me' video/infomercial". Washington Post. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Torat, Hossain (May 10, 2017). "Dating in a Mobile Device". The bNewTech Post. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
- "Plenty of Fish dating app review". theappzine.com.
- Brooks, Mark. "POF Interview With CEO Markus Frind". Online Personals Watch. Retrieved July 22, 2014.[permanent dead link]
- "PlentyofFish.com Hacked, Blames Messenger". Krebsonsecurity.com. January 31, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- "Plenty of Fish hacked, CEO recounts bizarre ordeal with hacker in blog post | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post". Business.financialpost.com. January 31, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- "Canadian dating site Plenty of Fish sued for using dead U.S. soldier's photo". National Post. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Clay, Kelly (August 23, 2012). "How One Man Made A Million Babies With Free Online Dating". Forbes. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- Bignell, Paul; Hastings, Rob (May 2013). "Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men=Ein". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-24. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- incognito (May 2013). "POF changes: Age Restrictions +or- 14 years AND intimate encounters". Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- "Males can no longer send private images to other users".
- "POF automatically blocks messages containing "offensive" words". 2013.
- Bootstrapped dating site PlentyOfFish has fewer than 100 employees and Match just bought it for $575 million in cash. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "Office Tour: PlentyOfFish – Vancouver Office Expansion". Office Snapshots. December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- "Plenty of Fish Partners With The Meet Group to Launch 'LIVE!'". 19 March 2020.
- "What is Live?".
- Stross, Randall (January 13, 2008). "From 10 Hours a Week, $10 Million a Year". The New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "POF Expands Team To 66, And Creates New Consumer Blog". OnlinePersonalsWatch. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- Frind, Markus (2007). "Looking for 3 Senior Software Developers". PlentyOfFish Blog. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- "PlentyOfFish Architecture - High Scalability -". highscalability.com. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- "PlentyOfFish.com Is the Most Visited Dating Site in the UK & USA". OPW. 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- "Online Trends - Experian Hitwise". Hitwise.com. December 31, 1999. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- "US Online Dating Rankings Update". OPW.com. 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "POF passes 100M weekly messages, 2 Billion Pageviews/Week". Plenty of fish blog. 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- Wu, Yan (February 13, 2021). "Tinder, Bumble and Hinge Show Surge in Americans Looking for Love Online". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
- "Users of dating site Plenty of Fish targeted by cyber attack". itgovernance.co.uk. August 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Lucian Constantin (August 21, 2015). "Plenty of fish, and exploits, on dating website". computerworld.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "Plentyoffish Media Inc. pays $48,000 for alleged violation of Canada's anti-spam law". prnewswire.com. PR Newswire Association. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- "Plenty of Fish avis fines show anti-spam law has teeth". thestar.com. Star Business Journal. 27 March 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "Plenty of Fish app leaked profile data set to private". TechCrunch. 23 December 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.