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|Markus Frind, Founder and CEO|
|Revenue||$100 million USD (2014 estimated)|
|Owner||Match.com (Match Group/IAC)|
Number of employees
PlentyOfFish (POF) is an online dating service, popular primarily in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, and the United States. The company, based in Vancouver, British Columbia generates revenue through advertising and premium memberships. While it is free to use, PlentyOfFish offers premium services as part of their upgraded membership, such as who has 'liked' a member through the service's Tinder-like MeetMe feature, and allowing users to see whether a message has been read and/or deleted.
In 2004, PlentyOfFish became a full-time business for Frind. He ran the site independently until 2008, when he began hiring other employees at his new Vancouver headquarters. In 2009, PlentyOfFish also launched a contest with Lady Gaga allowing single members to go together and meet the singer during her "Fame Monster" tour.
The website for PlentyOfFish appeared in several music videos in 2010: in Lady Gaga's "Telephone", Natasha Bedingfield's "Touch", Ke$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 met with highly negative reviews.
In 2010, PlentyOfFish launched mobile apps for iPhone and Android. As of May 2013, about 70% of PlentyOfFish's logins come from mobile devices. In a June 2014 interview, Frind edited this number and now attributes 85% of all PlentyOfFish traffic to mobile with the number growing weekly.
On January 21, 2011, it was discovered that the PlentyOfFish 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 blame PlentyOfFish 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 PlentyOfFish. 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.
In an August 2012 interview, Markus Frind stated that based on the millions of relationships and marriages PlentyOfFish 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 feature that was eliminated was the option to contact clients of age differences greater than "Markus," presumably Frind, found tasteful. Although the PlentyOfFish site and its "matching" criteria continue to match couples with age differences greater than the 14 year guideline, attempts to contact the "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 implementation included with the changes is no longer allowing male users to attach images to messages.
On March 25, 2015, Plentyoffish Media Inc. paid $48,000 as part of an undertaking for an alleged violation of Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL). It was the second company in Canada to be punished by the CRTC under the enforcement of this legislation.
PlentyOfFish employs 75 people, including programmers, marketing managers, and customer service representatives. The site relies on volunteers to monitor forums and sort through the 50,000 new photos that come in each day.
The website uses the following technology:
- 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)
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- Ein, News (November 2010). "PlentyofFish.com Teams Up With Lady Gaga". Retrieved January 19, 2010.
- "Jason Derulo Is Ridin' Solo on PlentyofFish.com". June 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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- Kelly, Liz (2011-02-18). "Celebritology 2.0 - Britney Spears debuts 'Hold It Against Me' video/infomercial". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
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- "Plenty of Fish dating app review". theappzine.com.
- De Lacey, Martha (2013-05-22). "Internet dating boss admits most of the woman on his site 'looking for no-strings sex' are actually MEN". MailOnline. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Brooks, Mark. "POF Interview With CEO Markus Frind". Online Personals Watch. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "PlentyofFish.com Hacked, Blames Messenger". Krebsonsecurity.com. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
- "Plenty of Fish hacked, CEO recounts bizarre ordeal with hacker in blog post | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post". Business.financialpost.com. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
- "Canadian dating site Plenty of Fish sued for using dead U.S. soldier's photo". National Post. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- Clay, Kelly (August 23, 2012). "How One Man Made A Million Babies With Free Online Dating". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- Bignell, Paul; Hastings, Rob (May 2013). "Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men=Ein". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- incognito (May 2013). "POF changes: Age Restrictions +or- 14 years AND intimate encounters". http://www.datingfora.com. Retrieved 2013-10-28. External link in
- "NEW CHANGE: Males can no longer send private images to other users.".
- "Plentyoffish Media Inc. pays $48,000 for alleged violation of Canada's anti-spam law". Government of Canada. March 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
- Bootstrapped dating site PlentyOfFish has fewer than 100 employees and Match just bought it for $575 million in cash. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "POF Expands Team To 66, And Creates New Consumer Blog". OnlinePersonalsWatch. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
- Stross, Randall (2008-01-13). "From 10 Hours a Week, $10 Million a Year". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
- Frind, Markus (2007). "Looking for 3 Senior Software Developers.". PlentyOfFish Blog. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
- "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.