LOVE DOT COM
America Online is unveiling a new online personals service today dubbed Love.com, the company’s latest attempt to find a way to turn its robust but free instant messaging service into a revenue-generating enterprise.
AOL officials are betting that the scale and scope of its instant messaging market — 50 million active users, up to 5 million online at any given time, and more than 1 billion instant messages daily — will attract computer users eager to meet that special someone in cyberspace. Rather than playing hard to get or asking users to make a commitment upfront, AOL is offering Love.com for free through Valentines Day.
“What we are doing is opening the world’s largest bar and restaurant for folks who want to meet each other,” said Steven McArthur, executive vice president of AOL Messaging. “It is something we think it is in the sweet spot of assets we have.”
I don’t see how this can possibly work. After all, most people meet potential suitors on television reality shows these days. IM’ing is a distinct step backwards.