Comes to Facebook dating siteDating website
hopes to net new customers by becoming the first major match-maker to partner with social networking site Facebook. The move comes as analysts argue free social networking sites pose a major threat to subscription services like Match. Some dating services have already exited the market as sites like Facebook and MySpace rapidly grow their non-paying audiences keen to make new cyberfriends. Others matchmakers have sought to become more like networking sites by introducing chat functions and video clips.

But dating sites argue the social networking phenomenon has actually helped them grow their overall audience by breaking down people's inhibitions about meeting online. is now partnering with Facebook in its bid to gain more networking-crazy surfers. The dating site is offering a "Little Black Book" application to Facebook users from next week, which helps them find potential partners.

"As the market leader, our biggest strategic challenge is to grow the category and our experience tells us that social networkers have a high propensity to try online dating, which makes this a natural move for us," says Jason Stockwood head of the UK Match business.

" shares many of the same characteristics as a social network, both are about bringing people together. Sites like Facebook are great at helping people manage their existing relationship networks, but
helps people expand these, by meeting new people with an interest in forming romantic relationships."

The Little Black Book service marks a departure from's subscription model and will give customers the chance to meet its members on a 'pay-per-contact' basis.

The application also seeks to build on evidence showing friends's opinions play a key role in dating, something at the core of TV presenter Sarah Beeny's That site allows users to sign up single friends.

Using the Little Black Book application, friends can share potential matches with any of their other friends on Facebook and can purchase keys to "unlock" a potential match for a friend.

Match's announcement follows new research last week showing the UK leads Europe in using social networking sites. UK adults go on social networking sites an average 23 times a month and spend longer on them than their European neighbours – an average 5.3 hours a month, according to media regulator Ofcom.

Category: Online dating news

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