The 50-plus set has a new avenue for meeting, connecting, even finding love — with online dating hosted by, who else, the AARP.
A new partnership between the group formerly known as the American Association of Retired People and HowAboutWe.com gives users an older-age-specific portal to find one another.
“AARP wanted to get into the game because, one, we know isolation is a very big issue for our members as they age,” Nataki Edwards, vice president of digital strategies and operations at AARP, told ABC News
. She noted that one fourth of the AARP’s 37 million members were registered with the organization as single.
“It’s not necessarily about getting married,” Edwards said. “It’s about the companionship and having fun things to do with someone else.”
HowAboutWe is part of an AARP effort to rebrand the 54-year-old nonprofit seniors lobbying group to engage the younger end of its member spectrum — more than half of the group’s members are younger than 70 years old, according to the AARP.
Pairing with HowAboutWe should go a long way in targeting younger members: HowAboutWe emphasizes taking personal meetings offline, instead of spending too long sending digital messages to decide if it would be worth the effort to get together in person.
But the AARP’s foray into digital dating is not the first retiree-specific dating site on the web. OurTime, a site under the same corporate umbrella of the vastly popular OKCupid, touts the phrase “the premier online 50+ dating service.” They also run the pages SeniorPeopleMeet.com and SeniorsMeet.com. So, the AARP service faces some stiff competition before even breaking into the market.
Despite this, the senior dating market is fertile ground, Mark Brooks, an online dating consultant, told USA Today.
"Seniors is a very good niche," he told the publication. "Most dating sites skew toward guys, with more guys than women. But senior dating sites have more women. Being a 75-year-old single man is the equivalent of being a 21-year-old hottie."
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