NOTE: GrowthBeat is less than 2 weeks out! VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and buy your tickets while they last.
It’s time to talk about sex, for dating site HowAboutWe.
HowAboutWe announced its move into media today with the acquisition of Nerve.com, a blog exploring issues of love and sex.
Nerve.com will become one of four online publications in HowAboutWe’s new media network along with The Date Report — HowAboutWe’s existing “news” site for dating, love, and ‘singledom’. HowAboutWe has also created two new media properties for the network called Swimmingly and Famously, about couplehood and celebrities, respectively.
HowAboutWe is a dating site that aims to connect people offline over shared interests and activities. People post specific date ideas starting with “How about we…” and other members of the community browse date ideas, photos, and profiles to find intriguing matches.
“Almost all existing online dating sites are oriented towards keeping people online – messaging endlessly and browsing infinite lists of repetition profiles,” founders Aaron Schildkrout and Brian Schechter told VentureBeat. “Online dating as a business has a terrible churn problem because these companies lose their most successful customers.
HowAboutWe takes a different approach — its goal is to keep people around, no matter what stage of the relationship they are in. A year ago, the company launched Couples, a membership service where you get access to experiences at discounted prices.
This was a smart move, because it significantly opened up HowAboutWe’s potential user base and introduced a new line of revenue from selling the experiences. There are millions of people in relationships out there, and the founders said they are spending millions of dollars a year on dates. Why should single people have all the fun?
This media network is a continuation of the company’s effort to keep users coming back, even if they aren’t looking for potential partners or hook-ups.
Nerve.com has been around since 1997 and explores such risqué and goofy topics as rhino sex auteurs, male vibrators, and parents making masturbation guides for their children. It also has advice, entertainment, and confessions sections.
HowAboutWe plans to relaunch Nerve with new design and content in the coming weeks. Nerve’s personals platform will be absorbed into HowABoutWe’s Dating section.
The company said it has grown its editorial team to 14 journalists and editors as well as hundreds of outside freelancers. The media network will also create more native, sponsored, and display advertising opportunities for all three of HowAboutWe’s products.
HowAboutWe launched in New York in April 2010. It claims its online dating community now has 2.2 million users and its properties reach 16 million visitors a month. It has raised a total of $22 million from Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, and ff Venture Capital.