Every fortnight we conduct a five minute interview with a different member of the dating industry.  This time we chat to Zoosk CEO Kelly Steckelberg.

1) What trend in dating most excites you at the moment?

I think the exciting trend is that online dating is becoming so mainstream.  We estimate that over 50% of young adults (18-24) are using a dating app today.  That percentage has grown dramatically since 2013 and we believe it will continue to increase.  This presents a tremendous opportunity for us all to serve this growing and exciting demographic.

2) What do you think the biggest challenge is for the dating industry?

The challenge that we all face is that our industry is still highly fragmented.  There are many apps with great brands and features and functionality, but still with limited scale.  These apps will have difficulty growing significantly.   This impacts all of us as we are all competing for the same users.  I believe that we will see a gradual and continued consolidation in the space over the next few years. 

3) What’s next for Zoosk in 2017?

We continue to focus on enhancing our customers’ experience. We are introducing new features and refreshing our look and feel. Customer success and business growth go hand in hand: we continue to work on the former to achieve the latter.

4) What lessons have you learned, launching Lively?

Lively has been a great laboratory of ideas: our users have taught us a lot about how they like to engage and express themselves through video. They want to look their best in their video profiles, so they ask us to deliver solid tools to augment the quality of the raw footage. It’s a captivating technological challenge for us to tackle.

5) What do you think mobile dating will look like in 5 years time?

I think  mobile dating will continue to become more streamlined.  Meaning that the traditional way of sending a message, waiting for a response, will get replaced by more real time interactions and date making.  I think profiles will also be more interactive and dynamic and much less static than they are today.