Internet dating market analysis

The Gartner Hype Cycle has become a shorthand in the tech world to describe technologies’ path to adoption.

It started in the 90s, after a Gartner analyst noticed tech crazes following the same predictable pattern, says Mike Walker, a research director at the firm.

Finally there’s the more stable plateau of productivity, where an idea at last comes into its own and often makes reliable money.

While the firm’s eponymous cycle deals with plenty of heady intellectual concepts, we thought there were a few other ideas that could fit well onto the measurement.

Here, with apologies to Gartner, we’ve adapted its chart for trends a little further afield.

It turns out a company established to facilitate unethical behavior made some ethical lapses of its own.

In a statement last week, Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media confirmed long-circulating suspicions that it used ‘bots’ to give users the impression that the site had more female users than it actually did.

The confirmation came through an independent audit by Ernst & Young, which was shared with Reuters.Speaking to Reuters, Avid Life Media’s new CEO and President said that Ashley Madison’s male-to-female ratio is five to one, and that the use of bots had been discontinued entirely by late 2015.The bots were essentially Ashley Madison’s sales force.Men who signed up for a free account would be immediately contacted by a bot posing as an interested woman, but would have to buy credits from the site to reply.Annalee Newitz, a reporter who helped expose the site’s use of bots, also uncovered internal documents showing that 80% of initial purchases on Ashley Madison were by a male user trying to communicate with a bot.Meanwhile, CNN Money reports that customers who disputed charges from the site were told that records of their activity would be mailed to their home, essentially a threat to expose them to spouses and families.

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