SpeedDate Buys and Switches "Who's Online"

Last week there was some buzz about Oregon Trail being acquired by SpeedDate and replacing it with their own application. It looks like that acquisition was only first in a series of acquisitions to come. Last night, users of “Who’s Online”, received the following message:

This email was sent by Who’s Online. You can disable emails here
<http://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php?notifications=&block=5952993979&h=0410b8f&t=1225351638&l=t>.

Thanks for using Who is Online. We are excited to announce that, as of
next week, Who is Online’s name and functionality will be changed to
SpeedDate. Data entered into the original app won’t be used anymore.
Soon you’ll be able to try SpeedDate, the fastest way to meet new
people, so stay tuned!
Thanks,
Who is Online

P.S. If you want to opt-out of this app, instructions can be found here
<http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=25>.

While the method is controversial, it has appeared to work for the company. Over the past month, the SpeedDate application has increased in popularity. Additionally, other acquire and switch applications including “Have You Ever???”, “Romantic Gifts”, and “Would You Rather?” have all grown in popularity.

While there hasn’t been enough time to track the impact on the Oregon Trail application, it appears that this strategy has been working for SpeedDate as they continue to grow in size. It’s pretty clear that the company is being transparent with the application switching so the move may not necessarily violate Facebook’s terms of service.

It will be interesting to see if this strategy continues to work for SpeedDate as the dating space on Facebook is most definitely a competitive one. Thanks to Martin Weigert for the heads up!

-Whos Online Screenshot