As a society, we are essentially immune to hearing “XYZ site has been hacked”. With credit card information comprised, consumers feel it’s not as bad as they will simply get a new credit card. Very classic form of conditioning if you ask me.
Fast forward to the past two months. When the casual dating site Adult Friend Finder (AFF) was hacked, it got rather large attention. Owned by Penthouse (not sure if that is still the case actually, but was at one time), this was one of the first sties in the hook up space. It got national attention with it’s hack of 3.5 million members. Take a look at how their traffic was effected. The picture on the right shows it’s Alexa traffic ranking. Can you guess when the hack was made public? The effects of such a hack has brought their traffic levels down, but as you can see, has leveled off in the past month.
With today’s announcement of Ashley Madison, the implications could have a resounding effect. The site is 10x the size of Adult Friend Finder with 37 million members. International reach of over 40 countries. Adding to this, the site caters exclusively to discreet dating. Will customers still feel confident enough in the discretionary side to continue using this site? Here’s my unique perspective.
Yes, I fully believe that Ashley Madison will take a traffic hit like AFF did. However, since Ashley has such a large membership base, you will still have interactions on the site. If anything, you know have a rather unique ice breaker for members of the site. On the economics side, dating for affairs or singles is still a numbers game. Ashley Madison is still the largest site on the planet when it comes to affairs. To think that people will just go else is just nonsense.
What will happen is something quite smart. Members of the site will start using: fake email addresses, prepaid credit cards (home address not revealed), and addresses that are not their own. True discretion for a site that has members that do this already. For the newbies, go in with the right head and leave with peace of mind!