Analysis of Recent POF Changes, Updated POF Tools, Mobile Uploader

Mar 25 By Aziz Kamara

It was SUCH a hassle to switch the site’s theme, but after a few days of hard work, it’s finally live. This new theme runs faster, looks better, and is easier to read. I’m personally very satisfied. Change is good. What do you guys think? Are you a fan?

I realized a week ago that some of you were having some trouble posting comments on the old site. I’m really sorry that some of your comments didn’t go through on multiple occasions! We’ve since switched over to Disqus for comments so they will definitely go through from now on.

Unfortunately, due to the theme switch, all the like, tweet, and plus counts were reset :(. Please contribute in spreading the word by going to your favorite posts again and clicking on those social buttons. That and re-posting your comments would go a long way.

Recent POF Changes

Where are the ads?

POF has been extremely volatile recently. The team over there started tinkering around with when users see ads beginning around Valentines last month, and the changes have yet to fully manifest and stabilize into some sort of clear pattern. If you are new to POF, this might not be the time to start testing your first campaign.

Essentially, they have made a change to when new users begin seeing ads after registration. POF’s thought is that users who see ads too early before they’ve fully invested time into POF end up spending too little time on POF before leaving the site. They believe that if new users are focused only on the benefits of POF in the beginning, they will become higher quality users who stay and interact with the site longer, hence providing POF with more impressions to deliver.

New users, however, produce the highest ROI for POF marketers. A main reason of that is brand new users are not used to POF’s interface, and they will click on anything that interests them. An ad has an easier chance of drawing them in when they’re new, hence resulting in higher CTR’s in the login count < 50 demographic. Ads will now be shown much later, when users have gotten relatively used to the POF interface. Whether that has an impact on when they first see ads is still up in the air. They could do just as well. We haven't been able to prove with certainty what the criteria is for ads to start appearing to new users. The criteria is not based on a specific login count nor number of days logged in. For example, several accounts we created between 3/7/2012 and 3/14/2012 all started seeing ads on 3/18/2012, with varying login counts and days logged in. We’ve also had accounts that were created on a weekend start seeing ads right away. We’re not sure of the exact criteria, but from our tests, it seems that it could take up to 11 days or so for ads to start showing. Our tests also show that ads could start showing up for profiles created a day ago or even same day. The only conclusion we can draw right now is that it varies, but typically, it will take 4 days. If you have any insights, please share!

Fundamentally, this is an attempt by POF to manufacture more impressions while possibly sacrificing small segment of impressions that produce the highest ROI. The long term question, then, is: will this potential increase in impression quantity trump the potential sacrifice of this quality? Time will tell as marketers adjust their bids to accommodate the changes and to maintain profitability. One thing is for sure though: the interests of POF and the marketers are aligned. So, as long as POF remains a sizable traffic source, I have zero worries that there will be money to be made even though the changes are a pain.

What to do in the meantime? The recent changes mostly impacted campaigns targeting login counts < 50, since most users probably are seeing ads in the > 50 range. If your <50 LC campaigns that were consistently profitable before are not anymore or are seeing low volume, duplicate that campaign and test the 50-100 login count range. Compare the results. If it's still consistently losing money, then it may be time to start testing campaigns under the new scheme. Since the change does affect user behavior, certain campaigns just might not be viable any longer.

Analyze Multiple Campaigns in Campaign Viewer

POF Campaign Viewer

We’ve just updated the POF Campaign Viewer with the ability to now analyze multiple campaigns at the same time in the same spreadsheet. This will work, however, only if you have unique keywords in the campaigns you want to analyze (i.e. your P202 or CPVLab report must not have duplicate keywords pointing to different ads). In addition, it can now handle dynamic tokens in your click-through URLs. Just select “Yes” for “Use Creative ID”. Please consult the instructions accompanying the tool to make sure you’re using it properly.

As users have reported bugs, we’ve been updating the other tools to fix them as well. If you’ve experienced a bug in the past with any of our free tools, it might be worth your while to re-download those tools to see if they work now. If any of the free tools still don’t work, we are always here to try to fix your specific bugs as long as you are able to provide us the debug screenshots.

Upcoming Private Beta for Mobile Uploader

We’ve been working hard and making great progress on a mobile uploader, starting with uploading to JumpTap. We are going to ask a few mobile guys to test a private beta in a few days. As soon as things seem to run along smoothly, we will open for a semi-public beta. If you run volume on mobile, or know someone who does, and are interested in helping us put forth a great product to serve the industry’s mobile needs, please contact me directly.

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6 Comments

  • Tom,

    I like the new site theme a lot better. Everything looks great.

    Thanks for keeping us updated on the POF changes.

    -Mitchell

  • Hey Tom,

    What’s the final verdict on POF changing campaigns targeting login counts <50.  I know there were a lot of complaints by a number of POF advertisers on how much harder it is now to make money.  Did POF finally go back to what it used to be or has it continued to be more challenging than before the changes?

    -vixx

  • Hey Vixx, POF continues to evolve as it always has.  It changes all the time, but one thing is certain: there are a ton of traffic for a dating site.  With that, it’s just a matter of how you play the game.  The money is there to be made as long as there is traffic.  More directly on your question, I haven’t noticed too much of a blip and things seem to have stabilized a lot more.  But that could just be for my campaigns.  I still see people struggling and I still know guys (and I hate on them :P) who are doing better than me.  I’ll say this, the people who are struggling are going to complain, and the people who aren’t will rarely say a word.  Why should they?  It’s actually in their best interest to say they are struggling.  POF will never really be “what it used to be”.  That could mean a lot of things.  And when it was “what it used to be” it probably wasn’t the same as some time before that, right?  You’re either in or you’re out.  Some find it easier, some find it harder, is all.

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