BharatMatrimony, India’s online marriage bureau, has just integrated itself with Facebook’s social media platform to allow Facebook users to submit their data and cross-check that against the matrimony portal’s database of 20 million profiles, which will instantly put forth recommended matches for yourself and your friends.
The company, which only recently launched a mini-portal with a “virtual wife” application to help promote marriage matching virally, feels that social networks are the dominant voice of the Internet, and while they do not represent competition with specialised sites like BharatMatrimony, they can in fact help generate interest and foster new connections.
Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder and CEO, BharatMatrimony, said, “We have been innovating almost continuously for years now, it is part of our ethos as a company. Some of it has been in interest building, like the virtual wife and the Facebook linkage, and a lot more has been on the business side of things.”
Elaborating further, he said, “Over the last few years, we have done a lot of new things. We started elite matrimony and diversity matrimony, we created a 40-plus matrimony portal, created a free service for disabled people, and have also done a lot of expansion in terms of the service we provide. We were the first matrimony portal to give voice support instead of just email and SMS updates to our database of 20 million users, and we also integrated with Twitter in a very interesting fashion.”
Aside from having their own Twitter handle to communicate with fans and users, the portal also allows users on their database to enter their own Twitter account information. This is then displayed as a live feed as part of their profile. Janakiraman said, “People will not update their profile on a day to day, week to week basis. Why should they? But then the profiles can become static, but by adding the Twitter feed, the profile gives potential matches a much better insight into the person they are about to connect with.”
The new Facebook system put forth by the portal goes beyond that though, and instead of just yourself, you can play matchmaker for a friend as well. Instead of checking your own matches, you can choose to enable the Matrimony Master app – where you can choose to have a Facebook friend receive suggested matches, or even go over the choices yourself to choose the five you think are most suitable.
Janakiraman further said, “Social media is the way forward in the way we communicate and interact. For the younger generation, it goes beyond being merely a social platform to dictating their preferences and choices. Through our application on Facebook, our users can now avail of the benefits of a social medium while allowing family and friends to be an integral part of the selection process. The sheer number of choices available to our users, given Facebook’s magnitude and our exhaustive subscriber base, will ensure perfect matches for almost everybody.”
Through feedback and surveys, the company claims a success rate of 10 per cent, with 20 million total registered users who paid the entry fee, of which around 3 million are regularly active. This is a lot less than the numbers on the social networks that BharatMatrimony is leveraging, but Janakiraman does not see that as an issue. He said, “Facebook and other networks are not in competition with us. They are a completely different space, and while our users will overlap, they are for the most part not going to use Facebook to meet someone to marry.”
BharatMatrimony makes marriage virtual to groom one for the real deal