SPIRITUALITY SITE BELIEFNET HAS STRUCK a partnership with Yahoo Personals to host its Soulmatch online dating service. The agreement will allow Beliefnet to offer ten times as many dating profiles of people who identify themselves as being spiritual.
Existing Soulmatch members will be automatically directed to the new site, where they have the option of searching profiles sorted by spirituality or religious preference or accessing the entire Yahoo Personals database.
Soulmatch subscribers will also be offered three free months of service before having to sign up at the same monthly $24.95 as Yahoo Personals members.
"The biggest immediate impact for our folks is a quantum leap in the number of choices in finding someone for whom spirituality or faith is an important component in their relationship," said Steven Waldman, CEO and founder of Beliefnet. Neither Beliefnet or Yahoo would disclose how many subscribers their dating services have, but Yahoo Personals draws about 5 million visitors a month.
Moreover, 65 percent of Yahoo Personals members describe themselves as being religious or spiritual. "We have distribution relationships with a number of partners but we've never worked before with a partner to offer a sort of segmented approach to the dating question," said Anna Zornosa, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Personals. The Beliefnet partnership is also the first time Yahoo Personals has linked its service to an existing group of online dating subscribers.
Yahoo Personals will also create an online spirituality center that features Beliefnet content including advice columns on relationships and spirituality. Beliefnet columnists whose work will appear in the section include Renita Weems and Thomas Moore, author of "Care of the Soul."