Hearst Magazines Buys eCrush.com

Posted on January 9, 2007

Hearst Magazines' online unit has spent an unknown amount of money acquiring an online dating and social networking community called eCrush. Hearst's press release says eCrush has three distinct product: eCrush, eSpin and HighSchoolStyleBoard.

The eCrush feature promises to help you find out who whther or not your secret crushes are interested in you.

1) Tell us who you have secret crushes on.
2) We email your crushes asking who they like.
3) If you match we tell you both at same time. If you don't, they'll never know it was you.
That sounds like a clever scheme to build website traffic virally by getting gullible teens to send emails to their crushes. We thought teens were supposed to be so over this whole email thing anyway. Will teens start worrying that Hearst is compiling a database of all their secret crushes?

The eSpin site is basically a social network focused on dating. Teens create profiles similar to those seen on other social networks. Dating features on the site include "bad-ass" quizzes and personality tests. The site claims that 3,800,876 hotties currently have profiles on the website.

The third product called High School Style Board is basically just a photo rating tool. You can rate peeps by best best hair, smile, abs, hotness, most goth and best tats. There's even a most emo category.

Other stuff on eCrush.com include love meters, astrology, surveys and advice. There's nothing too exciting here unless you are a boy or girl crazy teen -- but that's sort of the point. Hearst was probably most interested in the traffic. The press release claims the press release claims that "more than one million unique visitors hit the eCrush Network sites each month and 90% are 13-19 years old." Hearst plans to launch a prom social shopping site later this month. Maybe they plan to use the new eCrush acquisition to promote it.

Note: The eCrush site is no longer live.

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