It looks like the massive hacking scandal that exposed millions of user accounts from adultery site Ashley Madison hasn’t hurt the company’s growth.
According to Ashley Madison, the dating site for cheaters now has 43.4 million anonymous members, roughly 4 million more than the 39 million members it had back in August when the data breach happened.
Given Ashley Madison has been adding roughly 4 million to 5 million new users annually, the growth spurt in the past 4 months is pretty impressive.
The huge bump in new users comes as a bit of a surprise considering many believed the hacking scandal would scare people away from using the site again. All the bad publicity from the scandal even caused CEO Noel Biderman to resign.
It’s also a stark reminder that the old adage, “any publicity is good publicity,” still holds true as the media firestorm at the time seems to have ended up unlocking a huge new untapped market for Ashley Madison.
In fact, just two weeks after the leak, Ashley Madison claimed it was seeing hundreds of thousands of new users sign up.
Earlier this month, online security firm AVG published a report indicating the hack actually spurred more people who had the app installed to use it. It said the entire cheating app industry saw an uptick in usage following the hack, too.
In August, an unidentified group of hackers called Impact Team claimed to have stolen Ashley Madison’s user data, and exposed personal information from more than 30 million accounts including names, email addresses, and detailed sexual preferences.
It was a huge turn of events for the infidelity site, which just months ago was discussing the possibility of an IPO on the London stock exchange.
Ashley Madison wasn’t immediately available for comment.