As of early September 2018, the MyHeritage DNA database had 1.75 million users.1 Since the launch of their DNA service in November 2016, they have averaged nearly 80,000 new DNA users per month. Growth has continued at a steady pace in recent months. Not bad!
MyHeritage’s rapid growth can be attributed to three factors. One is the price. They are aggressively marketing their test and discount the price often. As of this writing, it’s the least expensive of the genealogical DNA tests.
Second, unlike the larger companies, their test is available in most countries. This not only increases their customer base but also allows users no matter where they live to find cousins foreign and domestic who have not tested elsewhere.
Finally, they accept DNA data files generated by their competitors. Thus far, so-called transfer kits have received all of the features that native testers have, for free! However, that will be changing on December 1. After that date, data transfers will still be matched to their DNA relatives at no charge, but other features, like the chromosome browser and ethnicity estimates, will require a fee. The new policy will bring them in line with current practice at Family Tree DNA and help to ensure the long-term viability of MyHeritage.
All of which is to say, MyHeritage is definitely worth a look. If you want an inexpensive way to break into DNA testing, their price is appealing. And if you’ve already tested at another company, you can still get all of the features of the MyHeritage database for free for the next 10 weeks. DNA kits transferred before then will be grandfathered into the free features. Don’t wait!
1 Personal communication via email from Dr Yaniv Erlich, 16 Sept 2018.