However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.
Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.
At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc.
The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.
Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.
That is, online dating sites use the conceptual framework of a "marketplace metaphor" to help people find potential matches, with layouts and functionalities that make it easy to quickly browse and select profiles in a manner similar to how one might browse an online store.