Online dating or Internet dating is a personal introductory system where people can meet and contact each other over the Internet with the purpose of arranging a date, usually aiming at developing a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship. |
Online dating sites usually provide unmoderated matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones. There are those sites, however, that help people meet others with common interests by introducing them like a form of matchmaking.
Users of a free online dating service create a profile providing personal information, thus enabling them to search the service provider's database for other individuals. Members use criteria other members set, such as age range, gender and location.
Free Online dating sites use market metaphors to match people. This means that they create conceptual frameworks that allow individuals to understand new concepts by drawing upon familiar experiences and frame-works. In the world of online dating sites this market metaphor is a place where people go to “shop” for potential romantic partners and to “sell” themselves in hopes of creating a successful romantic relationship.
On Free online dating websites members can upload photos or videos of themselves and browse the photos and videos of others. Online dating Sites may offer additional services, such as webcast, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards. Some online dating websites provide webcam chats between members.
These sites come in two different forms when it comes to fees and registration: Some sites provide free registration, but may offer services which require a monthly fee while other sites depend on advertising for their revenue.
Regarding functionality these sites differ according to how people are matched; Some online dating sites are broad-based, with members coming from a variety of backgrounds looking for different types of relationships. While other sites have a narrower scope and are more specific, based on the type of members, interests, location, or relationship desired. As online dating's population becomes larger, sites with specific demographics are becoming more popular as a way to narrow the pool of potential matches. The most successful niche sites pair people by race, sexual orientation or religion.
According to a 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater amount of tasks and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others. However, online dating services are commonplace, which can be proven by the fact that The United States generated $957 million in revenue in 2008 from online dating services.
The popularity of this new way of dating can also be seen in the increase of these websites and their members.By the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year. In 2005–2012, 34.95% of Americans had met their spouses online.
The existence of these sites allow people who may be a bit shy or feel awkward in social situations or even those who have had bad luck in the dating world meet the partner they would not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.
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