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.
Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.
There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.
Over 50% of research participants in a 2011 study did not view online dating as a dangerous activity, whereas 43% thought that online dating involved risk.
However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile. casual dating kosten Oberhausen Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
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For instance, some profiles may not represent real humans but rather "bait profiles" placed online by site owners to attract new paying members, or "spam profiles" created by advertisers to market services and products.Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.Niche sites cater to people with special interests, such as sports fans, racing and automotive fans, medical or other professionals, people with political or religious preferences (e.g., Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc.), people with medical conditions (e.g., HIV , obese), or those living in rural farm communities. In 2008, a variation of the online dating model emerged in the form of introduction sites, attracting a large number of users and significant investor interest.This model also allows users to switch between free and paying status at will, with sites accepting a variety of online currencies and payment options.
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Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense, affiliate marketing.
Because online dating takes place in virtual space, it is possible for profile information to be misrepresented or falsified.
While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities.
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.