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18 Mar

Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.

Online dating services allow users to become "members" by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance.

While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities.

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.

A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.

It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.

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.Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.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.