The highest scoring dating service was Facebook, which uses the personal homepage genre, the message board genre, the weblog and directory genre, as well as utilizing the Circle of Friends.

The second highest scoring, Second Life utilizes virtual worlds, message boards, chat groups and profile pages to allow people to contact in a three-dimensional environment.

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Some sites provide free registration, but may offer services which require a monthly fee.

Other sites depend on advertising for their revenue.

This metaphor of the marketplace – a place where people go to "shop" for potential romantic partners and to "sell" themselves in hopes of creating a successful romantic relationship – is highlighted by the layout and functionality of online dating websites.

The marketplace metaphor may also resonate with participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

Also, this model generally allows users to switch between free and paying status at will and without having to do anything, simply providing advanced features for a set period of time whenever the according payment is received.

Ease of payment is also generally higher, with such sites accepting a variety of online currencies, letting users charge the payment to their cellular phones, etc.

Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.

Online daters may have more liberal social attitudes compared to the general population in the United States.

Research about social networking reveals that the online dating services driven by subscriptions offer the least amount of social networking opportunities.

The dating services modeled on the free-at-the-point-of-use model scored much higher as many of them utilized the Circle of Friends social networking method and a wider number of online community genres.

A German documentary analyzed the market and uncovered multiple problems of online dating sites.