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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.Because online dating takes place in virtual space, it is possible for profile information to be misrepresented or falsified.Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables people to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices.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.A great diversity of online dating services currently exists (see Comparison of online dating services).Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.
Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.Introduction sites differ from the traditional online dating model, and attracted a large number of users and significant investor interest.In Eastern Europe, popular sites offer full access to messaging and profiles, but provide additional services for pay, such as prioritizing profile position, removing advertisements, and giving paying users access to a more advanced search engine.Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, sexual orientation or relationship type.
Online dating services also differ widely in their revenue streams.
Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.