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.
In particular, the number of American adults who had used an online dating site went from 9% in 2013 to 12% in 2015 while those who used an online dating software application on their mobile phones jumped from 3% to 9% during the same period.
This increase was driven mainly by people aged 18 to 24, for whom usage almost tripled.
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.
Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.
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.
In all, there was little difference among the sexes with regards to their opinions on online dating.At the same time, usage among those between the ages of 55 and 64 doubled.People in their mid-30s to mid-50s all saw noticeable increases in usage, but people aged 25 to 34 saw no change.Only five out of a hundred said they were married to or in a committed long-term relationship with someone they met online.For comparison, 88% of Americans who were with their current spouse or partner for no more than five years said their met their mates offline.Safety was, however, the exception, with 53% of women and only 38% of men expressing concern.There is, however, great variation along gender lines.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.Nevertheless, only one in three had actually gone out on a date with someone they met online.About one in five, especially women, at 30%, compared to 16% for men, asked for help with their online profile.