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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.Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.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.
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.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, where members have to search and contact other members, who introduce them to other members whom they deem compatible.However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.
Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.