Although they are still popular with tech types—Julian Assange, the mercurial co-founder of Wiki Leaks, reportedly once maintained profiles on dating sites under the name “Harry Harrison”—they now attract millions of people from many walks of life.
Com Score, a research firm, says Match and Zoosk, two large dating services based in the United States, saw 4.6m and 4.8m unique visitors respectively come to their American sites in November 2010.
Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.
Two thirds of online daters—66%—tell us that they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app.
That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.
“The period between New Year's Day and Valentine's Day is our busiest six weeks of the year,” explains Sam Yagan, the boss of Ok Cupid, a big American dating site.
Once seen as the last resort for a bunch of lonely geeks, online-dating services have gradually shed much of the stigma formerly associated with them.
But it still means that one-third of online daters have not yet met up in real life with someone they initially found on an online dating site.
One-in-five online daters have asked someone else to help them with their profile.
Here are five facts about online dating: Online dating has lost much of its stigma, and a majority of Americans now say online dating is a good way to meet people.
When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.
Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.