The 20 most popular dating sites in 2006 as ranked by Hitwise include j (for Jewish singles), Christian Mingle.com, Christian Cafe.com, Man (same sex introductions), Love From India.ini, Black Christian People Meet.com, (for Latino singles), Asian People Meet.com, and (for Indian singles).
Members use criteria other members set, such as age range, gender and location.
Online dating sites use market metaphors to match people.
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 amount of tasks and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.
At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc. By 2007, many prominent studies show that Baby Boomer interest in online dating have soared.
Match metaphors are conceptual frameworks that allow individuals to make sense of new concepts by drawing upon familiar experiences and frame-works.
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.
Since online dating sites are easy to join and navigate, many singles wonder if they are a good source to also look for friends.
While you could end up as friends with some of the people you went out with, looking for them on a dating site just isn't a good idea.
Online dating services usually provide unmoderated matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.
Users of an online dating service would usually provide personal information, to enable them to search the service provider's database for other individuals.
However, market share was increasingly growing by several large commercial services, including Personals. Some online dating websites provide webcam chats between members.