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Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.
A great diversity of online dating services currently exists.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.
However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.
Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.
Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.
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.
Online dating services also differ widely in their revenue streams.
Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.
The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.