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Online Dating Essay

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ONLINE DATING
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Online dating is a relatively new phenomenon. It arose during the late 1990s, at the same time that the Internet itself was becoming increasingly popular. Despite being a relatively young industry, online dating has already become one of the most profitable types of business to be found on the Internet. Online dating services currently attract millions of users every day, and the industry as a whole is making hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Online dating provides an efficient way for people to meet prospective partners and to get to know them through e-mails and chats. There are various positive aspects to be found in the experience of online dating, as compared to the traditional methods of
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The extent of the growth of online dating sites over the years can be seen in the case of Match.com. The service attracted 60,000 members during its first year in operation; by 2005, it had acquired more than 15 million active users, as well as “about one million paying subscribers from more than 246 countries” (“History of Online Dating” n. p.).
The online dating industry as a whole is currently worth millions of dollars each year, and it is expected to continue to grow in the upcoming future. In 2003, it was reported that 40 million Americans had visited an online dating site and, in 2005, it was estimated that total revenues for the online dating industry would reach $516 million (Varian C2). There are currently hundreds of dating services to be found on the Internet. In addition to Match.com, some of the more popular sites include LavaLife, Date.com, Yahoo! Personals, FriendFinder.com, Oneandonly.com, Lycos Matchmaker, eHarmony.com, and DatingDirect.com (in the United Kingdom). Most of the sites charge a monthly fee (approximately $25-$35) for full membership; however, most sites also allow users to sample their services for free (“A Practical Guide” 13).
The concept of “niche services” is a growing trend in the online dating industry. In other words, an increasing number of Internet users are becoming interested in dating services that are designed
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