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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.
The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.
More than half, or 53 percent, of single people have created a dating profile, according to Match's recent Singles in America study, which polled over 5,000 single men and women in December.
Today, 40 percent of singles have dated someone they met online, while only 25 percent met a first date through a friend.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.
Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, or relationship type.
Online dating services also differ widely in their revenue streams.
A great diversity of online dating services currently exists.
Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.