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Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.

Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.

The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.

The 2016 Pew Research Center's survey reveals that the usage of online dating sites by American adults increased from 9% in 2013, to 12% in 2015.

It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

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Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.

Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.

Niche sites cater to people with special interests, such as sports fans, racing and automotive fans, medical or other professionals, people with political or religious preferences (e.g., Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc.), people with medical conditions (e.g., HIV , obese), or those living in rural farm communities.

Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.

Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.