Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.

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

That is, online dating sites use the conceptual framework of a "marketplace metaphor" to help people find potential matches, with layouts and functionalities that make it easy to quickly browse and select profiles in a manner similar to how one might browse an online store.

Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.

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.

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.Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.It also has an algorithm that weeds out "Asianphiles" and accounts for Chinese cultural values such as date of immigration and highest level of education.Zhao came to the United States from China for graduate school in Electrical Engineering at the University of California San Diego.Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.