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Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.Over 50% of research participants in a 2011 study did not view online dating as a dangerous activity, whereas 43% thought that online dating involved risk.Because online dating takes place in virtual space, it is possible for profile information to be misrepresented or falsified.Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.
Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.
A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.
It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.
Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.
Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.