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In 2008, Cynthia Feliciano, Belinda Robnett, and Golnaz Komaie from the University of California, Irvine, investigated the preferences of online daters long gendered and racial lines by selecting profiles on Yahoo!
Personals – then one of the top Internet romance sites in the U.
According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, people who had used online dating services had a higher opinion of such services than those who had not.
80% of the users said that online dating sites are a good way to meet potential partners, compared to 55% of non-users.
At the same time, usage among those between the ages of 55 and 64 doubled.
People in their mid-30s to mid-50s all saw noticeable increases in usage, but people aged 25 to 34 saw no change.
Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.
Safety was, however, the exception, with 53% of women and only 38% of men expressing concern.
There is, however, great variation along gender lines.
Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, sexual orientation or relationship type.
Online dating services also differ widely in their revenue streams.