Internet service providing potential relationship contacts / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Online dating, also known as Internet dating, Virtual dating, or Mobile app dating, is a relatively recent method used by people with a goal of searching for and interacting with potential romantic or sexual partners, via the internet. An online dating service is a company that promotes and provides specific mechanisms for the practice of online dating, generally in the form of dedicated websites or software applications accessible on personal computers or mobile devices connected to the internet. A wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based with various communication functionalities, is offered by such companies.
Online dating services allow users to become "members" by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance. Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile. 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. Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.
A great diversity of online dating services currently exist. Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships. 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. 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. Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.