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.Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.
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.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
A great diversity of online dating services currently exists (see Comparison of online dating services).
Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.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.Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.Introduction sites differ from the traditional online dating model, and attracted a large number of users and significant investor interest.