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Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.This model also allows users to switch between free and paying status at will, with sites accepting a variety of online currencies and payment options.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.
Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.
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.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.