This metaphor of the marketplace – a place where people go to "shop" for potential romantic partners and to "sell" themselves in hopes of creating a successful romantic relationship – is highlighted by the layout and functionality of online dating websites.
At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc. By 2007, many prominent studies show that Baby Boomer interest in online dating have soared.
However, market share was increasingly growing by several large commercial services, including Personals. Some online dating websites provide webcam chats between members.
With much of the earlier stigma surrounding online dating gone, the principle challenges are around ensuring the experience offered is fulfilling for users.
This report assesses the current status of the online dating industry in the UK, including the value of the market and trends and other factors likely to impact growth during the next five years.
Mintel’s research also analyses consumers’ motivations for using online dating websites, as well as the remaining barriers for those who have not looked to find a partner online.
The report covers the online dating industry, including both straight and same-sex sites.
Most sites allow members to upload photos or videos of themselves and browse the photos and videos of others.
Sites may offer additional services, such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.
By that logic, lovelorn singletons should apply the same principles to their dating profiles as advertisers apply to a bottle of shampoo competing for attention on a supermarket shelf, according to a study published in 2015 by Sameer Chaudhry, assistant professor at University Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and his colleague Khalid Khan, professor of women’s health and clinical epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London.
Chaudhry had good reason to choose this as a research topic. By employing the study’s findings in his own search for a partner, Chaudhry says he finally found the right match.
However, it does not include ‘adult’ sites (such as adultfriendfinder.com), which are not included in the profiles or in the market figures.