Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.

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Some sites such as Ok Cupid.com, and are free and offer additional paid services in a freemium revenue model.

Some sites are broad-based, with members coming from a variety of backgrounds looking for different types of relationships.

Research about social networking reveals that the online dating services driven by subscriptions offer the least amount of social networking opportunities.

The dating services modeled on the free-at-the-point-of-use model scored much higher as many of them utilized the Circle of Friends social networking method and a wider number of online community genres.

Also, this model generally allows users to switch between free and paying status at will and without having to do anything, simply providing advanced features for a set period of time whenever the according payment is received.

Ease of payment is also generally higher, with such sites accepting a variety of online currencies, letting users charge the payment to their cellular phones, etc.

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.

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.

Users of an online dating service would usually provide personal information, to enable them to search the service provider's database for other individuals.