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Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.

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A great diversity of online dating services currently exists.

Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.

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.

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.

The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.

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.

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.

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

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