Popular and innovative, online dating sites have innovated the world of romance. High on the popularity list, online dating is big business. It is a $ 1 billion industry that is thriving because it has provided affordable options to thousands of singles. The projected growth per year is set at 9% with revenues of $516 million coming just from consumer subscriptions.
According to Hitwise a market research firm, online dating is extremely popular and here to stay. In fact online dating often accounts for 1%of internet usage. The business has moved with need. Extremely popular are niche sites that focus on religion, ethnicity, or special interests.
Many sites promote social networking and offer music, games, interactive content and more. This appeals to youngsters aged 18-24. There is no pressure to date or find a relationship although you are welcome to develop a friendship formed on the site into something deeper.
Extremely professional, online dating sites offer some degree of security, protect your privacy, offer advice on possible matches, guide you on how to navigate the site, and offer exiting things like online discussion groups, cyber messaging with virtual bouquets, and phone calls. The move now expected is to use new technologies to connect people through SMS, mobiles and 3G services.
The concept caught on like wildfire because people were to busy to find time to date, shy to approach strangers, and wary of meeting alone. With online dating a person can log on from the security of his or her own home or office. One can meet as many singles as he or she wants to in a single session. The costs are much lower than going on a date and one can get to know a person before meeting them. Since online profiles list likes and dislikes and photographs it is possible to pick and choose. A person can avoid the awkwardness of meeting face to face and finding out that the date is just not right.
What more you can date from any corner of the earth and don’t have to be in the same town to get in touch. But as always there are advantages and disadvantages to online dating.
To sustain revenues, the business is looking towards being user friendly; generating revenues from romance related advertisements such as getaways, make overs and so on, and becoming more friendship oriented rather than purely romance oriented. Sites are offering greater consumer protection and incorporating many news ways to make contact like videos, SMS, MMS, and TV based services. Many even go the extra mile and organize singles events.
There are over 2500 active online dating sites with large ever growing memberships. Although many experts feel the online dating industry is heading for a plateau others predict diversification and great imaginative business modules.
Whatever the prediction online dating sites fulfill a need that other commerce sites don’t. They promote romance and sell dreams.