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In Eastern Europe, popular sites offer full access to messaging and profiles, but provide additional services for pay, such as prioritizing profile position, removing advertisements, and giving paying users access to a more advanced search engine.

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

Because online dating takes place in virtual space, it is possible for profile information to be misrepresented or falsified.

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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.

Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.

It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

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.

An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices.

Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.

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

Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, or relationship type.

Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.

However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.

Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.

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