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.There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.Over 50% of research participants in a 2011 study did not view online dating as a dangerous activity, whereas 43% thought that online dating involved risk.
Niche sites cater to people with special interests, such as sports fans, racing and automotive fans, medical or other professionals, people with political or religious preferences (e.g., Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc.), people with medical conditions (e.g., HIV , obese), or those living in rural farm communities.
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.
In 2008, a variation of the online dating model emerged in the form of introduction sites, where members have to search and contact other members, who introduce them to other members whom they deem compatible.
Introduction sites differ from the traditional online dating model, and attracted a large number of users and significant investor interest.