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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, sexual orientation or relationship type.
Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.