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.
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.
For instance, some profiles may not represent real humans but rather "bait profiles" placed online by site owners to attract new paying members, or "spam profiles" created by advertisers to market services and products.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.