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Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables people to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.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.In particular, the number of American adults who had used an online dating site went from 9% in 2013 to 12% in 2015 while those who used an online dating software application on their mobile phones jumped from 3% to 9% during the same period.This increase was driven mainly by people aged 18 to 24, for whom usage almost tripled.A great diversity of online dating services currently exists (see Comparison of online dating services).Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
There is, however, great variation along gender lines.
In particular, the number of people who thought that online dating was a good way to meet people rose from 44% in 2005 to 59% in 2015 whereas those who believed that people to used online dating services were desperate fell from 29% to 23% during the same period.
Although only a negligible number of people dated online in 2005, that rose to 11% in 2013 and then 15% in 2015.
Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.
Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.
In 2008, Cynthia Feliciano, Belinda Robnett, and Golnaz Komaie from the University of California, Irvine, investigated the preferences of online daters long gendered and racial lines by selecting profiles on Yahoo!