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Expenses of online dating

Elite Singles offers two different membership options; a free basic membership and a premium option.

With the free option you are able to create an account, search through their millions of profiles, of which many are fake! But this option is more or less useless, as if you want to contact any single that you take a fancy to, then you will need to pay.

IAC's bought OKCupid last month for million in a deal that put a nail in the coffin of the aging online dating industry. So dating sites grow the only way they can by paying to acquire you, so you can pay them (a subscription! Match seems to have figured that out, as recent efforts to grow have ignored the social graph altogether in favor of dating-site acquisitions and deals with other publishers.

Match, recall, is the industry heavyweight: It's been online longer than I have -- since 1995; it's the biggest online dating site (along with Adult Friend Finder); and it makes a lot of money. Instead of connecting with people you know, you set up a username to mask your identity, hope no one you know sees you, and spend the whole time filtering. ) to spend your time avoiding people you don't know, hoping to find your match. Last year it "became the exclusive online dating service on Yahoo" and saw an 8% bump in organic subscribers in the second quarter; a nifty integration with Glamour to sign up more ladies, featuring some cursive font, hearts and yes, usernames.

Some members make it through to the date filter, then you filter them out, and if you're lucky you find a mate and get the hell off the site. (But, get this, the ads are getting too expensive.) To Match's credit, it's not like they haven't tried to grow "organically." Notable experiments include a mobile dating service called Match Mobile they launched way back in 2003 (and again in 2007), and a 2007 attempt to integrate with Facebook, called it Little Black Book. You don't invite your friends to join you on Match, you don't know what friends are already there, and you don't make new friends while you're (paying to be) there.

In the world of online dating, advertising is a 100% data-driven process of acquiring, upselling, and replacing users. Diller's aging anti-social network brings in about a quarter of IAC's annual revenue.

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