Some sites such as Ok Cupid.com, and are free and offer additional paid services in a freemium revenue model.

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. By 2007, many prominent studies show that Baby Boomer interest in online dating have soared.

However, market share was increasingly growing by several large commercial services, including Personals. Some online dating websites provide webcam chats between members.

In Germany government financed NGOs like "Verbraucherschutzzentrale" sometimes help to sue online dating sites.

This problem is referred to as "catfishing" in pop-culture and has been made famous by a popular MTV program called "Catfish the TV show".

The highest scoring dating service was Facebook, which uses the personal homepage genre, the message board genre, the weblog and directory genre, as well as utilizing the Circle of Friends.

The second highest scoring, Second Life utilizes virtual worlds, message boards, chat groups and profile pages to allow people to contact in a three-dimensional environment.

Most sites allow members to upload photos or videos of themselves and browse the photos and videos of others.

Sites may offer additional services, such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.

This metaphor of the marketplace – a place where people go to "shop" for potential romantic partners and to "sell" themselves in hopes of creating a successful romantic relationship – is highlighted by the layout and functionality of online dating websites.

The marketplace metaphor may also resonate with participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

As online dating's population becomes larger, sites with specific demographics are becoming more popular as a way to narrow the pool of potential matches.