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Research about social networking reveals that the online dating services driven by subscriptions offer the least amount of social networking opportunities.The dating services modeled on the free-at-the-point-of-use model scored much higher as many of them utilized the Circle of Friends social networking method and a wider number of online community genres.

Some sites provide free registration, but may offer services which require a monthly fee.

Other sites depend on advertising for their revenue.

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.

Online dating sites use market metaphors to match people.

Match metaphors are conceptual frameworks that allow individuals to make sense of new concepts by drawing upon familiar experiences and frame-works.A German documentary analyzed the market and uncovered multiple problems of online dating sites.Amongst them are "romance-scamming" (persons registering on the sites to get money from people falling in virtual love with them), using controllers or animators registered with multiple fake accounts, using unexpected and sometimes unlawful conditions in the terms and conditions leading to longer contracts a client intended to sign.More recently, the impact of social networking on online dating has been featured on the Questia online research website peer reviewed article ""I Luv U : )!": A Descriptive Study of the Media Use of Individuals in Romantic Relationships" The most popular platforms are Twitter, Snapchat, Linked In and Instagram.Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.

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