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.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.Sites may offer additional services, such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.Some sites provide free registration, but may offer services which require a monthly fee.
Users of an online dating service would usually provide personal information, to enable them to search the service provider's database for other individuals.
Especially popular in Eastern Europe, some sites offer full access to messaging and profiles, but provide additional services for pay, such as bumping profiles up to the top of the list, removing advertisements, making paying users' profiles appear several times in different places in the search results, and giving paying users a more advanced search engine to work with (in one example, free users may only search for persons of specified age, gender, orientation, and city, while subscribers may search for any and all parameters listed in profiles, such as height, weight, interests, etc.).
Also, this model generally allows users to switch between free and paying status at will and without having to do anything, simply providing advanced features for a set period of time whenever the according payment is received.
The 20 most popular dating sites in 2006 as ranked by Hitwise include j (for Jewish singles), Christian Mingle.com, Christian Cafe.com, Man (same sex introductions), Love From India.ini, Black Christian People Meet.com, (for Latino singles), Asian People Meet.com, and (for Indian singles).
Since 2003, several free dating sites, operating on ad based-revenue rather than monthly subscriptions, have appeared and become increasingly popular.
A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the internet for a greater amount of tasks and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.