Online dating or Internet dating is a personal introductory system where individuals can find and contact each other over the Internet to arrange a date, usually with the objective of developing a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship.

Online dating services usually provide unmoderated matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.

internet online dating in europe-44internet online dating in europe-25

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.

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".

Due to the level of competition between free dating sites, as well as the overall drop in traffic to and revenue for dating sites generally, This represents a break from traditional externally sourced ads and is just one of the ways that the revenue models of free dating sites are evolving.

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.).

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.

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.

Ease of payment is also generally higher, with such sites accepting a variety of online currencies, letting users charge the payment to their cellular phones, etc.

Apart from the popular social networks, there are social websites meant just for meeting and talking to someone new.