Apart from the popular social networks, there are social websites meant just for meeting and talking to someone new.3 popular and effective websites are: Plenty of Fish, Ok Cupid, and (where you can meet someone that has a similar taste in music as you).
Several newer sites such as Ok are beginning to offer more full featured dating services for free, and are starting to compete with staples in the free dating site world such as 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.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.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.
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.
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).
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".
Research about social networking reveals that the online dating services driven by subscriptions offer the least amount of social networking opportunities.