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.

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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.

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.

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.

Since 2003, several free dating sites, operating on ad based-revenue rather than monthly subscriptions, have appeared and become increasingly popular.

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

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

Other sites depend on advertising for their revenue.

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.