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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.

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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.

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".

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.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).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.Online dating sites use market metaphors to match people.