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Indeed, for online purveyors of love, business is booming.
While people used to meet mostly through friends, says Reuben J.
“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.
“There are people of different intentions on every platform; it’s more important what your intention is.” Perhaps the key factor that determines whether you’ll like a site is not the price to join but the kind of people you find on it and how they behave and communicate.
Kominers thinks online daters could be well served by a service that isn’t quite free but doesn’t involve a subscription fee either.
A decade ago, many sites were free or had minimal fees of around a month.
And some sites, like Plentyof and Ok Cupid, offer basic membership for free.
But most subscription sites automatically renew until the customer cancels, and those fees can add up.
(charged .95 per month when it launched in 1995.) e Harmony, launched in 2000 and marketed toward people seeking long-term relationships, blazed a trail with its prices, charging some of the highest in the industry, says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch.
Of course, there was a business reason for charging low rates in the early days, some experts say: Sites needed to stock the sea of love with fish.
Although our survey found that no dating site or app sweeps online daters off their feet in the satisfaction department, Ok Cupid is rated highest overall by respondents, and Grindr, a free app for gay men, is also near the top.