Indeed, for online purveyors of love, business is booming.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that as the popularity of online dating has risen, so have prices.
A decade ago, many sites were free or had minimal fees of around $20 a month.
(charged $9.95 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.
The faster they attracted users, the more useful the sites would be, Brooks says.
And paying fees, he says, can have an upside: People may be more likely to actually use a site if they pay for it.
In 2003, a young Mark Zuckerberg sat in front of his computer and instant-messaged a friend.
Back then, “the facebook thing” was still a rough idea, and 18-year-old Zuckerberg was trying to finesse the concept. “I don’t think people would sign up for the facebook thing if they knew it was for dating,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“Finding a soul mate can cost you.” As the data breach of the adultery website, Ashley Madison.com, has shown, online dating doesn’t come cheap — in terms of monthly fees and, in extreme cases, public embarrassment and lawyer’s fees in divorce court.
Hackers alleged late Tuesday that they had dumped account details and log-in information of around 32 million users of the website, revealing millions of street addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and credit-card details.
Avid Life Media called it “an act of criminality.” Many people are looking for love online, and some — even those who are already married — are looking for hook-ups, but even those who are looking for love should be aware of what lies ahead. Roughly 30 million unique users, or about 10% of the U. population, visit dating sites every month, according to market researcher Nielsen.