A great diversity of online dating services currently exists (see Comparison of online dating services).
Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.
Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.