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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.
Most sites allow members to upload photos or videos of themselves and browse the photos and videos of others.Especially popular in Eastern Europe, some sites offer full access to messaging and profiles, but provide additional services for pay, such as bumping profiles up to the top of the list, removing advertisements, making paying users' profiles appear several times in different places in the search results, and giving paying users a more advanced search engine to work with (in one example, free users may only search for persons of specified age, gender, orientation, and city, while subscribers may search for any and all parameters listed in profiles, such as height, weight, interests, etc.).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.Some sites are broad-based, with members coming from a variety of backgrounds looking for different types of relationships.Other sites are more specific, based on the type of members, interests, location, or relationship desired.Members use criteria other members set, such as age range, gender and location.
Online dating sites use market metaphors to match people.
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.
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.
Other sites depend on advertising for their revenue.
Some sites such as Ok Cupid.com, and are free and offer additional paid services in a freemium revenue model.
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.