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That is, online dating sites use the conceptual framework of a "marketplace metaphor" to help people find potential matches, with layouts and functionalities that make it easy to quickly browse and select profiles in a manner similar to how one might browse an online store.

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.

The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.

While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities.

For instance, some profiles may not represent real humans but rather they may be fake "bait profiles" placed online by site owners to attract new paying members, or "spam profiles" created by advertisers to market services and products.

Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables people to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.

An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices.

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