(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.One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.About one-in-five 18- to 24-year olds (22%) now report using mobile dating apps; in 2013, only 5% reported doing so. “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.Many online daters enlist their friends in an effort to put their best digital foot forward.Some 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.
And paying fees, he says, can have an upside: People may be more likely to actually use a site if they pay for it. Two thirds of online daters—66%—tell us that they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app.That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.