Online dating services allow users to become "members" by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance.

Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.

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Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.

A great diversity of online dating services currently exists.

There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.

Over 50% of research participants in a 2011 study did not view online dating as a dangerous activity, whereas 43% thought that online dating involved risk.

In Eastern Europe, popular sites offer full access to messaging and profiles, but provide additional services for pay, such as prioritizing profile position, removing advertisements, and giving paying users access to a more advanced search engine.

Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.

It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.