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Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc.

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Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities.

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