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Thomas, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mexico, “that’s been sharply on the decline since the advent of the Internet.” The dating industry is now worth about $2.4 billion, with revenue split between advertising and subscription services, up revenue up around 5% per year, according to a report by research firm IBISWorld.

Of that, around $1.1 billion is from online dating, $576 million is from mobile apps such as Grindr and Tinder, and the rest is made up mainly of matchmakers and singles events.

You will notice that such enterprises have more ads on their pages. Because the money comes mostly from commissions for the ads, free of charge dating portals skip on customer service. As such, scammers and fraudsters of all types love freebie singles websites. However, you will have to thoroughly screen all potential prospects before getting too close.

The free sites still need to cover expenses such as hosting, software updates, and security.

The online dating industry is a $2.1 billion business, with niche dating sites claiming more and more of that market share.

Thanks to a crop of niche dating websites, you can find your ideal mate based on very specific criteria.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that as the popularity of online dating has risen, so have prices.

A decade ago, many sites were free or had minimal fees of around a month.

“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.