Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.

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

Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.

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.

Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.

Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.

Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.

Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.

However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.