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Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities.
Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability.
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.
A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.
It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.
Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.