“It is very, and increasingly, popular,” says Toby Miller, professor of cultural studies at Murdoch University. “The statistics show more than 4.5 million Australians have usedONLINE DATINGservices.”
Are these people finding true love? Professor Miller says it is not known how many people are looking for love or brief encounters. There are a number of sites and apps available, depending on the type of relationship you are looking for (from casual to serious commitment) but he says some of the most popular sites for Australians looking for love include RSVP, eHarmony and PlentyOfFish.
Professor Miller says eHarmony is focused on people forming a serious commitment — with the site using a system to match individuals based on their compatibility.
In fact, eHarmony claims to be responsible for more than 11,000 marriages.
RSVP caters for people looking for serious relationships or casual dates, with more than 1200 new members signing up every day.
According to Lara Delahunty, RSVP senior marketing manager, members can use a range of ways to meet people through the site, including advanced-search functions and matches based on compatibility criteria and behavioural trends.
“This control and flexibility extends to how much our members choose to spend. It’s free to join, search and say hello through our RSVP Kiss messages — members only pay when they want to chat further,” she says.
“They then choose to use the site on a pay-per-contact basis or monthlyUPGRADED memberships.”
Kate MacLean, PR co-ordinator at PlentyOfFish, says the site has more than 100 millionREGISTERED users, with more than four million active daily users.
“Since our user base is so large and always growing, we provide the most selection in terms of finding a mate,” she says.
“We match our users based on a complex variety of matching algorithms, which are built around the individual’s interests and behaviour on the site.”
I found love
Newlywed Cassie Gurman, 31, met her husband Stephen via dating site PlentyOfFish.
“I triedONLINE DATING because I thought it gave a better chance of connecting with someone who wanted to be in a committed relationship than meeting someone at a bar,” she says.
“That turned out to be exactly right.”