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While people used to meet mostly through friends, says Reuben J.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 .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 course, there was a business reason for charging low rates in the early days, some experts say: Sites needed to stock the sea of love with fish.The faster they attracted users, the more useful the sites would be, Brooks says.They decide whether you are qualified to join the Luxy community or not.The vouch process helps us make sure we have the best and high quality users.

Indeed, for online purveyors of love, business is booming.

S., ( a month) and e Harmony ( a month), users can save by signing on for, say, a six-month bundle ( per month and per month, respectively).

And some sites, like Plentyof and Ok Cupid, offer basic membership for free.

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

(charged .95 per month when it launched in 1995.) e Harmony, launched in 2000 and marketed toward people seeking long-term relationships, blazed a trail with its prices, charging some of the highest in the industry, says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch.

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