Saturday, November 22, 2003

NYT: Love in the Time of No Time

NYT: Love in the Time of No Time: "In a sense, the explosion of online personals speaks to the fervency of that wish. In the first half of 2003, Americans spent $214.3 million on personals and dating sites -- almost triple what they spent in all of 2001. Online dating is the most lucrative form of legal paid online content. According to comScore Networks, which monitors consumer behavior on the Internet, 40 million Americans visited at least one online dating site in August -- 27 percent of all Internet users for that month. The sites they visited range from behemoths like Yahoo! Personals and, which boasts 12 million users worldwide, to smaller niche sites catering to ethnic and religious groups and to devotees of such things as pets, horoscopes and fitness. In between are midsize companies like Spring Street Networks, which pools the personals ads for some 200 publications nationwide, including, the Onion and Boston Magazine, and sites like Emode and eHarmony, which specialize in personality tests and algorithms for matching people. A recent entrant, Friendster, conceived of as a site for dating and meeting new people through mutual friends, has become a raging fad among the younger set and now claims more than three million members."

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