Meeting someone online is happening more often than ever now, especially with the popularity of social networking. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook have given singles an opportunity to find the match of their dreams, despite the numerous online websites dedicated to matchmaking, such as Match.com, eHarmony and OKCupid. However, many analysts believe that there is no need for these online dating sites to worry because the online dating industry in the U.S. is expected to experience phenomenal growth by 2016. This suggest a larger market with plenty of space for many players.
The interesting part about couples meeting on Twitter and Facebook, rather than a website that is meant specifically for dating, is that it is easier for potential partners to be able to get to know one another on a level that is more genuine and sincere. According to some studies, when people meet on social networking websites, there is a better opportunity to get more revealing information about a person’s character. Of course, another great advantage with social networking is that it is free.
A recent study suggests that in the time period 2005 to 2012, approximately 21% of people who met each other online and eventually got married, actually found each other through social networking sites. Interestingly, the same percentage of marriages resulted from people who meet in school in an offline environment.
Jeff Hall, an expert on different styles of flirting, from the University of Kansas, noted that this often took place without drawing much attention. The author discovered that many of these marriages had roots in older forms of social network sites, such as MySpace and Classmates.com. Participants in this study discovered that they were able to take advantage of a more natural setting for meeting and getting better acquainted with potential partners when they used free social networking websites rather than the “awkward” or “too direct” approach offered by online dating services.