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"The problem with dating sites like is the 'meat market' effect -- everyone knows why you are there and what you are looking for." Kaplan argued that social networks are better alternatives to traditional dating sites because, just like in the physical world, people meet as a side effect of engaging in other shared activities or interests, like dining, cars or volunteering."The new generation of social network sites address this issue by offering shared social activities that create a comfortable environment in which to get to know other people without the heavy social pressure," he said. Not everyone who follows the sector agrees on the social network factor."If you're looking to meet someone, you're going to go to a dating site, not a social site where there's simply a chance of meeting someone," he told .
"I would say that free dating sites and social networks have hurt the large paid dating sites the most." Jerry Kaplan, the former CEO of Egghead and founder of Winster.com, a free social network site where singles can meet and play games with other singles, claims social network sites are more inviting to people because they are not focused only on dating.
The buzz was only helped by Yahoo's current policy of paying to power its European Personals.
While there might be some truth to the rumor, said Jupiter Research's Elliott, it is not necessarily so.
"I think the threat to traditional dating Web sites is minimum because social network sites are not focused exclusively on dating." Finding Dates..Data But not as many people are doing the online dating dance as in recent years.
According to Jupiter Research, 10 percent of the online and available population used dating Web sites in 2006, a 6 percent decline from the year before.