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As ever more people meet on the web, they’re also peeling away the stigma once associated with it.
In a poll last October by the Pew Research Center, just 21 percent of Internet users agreed with the statement “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” an 8-point drop from the last poll in 2005.
The Passion Network, for example, is a small empire of 250 dating hubs like bronypassions.com, for fans of the My Little Pony TV series; for mustache mavens; and even zombiepassions.com, for those obsessed with the walking dead.
Thanks to the growth of such sites, the industry has expanded at 3.5 percent a year since 2008--right through the recession--to become a .1 billion powerhouse.
The field is already crowded, with almost 3,900 companies running dating sites, according to a report last fall from business research firm IBISWorld.
Reports are supposed to be passed on to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.
Earlier this year 7.30 lodged a Freedom of Information application with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), which is responsible for ACORN, requesting figures on how many reports ACORN had passed on to police.
These days, online dating makes it easier than ever to find your “lid.” While dominated by big name, mass audience sites, like and e Harmony, a growing number of niche sites are finding success targeting singles looking for something very specific.
Of course there are sites aimed at specific religious or ethnic groups, but there are also those who aim to match couples with very specific interests.
(The 1.8 million visitors to OKCupid topped the field for time spent, at 3 hours a day.) Changing demographics are a big part of what’s inflating the industry.