One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.
About one-in-five 18- to 24-year olds (22%) now report using mobile dating apps; in 2013, only 5% reported doing so.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
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Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.
The share of 18- to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today.
Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.
5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.
Despite the wealth of digital tools that allow people to search for potential partners, and even as one-in-ten Americans are now using one of the many online dating platforms, the vast majority of relationships still begin offline.
Even among Americans who have been with their spouse or partner for five years or less, fully 88% say that they met their partner offline–without the help of a dating site.
Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic.
Today, 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds report ever using an online dating site or mobile dating app versus only 6% in 2013.
Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, or relationship type.