Many so called ‘free dating’ webs sites are actually not completely free. In fact, whilst there are many companies operating a free service it will often be a limited/restricted service based on payment being required to upgrade to unrestricted access. In truth, arguably the free dating sites that represent the highest membership numbers and the most feature rich functionalities to users tend to be paid web sites. So which/what should you be looking for?
Completely free online dating can sometimes be discovered in unlikely sources. In the sense that classifieds-style web sites allow us to advertise our belongings for sale, some of them allow us to advertise ourselves as available for relationships. Prime examples of this come from popular sites such as Gumtree, Vivastreet and Craigslist… The first example on our list, Gumtree, did in fact become so popular as an online dating/personals source, that the service is no longer operated. At the time the service was withdrawn Gumtree made no song and dance as to it reasons for halting the popular adult and casual dating section of its web site. Coincidentally, paying advertisers were still allowed to advertise their dating web sites within the old pages. Another event to coincide with this decision was the launch of televised advertising of Gumtree. Perhaps with new exposure and investment, the owners didn’t feel that offering a casual adult classifieds section was the best way to portray their business.
As far as we know, Vivastreet, now also advertised through televised media, still offer a free dating and personals service, as do craigslist.
Next up….PlentyOfFish (POF)… perhaps the largest of the free dating websites and an ever expanding network, which now stretches internationally. As mentioned earlier in the article, POF do have ways and means of extracting some cash from their members. However, the choice is always yours and you may feel the completely free access is adequate to your needs/requirements from an online dating service. In order to fund the their existence, POF, operates advertising banners and has even developed their own PPC (pay per click) system. This allows other businesses to expose themselves to targeted members of the POF database by placing a bid against their rivals for the ad exposure. For anyone familiar with Google adwords or Facebook Ads, this is the same principle.
On a final note, just because some websites have paid facilities don’t be afraid to join them and have a look around. Often you can sign up free of charge and get a better idea of the quality of the site, its features and the sorts of members available to you, perhaps once you have paid a subscription fee. Perhaps it is always worth joining a few dating sites whether they are paid sites of free. Not only do you get more exposure but you can test the strengths and weaknesses of each system and learn for yourself where the best value for money/free service can be found.