It may not be quite what George Osborne had in mind to boost the economy, but the UK is leading the way in the "march of the daters" as more than 9 million Britons log on to find love and sex. The big increase was attributed to aggressive advertising by rival dating sites. The internet dating boom began in , when around , early adopters braved a dial-up internet connection to find a partner. Now that figure is 9. Not only did the UK have the highest concentration of single people in the pan-European study, according to Metaflake, but it was also judged to have the "most colourful dating landscape" due to the volume of themed singles dating sites, ranging from Cougar Dating to Uniform Dating , to those catering for religious groups or body-type preferences. Of Europe's 5, dating portals, roughly 1, emanate from the UK.
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Tinder is a dating app that matches users to others based on geographic proximity. They can also see age, and if they have any Facebook connections in common. The Tinder app is built around the idea of the double opt-in — taking out the element of embarrassment and unwanted attention. You can only talk to someone if you both like each other. IAC was also responsible for dating sites Match.
Online dating has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years. Globally, one in five relationships now starts online and the media is full of stories describing happy marriages which started with the click of a mouse. Online dating is now so important to the UK economy that the Office of National Statistics recently added online dating to its basket of goods and services to calculate UK inflation rates. For this feature, we interviewed more than a dozen dating websites, representing more than five million members although it should be noted that most people using a dating website will set up a profile with more than one company. Some sites also offer extra services, such as buying real and virtual gifts to send your paramour, more in-depth background checks and real-world networking events to boost the coffers.