The question, casting forward, is how that will change the very institution that many daters seek—marriage.
By 2009, that number had grown to around 20 per cent for heterosexual couples, and 60 per cent for same-sex matches.
An estimated 30 to 40 million North Americans now use online dating sites.
The 1,500 sites comprise an industry worth over $1.5 billion.
A quarter of all Canadians have tried Internet dating, and 16 per cent have had sex with someone they met online.
Today, online dating sites peddle a radical vision: a new future for love as we know it; a more efficient, more targeted way to meet a compatible mate. Forget about hanging out in bars, or volunteering at community functions, or awkwardly asking friends if their friends are single.
Many of the biggest online sites are marketing themselves not just as places to get a date, but as a place to find a lifelong mate.
The dating site e Harmony claims an average of 542 members marry every day in America.
As online dating becomes the dominant path to relationships, it shifts the way these unions are built.
In 2003, a young Mark Zuckerberg sat in front of his computer and instant-messaged a friend.
Back then, “the facebook thing” was still a rough idea, and 18-year-old Zuckerberg was trying to finesse the concept. “I don’t think people would sign up for the facebook thing if they knew it was for dating,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“I think people are skeptical about joining dating things.” A decade later, a somewhat savvier Zuckerberg has had a change of heart.