Online dating economy

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Americans are charging ahead; Germans, comparatively, lagging behind.India, which has long had a complex offline market for arranged marriages within religious and caste boundaries, has seen it move online.Today dating sites and apps account for about a sixth of the first meetings that lead to marriage there; roughly the same number result from online encounters in venues not devoted to such matters.

But freed from their villages, people faced new difficulties: how to work out who was interested, who was not and who might be, if only they knew you were.

Once confined to particular times and places, dating can extend everywhere and anywhere.

Not all countries and classes are adopting online dating at the same rate or in the same way.

None of the companies are interested in making it clear what secret data sauce—if any—they add to their wares.

Where data are available, mostly through national surveys, sociologists like Mr Thomas have found that online dating by and large leads to better matches—presumably because of the far greater choice of partners it offers.

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