During an January 2019 survey, 49 percent of dating app users stated that they were using online dating services to look for an exclusive romantic relationship. A further 20 percent used online dating for non-exclusive romantic partners and 23 percent of respondents stated that that they used online dating apps and services explicitly for sexual encounters. The same survey also found that dating platform or app usage was more popular with male internet users than among female ones. Dating sites and apps were most popular among younger internet users - 14 percent of U.S. internet users aged 18 to 34 years were currently using dating sites or apps and a further 29 percent had done so previously.
Almost half of online dating users had very or somewhat positive experiences with online dating. However, when looking at different user groups, men usually have a better time with dating apps than women. Only 10 percent of male users reported somewhat or very negative experiences, whereas 29 percent of women did so. The most common negative experiences include being contacted in a way that made users feel uncomfortable, as well as having to block or report someone and being sent unsolicited inappropriate pictures. Based on the wide range of experiences through online contact, many online dating users have taken measures before meeting someone physically they met via a dating website or app. Common actions before meeting somebody IRL for the first time include searching their name and social media profiles online, as well as searching their phone number online.
In 2018, online dating revenue in the United States amounted to 555 million U.S. dollars and is projected to reach 649 million U.S. dollars in 2023. U.S. online dating audience size is estimated to reach 37.5 million in 2023, up from 33.9 million in 2018. The most popular dating website in the United States was Match.com, followed by Tinder and PlentyofFish. Match.com belongs to the Match Group, an American internet company that owns and operates several online dating web sites including OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, and Tinder. As of the fourth quarter of 2018, the Match Group had 4.3 million paid subscribers across all its platforms in North America. As of January 2019, 27.6 percent of Match.com users were active on a daily basis. In comparison, Tinder had a 34.5 percent daily usage rate and Bumble had a 29.2 percent daily access rate. Bumble is a dating app founded by former co-founder of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe, and is marketed as a feminist dating app where users have options of searching for romantic matches or, in "BFF mode", friends. In heterosexual matches via Bumble, only female users can make the first contact with matched male users, while in same-sex matches either person can send a message first.