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Wall street journal dating sites

If Facebook is letting its users figure out their interaction, the counterpoint is what's happening with paid dating sites: convergence, as a Journal charticle illustrated.No one site is ever going to really break out of the pack.

In the same vein, e Harmony found itself last summer trying to explain how a 20 percent increase in registrations led to a 33 percent drop in traffic.

The numbers suggest that while singles in search of a match may post a profile, they're not finding who they're looking for.

But as Business Week pointed out, most subscription-based sites have been battling a downward trend for a while.

And since last year,'s traffic has been flat at best.

As Techcrunch notes, does most of its growing these days by buying competing Web sites, rather than reinventing the world's oldest dance.

is also becoming Yahoo's official personals service, with the portal ditching its homegrown brand.Niche sites like J-date, for Jewish singles, may continue to bust out, but those are not the stuff that online empires are built out of.has claimed to advertisers that it sees a full audience turnover every 6 1/2 months, according to the rate card published by competitor Plenty of Fish.But as in any good arms race, even Frink is now promising that his site can predict whom its users will end up marrying, so he is taking the fight to paid sites' intellectual turf.As free alternatives become even more sophisticated, paid dating sites must contend with the fact that there's no way to force people to pay money to date.EHarmony and own 30 percent of the audience for all dating sites, and, taken together, their recent histories pose a troubling question for both their parent companies and those who prefer "scientific matching" techniques to real-life church socials: Has paid Internet dating peaked? The problem is not that the world runs out of oil or dating partners overnight.The declining quantity of each ingredient threatens the existence of the systems: internal combustion engines and online dating partners.And growth is what the paid online dating business is sorely lacking.There's no question that as the Internet matured, many singles flocked to paid dating sites and made them attractive things to own and build.And yet e Harmony's latest news release can't help but crow about a three-year-old Harris Interactive poll that said, "On average, 236 people are married in the United States every day as a result of being matched by e Harmony." Really?By the latest national marriage figures, that would mean it's driving nearly 4 percent a day.

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