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But as dating-through-device becomes a primary medium for romance, it seems likely that our end goal—traditionally commitment, and often marriage—will also change.

On the day of the announcement, the stock price of Inter Active Corp—the parent site of online dating behemoths —dropped by more than two per cent. Over the past two decades, the Internet has become a fixture of the modern-day romance plot.

In the early ’90s, just one per cent of new relationships began online.

K.-based online dating executive Dan Winchester, who predicts, “The future will see better relationships, but more divorce.” Internet dating sites, supporters say, create a larger and more fluid “dating marketplace,” which in turn yields better and more compatible matches.

On the flip side, this bustling new marketplace, with its steady pace of transactions, might threaten traditional marriage.

The question, casting forward, is how that will change the very institution that many daters seek—marriage.

In the industry, the dominant view is that espoused by U.

At a press launch, Facebook reps showed off the new product, explaining that it could be used to search for restaurants, or for job recruiting.

At one point, a Facebook employee stood to demonstrate a search for “friends of my friends who are single and living in San Francisco.” And that’s when Facebook entered the online dating game, doing away with what was, until now, a fragile divide between quotidian online activity and the act of browsing for potential mates.

In 2012, a meta-analysis of online dating research by five U. do not always improve romantic outcomes; indeed, they sometimes undermine such outcomes.” The report continues: “By suggesting that compatibility can be established from a relatively small bank of trait-based information about a person—whether by a matchmaker’s algorithm or by the user’s own glance at a profile— online dating sites may be supporting an ideology of compatibility that decades of scientific research suggests is false.” Still, the now-ubiquitous smartphone promises more of the same—with the addition of GPS technology and social network integration.

S.-based psychologists concluded just the opposite: “The ways online dating sites typically implement [their] services . The search for mates (or the temptation to search for mates) will soon be mobile and transparent, and it will be constant.

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.