More and more people are turning to free personals these days than ever before for love, romance and/or erotic/intimate encounters. The New York Times reports in its Recklessly Seeking Sex on Craigslist article (April 2009) that traffic to all the Craigslist personals sites (including casual encounters and missed connections postings) is higher than for any other online personals site, including Match.com, eHarmony and Yahoo Personals.
This has also proven true for free dating sites like PlentyofFish.com which was ranked as the #1 Dating Site in North America, including Canada, (and the UK) by comScore Media Metrix as far back as 2008 (and again in 2009), over Match.com, eHarmony, Yahoo Personals, and TRUE.com
Given the ongoing state of the economy, increasing popularity and acceptance of free online personals as a legimate means of meeting people, and continued questioning of the true added-value provided by subscription-based dating sites, I have to think that this trend will only continue. That said, I also don’t think that paid dating sites will be going away any time soon.