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“The young ‘uns can have it.” The company defended the pricing structure as aimed at accommodating younger “budget-constrained” daters, but analysts have questioned just how many singles will pay up to find an online match.

In a February note to clients, Morgan Stanley analysts said the honeymoon period for Tinder’s “casual dating” wouldn’t last for long.

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Some have argued that Tinder’s model — of love (or lust) at first swipe — is actually closer to the future of online dating not just for young singles, but for daters of all ages. Finkel, a Northwestern University psychology professor who has studied online dating, has called superficiality “Tinder’s greatest asset,” arguing that the service is actually closer than profile matchmaking to that old style of dating: catching someone’s eye and, knowing nothing about their background, feeling a sense of attraction from across the room.

Making a profile by answering hundreds of questions was once a necessary move to bring legitimacy to online dating.

“There are limits to the percentage of single people who will become active Tinder users and repeating ‘casual daters,'” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a February note to clients.

“And in our view, Tinder is reaching those limits.” EHarmony has not shied away from its reputation as an overbearing matchmaker, slow but comprehensive, with long-term interests at heart.

One in 10 adults now average more than an hour every day on a dating site or app, Nielsen data show.

Yet for all their growth, the companies have staggeringly different ideas of how American daters can find their match — and how to best serve different generations.

Online dating service e Harmony has been banned from claiming it uses a "scientifically proven matching system".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the service could offer no evidence it offered customers a significantly greater chance of finding lasting love, and described e Harmony’s claims as “misleading”.

Two-thirds of the singles and fling-seekers in America’s online-dating market are older than 34, IBISWorld data show.

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