Camille Cantrell had never tried online dating when, at 26, she decided to move to Portland.
In her hometown of Bend, the attractive, sociable brunette had no problem finding dates the traditional way and knew few people her age who had looked for love online.
In the past year, countless more sites have sprung up promising to be the next big thing in online dating for the young adult.
They tend to be more tech-savvy, carefree and interactive.
Diminishing stereotypes Until recently, online dating was marketed and viewed publicly as a way to find long-term romance, says David Evans, a consultant who authors the website Online Dating Insider.
The typical dater was recently divorced or had ended a serious relationship, and was disillusioned or intimidated by the scene in bars, church or social clubs.
Reliable industry numbers are hard to pin down, Evans says, but he would estimate people under 30 represent about a fifth of customers in the entire .1 billion U. They're hoping to stake claim to a customer group that hasn't responded to the high cost (memberships can top per month) and serious tone of traditional dating sites like or e Harmony, which require hours at a computer, tweaking a profile and answering questions to find a perfect match.
Only 8 percent of users on Match.com, the most popular dating site in America, are under 30.
Overall, about 15% of Americans have, at one point, used an online dating site.
If you were under 30 and turning to online dating, there was a perception that something was wrong with you, Evans says. "You're going out and seeing bands once a week, you're constantly around people, the idea is you don't really need dating sites." But that's started to change in the past couple of years, he says.
More 20-somethings are on online dating sites than ever, and their numbers are growing. Cashing in With traditional powerhouses and e Harmony all but saturating the market for older adults seeking committed relationships, savvy web entrepreneurs are betting that young singles represent an untapped revenue source.
"When you're 45, twice divorced and four kids, you want to be in a stable relationship; you want to be on Match.com," Evans says. Let's go see Radiohead play.' There's a breeziness to (the new models)." Free, edgier sites like Ok Cupid and Plenty of Fish report much stronger numbers among 20-somethings.
In fact, the majority of Ok Cupid's 8 million members are under 30, with the most common age being 24.
Online dating went mainstream years ago, but new research suggests the amount of young adults looking for love on the Internet has grown threefold since 2013.