Online dating is gaining popularity as a mode to picking a life partner, says a new study.
According to the new survey commissioned by Match.com, more than twice as many couples who married last year met through online dating services than at a club or social event.
The study, conducted by the research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, found that 17 percent of those who married in the past three years met online, making it the third-most-frequent method of introduction, behind meeting through a mutual acquaintance or at work or school.
"Online dating is by now a preferred way for singles to find dates," the Washington Post quoted Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine, as saying.
"I think the stigma that has been attached to online dating -- and there's still some of that today-has greatly decreased. Everybody knows someone who has done online dating, so people are less fearful to talk about it," he added.
The new study shows how quickly online dating has revolutionized the way people find and pursue potential mates.
Susan Frohlick, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Manitoba who has studied online dating, said: "It does seem to have displaced all other forms of dating. I would say that it's been in the last five years that it's become hyper-mainstream."
The survey also claims that among recently married couples who met online, 30 percent initially made contact through Match.com.