The ability to find out more ahead of time, versus the proverbial "blind date" or even meeting a stranger at a party, is an advantage that online dating has over conventional dating—if you ask questions, and if the other person genuinely shares.
At that time, 22% of heterosexual couples reported meeting online.
It will be interesting to see what subsequent research reveals about long-term predictors of online dating success. At least, when going online for serious relationships, consider: 1) Looking for people who share genuine similarities with you; 2) Communicating a lot before the first date.
And make sure it is high quality communication; 3) Asking a lot of questions.
So while online dating is on the rise, most online relationships do not lead to long-term committed relationships. (2013), a higher percentage, 30%, of married couples in their sample met online, and those that did were slightly but significantly more likely to stay together and report greater marital satisfaction.
Researchers are just beginning to understand the new and complicated dynamics of online dating, and it is unclear what factors go into successful matching, though long-term relationship satisfaction is likely to come from the same factors regardless of how people meet (go here for an overview of predictors of relationships satisfaction).
Overall, the researchers note that relationships don't go smoothly from online to in-person, confirming what many people who online date already know.