AdultFriendFinder (AFF) is a commercial website that claims to be the world's largest sex and swinger personals community online . The site was founded by Andrew Conru. The site is consistently ranked between the 40th and 60th most visited website on the internet, and claims to have over 20 million members. The AFF website allows adults to meet friends and/or sex partners, and while free to join, members can purchase a higher membership level to be ranked higher in searches and for other perks.
The website offers services that allow users to send anonymous email, chat or use a webcam with other members, and contribute to an online magazine or blog. These are included in a paid membership, the highest level (Gold) costing approximately $12 per month when paid a year in advance. A standard (free) membership allows the member to post a profile, but not view other profiles, video introductions, live video streams, or to contact paid members, so are limited.
In addition to the usual dating service offerings, AFF allows members to broadcast their webcam publicly to any other member who wishes to watch. At any time approximately 1000 to 1500 members are broadcasting their live webcams, and other members can open a viewer to watch and optionally page the broadcasting member in an attempt to initiate a chat session. The ratio of male to female broadcasters is approximately 10 to 1, and the ratio of people broadcasting risque images is probably lower than that.
Originally started as FriendFinder FriendFinder.com, a more traditional online dating site, AdultFriendFinder was spun off when members began uploading more risque photos than were appropriate. Since then, FriendFinder has spun off several other communities revolving around ethnicities, cultures, social and age and fetishes, including:
* "BDSM & Alternative Lifestyle Personals" - Alt.com
* "Gay Personals - for relationships" - GayFriendFinder.com
* "Gay Personals - for Sex" - OutPersonals.com
* "Find thousands of people of faith" - BigChurch.com
* "Jewish personals site" - JewishFriendFinder.com
* "Italian personals site" - ItalianFriendFinder.com
* "Meet thousands of Spanish/Portuguese speaking people worldwide" -Amigos.com
* "Chinese dating personals in both English and Chinese" - AsiaFriendFinder.com
* "Indian dating and marriage personals" - IndianFriendFinder.com
* "Filipino/fillipina Personals" - FilipinoFriendFinder.com
* "Korean Personals" - KoreanFriendFinder.com
* "Huge German Personals" - GermanFriendFinder.com
* "Huge French Personals" - FrenchFriendFinder.com
* "Dating for people with experience" - SeniorFriendFinder.com
* "Nudist and naturist personals" - NudistFriends.com
* "Find your sweatheart from School or University" - Gradfinder.com
* "Adultfriendfinder is duplicated on other websites with the same content. All duplicated sites can be viewed with a username and password from any of these sites. These include Swapfinder.com, Passion.com and Xmatch.com, Freshauditionsdating.com, Adultrealsex.com, Hustlerpersonals.com, Hotmatch.com, Lesbianpersonals.com, Flirtingpassion.com
This article or section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. (help, get involved!)
Any material not supported by sources may be challenged and removed at any time. This article has been tagged since February 2007.
AFF have one of the most extensive advertising programs on the internet. A key feature of their online advertising system is pictures of attractive women supposedly living local to the website user. This is achieved by IP-localisation software. In fact, repeated observation makes it clear that the pictures and profile names alongside them are not matched, but rotate randomly. They also use culturally unlikely names for the supposed location of the women - e.g. no UK girl is likely to use the nickname 'fratchick', a 'britney' in Europe is unlikely to be 28 years old etc. According to the user's location, racially unlikely galleries of women may also be presented. Paid-up members have made similar complaints about unlikely cultural references/nicknames of supposed contacts on the actual AFF website.
On the AFF website, some advertisers (usually female) use faked details to entice others, including fake photographs. Some of the photographs known to have been used include those of well-known porn stars and similar.
There is some controversy over the true ratios of male to female members, it is suspected that the number of active female real members is very low compared to the number of males. It is suspected that AFF makes no real effort to deal with these problems, as it is in their interest not to do so - the website user has to purchase a membership before s/he finds out the true extent of these problems.
AFF has been frequently criticized as a popular target for phishing attempts and other online scams. Such schemes work by creating fake profiles with attractive female photos, and then using these accounts to attract visitors to pornography websites or to initiate scams such as the Advance fee fraud (AFF scam).
AFF, along with most major dating sites, employ an 'abuse team' as an extension of its customer service team, to deal with spammers, scammers, the obscene and the obnoxious.
It has been claimed that AFF consistently uses controversial advertising methods such as spam and spyware. Some claims suggest that they have hijacked AOL accounts of both members and non-members and used them to send out spam.
The most recent criticism to be experienced by the adult meeting website has to do with the use of "decoys". There are several claims that the people in the chat rooms are not genuine people, that they are "plants" or "decoys", the main goal is to start a continuous conversation with their mark. These marks are usually men or women who have not purchased complete memberships and in doing so are not able to access the full features of the website. The goal of the decoy is to convince these marks to purchase the full membership. Which would thus allow the mark full access to all of the sites features, such as the most important, email. Which is necessary to continue contact with the decoy who they believe to be an actual AFF member. The benefit to AFF, more pricey memberships are purchased and members remain on the site far longer than those with limited memberships.
There is even a criticism by paying members. Gold members are routinely assaulted with fake communications, requesting e-mail communications and asking to pay for an account on another website. Gold members have complained that 4 out of 5 communications are totally false.
Female genuine members should also be careful about contacting males on the site. There are some registered who just want to collect amateur porno pics and exchange them with each other. Many women say there is very little follow through if you want a genuine 'date'