, an online dating site whose members total 2.5 million, said the number of its users 55 and older is rising as much as 30 percent faster than its total population.

The online site will now be featuring more seniors in ad campaigns starting this fall, according to Stephanie Schwab, marketing director. vice president Trish McDermott said, “online dating is as popular for seniors as it is for other age groups.”

In August, more than 16 percent of those active on the top five dating sites, including Yahoo! Personals and, were 55 and over, and more than 5 percent were 65 and over, according to NielsenNetRatings Inc., an Internet research firm. That’s up from 15 percent in the 55-plus category and 4.8 percent in the over-65 group a year earlier.

Overall, the number of people active on top dating sites grew to 22.53 million in August from 22.28 million a year ago.

Observers say one of the main obstacles in online dating for people 60 and older was overcoming their technophobia, but that seems to be fading as more people use computers and the Internet. Of the nearly 148 million people active online in August, nearly 20 percent were over 55 and more than 7 percent over 65, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

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