Ah, Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air… and it can also be found online. Not surprisingly, in a comparison of US, UK and French online users, France had the highest proportion of its online population visiting online personals sites.

According to the latest tracking figures from comScore Networks, the French showed the highest proportion of Internet users ages 15 and older visiting online personals sites in December 2006, at 22%, followed by the British, at 20%. Americans were in last place, at 13%.

"The offline methods people use to connect with others for dating vary by country, and Internet dating follows that same pattern," said Bob Ivins of comScore Europe. "We note that local nuances are critical to success, as demonstrated by the fact that each country has a fairly distinct list of top sites in the category."

France’s most popular personals site was MeetIC, which had 2.3 million French visitors in December 2006.

In the UK, the most popular site was DatingDirect.com, with 1.4 million visitors in December 2006.

Yahoo! Personals lead the category in the US, with 4.2 million visitors in December 2006.

However, it should be noted that Match.com-owned sites captured nearly four million visitors — not including its significant powering relationships with AOL (1.0 million visitors) and MSN (635,000 visitors). In fact, the only site included in the ranking of the top online personals sites in at least two countries was Match.com.

"Interestingly, usage of dating sites seems to peak in the summer months in each country — July in the U.K. and U.S. and September in France," said Mr. Ivins.

Via eMarketer