Similar to choosing a house, credit card, or career, choosing a dating app is a decision that’s worth taking your time on. A portion of the 5+ hours a day you spend on your phone will go toward dating, so don’t you want the app you choose to be the best one possible? We’ve provided you with all the pertinent information — now the ball is in your court. We know the right choice will come to you!
Now that you've perused the dating pool and have your eyes on that special someone, it's time to bite the bullet and actually reach out to him or her. Each app offers different ways of showing your interest, but in most instances, this is when you have to open your wallet. Match will let you Wink at a fellow member for free, and Plenty of Fish doesn't charge for messaging, but in almost all other instances you're going to get charged for the reach-out. If you're not ready to express your feelings in words, Bumble lets you send Bumble Coins to prospective matches, for $2 a pop. Zoosk offers the slightly creepy option of giving Coins to other users to express your interest (for an additional fee, of course).
And then I found that CMB and OKCupid were just not as user friendly. I didn’t love the app experience and it seemed like most people were just looking for hook-ups there too. What I like about Hinge is that it’s not just driven by people’s pictures. When you build your profile, you’re forced to answer a series of questions — anything from your favorite movie to your best travel story or dream dinner guest. They’re all good questions because the responses give you a sense of who the person is and their interests.
Matching: to register, you fill out a profile, which you can do by signing up with Facebook, and then can choose to fill out an extensive compatibility survey. You can meet singles using two methods: by searching for them, using the "Carousel" (which works similarly to Tinder) or using SmartPick (which evaluates compatibility between Zoosk members and makes match recommendations). Zoosk claims to learn from your actions as you use the site, therefore making more suitable matches as you use the site more.
The Nuts and Bolts: I spent a whopping five minutes on the app—I think that says a lot. For starters, your five potential matches show up on a constellation-like sky chart (with you at the center—how groundbreaking). There’s no way of swiping left on your matches (or seeing new ones), and not one was even remotely attractive. So that was that for me. The app matches you based on astrological compatibility, which is amusing. It completely fails, however, to consider any other factor—looks, education, age, location—so the matches were a total flop to me. I think the concept is good, but the app is poorly executed, and the user pool seems low.
Happn uses the GPS functionality on your phone to track your movements. If you’ve been within 800 feet of a potential match, then you’ll see their profile. For that reason, it works best for city dwellers. People can’t contact you unless you tap the Heart on their profile. Happn never displays your position to other users in real time, and you can also block users if you have stalking concerns.
Sick of typical dating but still wanting to take the guesswork out of meeting people, she started to feel like she had to settle. But then, “I woke up one day and decided I wanted to have a threesome, and that’s how I came to download Feeld,” she says. She noted that the app immediately felt easier than Tinder or Bumble. “To start with, the fact that I was on there looking for hot and fun people to hook up with, and anyone I matched with was looking for the same, meant that I got to skip the awkward first few dates,” she tells me. “It also meant that I knew what I was in for, so I was never worried about someone suddenly becoming a slimeball. It really helped me feel more confident at a time when I wasn't confident about dating.”
Hinge started out by showing you Facebook friends of friends, but their algorithm is so smart that it has now surpassed friends of friends as a predictor of compatibility (AKA you won't be matched with someone all wrong for you just because you have a mutual friend). Rather, Hinge helps you get to know the other person more deeply than any new app has attempted, revealing answers to juicy, detailed questions about things like future plans, religion, and vices. Seems like a good recipe for a connection past physical stuff, right? According to Hinge, 75% of their first dates lead to second dates, so it's clearly working.
Dating is hard work, so we did some of the legwork for you by taking a deep dive into seven of the most popular apps. Check out our brief thoughts on each below, and then click through to read our in-depth reviews. Everyone's needs and wants are different, so not every app will be a great fit for you, but if we can help play a part in uniting you with your forever person or your Friday-night fling, we're here to help.
The most notable feature of Elitesingles is their detailed personality test; the results of this test will determine the various matches that the website recommends to you on a daily basis. Members will receive anywhere from 3 to 7 new matches per day, with the matches being determined by personality and preference compatibility as well as level of activity—users who do not log onto the website and use it will be recommended far less than users who actually participate. This method of matching is ideal for people who don’t have the time to try out searches and filters to browse through endless potential matches on their own.
Most sites don’t conduct criminal background checks or screenings on members. Members are fully responsible for any losses or damages whether direct or indirect. Members who decide to meet in-person are responsible to take necessary precautions to protect themselves. Several online dating sites provide “Dating Safety Tips” which explain how members can protect themselves from hackers or scammers. If a profile is reported for inappropriate activity or some other reason, companies do have the right to conduct criminal background checks/screenings at any time.
Plus, every user needs to answer a series of detailed and in-depth questions when creating a profile, including ones about how stubborn you are and your body type. Once that’s done, then comes the required chemistry assessment and a bunch of optional questionnaires that dig even deeper. If the mood you’re bringing into the new year is one that’s open and up for anything, POF’s tons of users are for you.
Once called '3nder', as in, Tinder for threesomes, Feeld is an app made specifically for finding threesome partners and exploring other facets of sexuality. You can join as a solo user, or sign up with a partner, and jump right in. You can also send other users disappearing messages, and there's an 'incognito' mode where you don't show up to any Facebook friends. Great for avoiding a potentially awkward water cooler conversation come Monday morning.
Spark Networks SE announced its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Zoosk, Inc. With the addition of Zoosk, Spark Networks will more than double in size and reach over one million monthly paying subscribers across the two platforms. Spark Network's current portfolio of online dating brands includes EliteSingles, SilverSingles, Christian Mingle, Jdate, eDarling, JSwipe, Attractive World, Adventist Singles and LDS Singles.
Bumble looks eerily similar to Tinder, but functions a tad differently. The big catch with Bumble is that when opposite genders match, the woman must message the guy first — and she has 24 hours to do so. Guys can extend matches for 24 hours, if they’re really hoping to hear from a woman, as can ladies, if they want to initiate something with a match but just haven’t had the time during the first day. For same-gender matches, either person can initiate the conversation first.