Since Tinder was launched in 2012, online dating has become more and more acceptable in society. In fact, 1 in 5 committed relationships were the result of first meeting through a dating app. I even met my current boyfriend through one. There are hundreds of dating apps available. Even ones specifically related to sexual orientation, race, religion and political beliefs. With so many to choose from, how could you decide? Don’t worry, read on so you don’t have to.
This app functions more like Facebook than a typical dating app. But instead of being able to friend request and build a social network through old friends or people you already know, it’s focus is on introducing you to people you don’t know at all. It started in 2005, but back then it was called myYearbook. It was officially re-branded in 2012.
Paid or Free: It is free to sign up and use the app but, like most apps, there are in app purchases. You can purchase “credits” and use them for several things like boosts (putting your profile at the top of a local feed), Match Spotlight (increases your number of admirers), Live Feed Spotlight (promoting a live feed to generate more views and discussion), diamonds (sent to Live Video Users that can redeem them for cash or credits) and various monthly packages.
Features: There are 5 main areas of the app. The first is Meet, where you are given profiles of people in your area. You can send messages to any of them there and it says whose active. The second is the very popular Live option, that is a feed of Live Video streams you can join. The third is Chat, where you will message people back and forth. The fourth is Feed, where people make statuses and also post photos. The final one is Me. This is where your profile will be as well as things like matching games, friend requests, profile popularity, etc. It also has a feature where you will pick 5 things that describe you (if you like to travel, if you like anime, if you’re a foodie and a bunch of other options.)
My Rating: While this app does have many interactive features that you don’t have to pay for, there are some things I really don’t like about the app. First, anyone can message you. You continually have to delete messages from people you aren’t interested in and block profiles. Second, I don’t appreciate the large amount of ads the app has. Third, with the Live Stream Service now available most people only want people to pay to see their live streams. That definitely doesn’t provide many benefits for building genuine connections with people.
This app, launched in 2006, says it is “the world’s biggest dating network”. It is known to be speedy and uncomplicated to sign up. It prides itself on being more than just a dating app, but a place where you can meet friends as well in a safe environment that protects against fake profiles.
Paid or Free: It is free to sign up and a lot that is offered to the user for no cost at all. However, they do offer a premium subscription that users can pay for. This allows your profile to be featured worldwide, you can see who liked you first, there is an invisible mode, you get unlimited messages, etc.
Features: There are 5 main areas of this app. The first is the world icon. This area is where you find profiles of people near you. The second is Encounters, represented by a symbol of two cards. This is very similar to Tinder’s swipe function for finding a match. However, when you swipe up to view their profile it will also tell you if you and this person have ever been near each other before. Neat! The third area is where you will send and receive messages to users. The fourth is your profile where you can fill in an “About Me” section, a “My Interests” section, and even find your celebrity look a-likes. The fifth is a Live section. Similar to Meet Me.
My Rating: My favorite thing about this app is that it has a very secure verification process that all users have to go through. You have to link a social account to your profile and when you initially sign up you are required to send a picture of yourself making a unique hand gesture. No more fake accounts! I also really appreciate that you don’t have to pay for this app in order to enjoy it, they offer a lot for free. The only real downside here is that it is not as popular in North American (Yes, hello that’s where I live. Boo.)
This is known as one of the largest free dating sates that you can use. Since its beginning in 2003 it has definitely lived up to that expectation. It has a very wide range of ways to find a potential interest. Swiping isn’t the only way to match! It’s one of the most in depth dating apps that is offered for free.
Paid or Free: It is completely free to sign up and use the many many functions POF has to offer. However, they have a Membership program that removes ads from the app, grants access to a “Behavioral Matchmaking System”, profile themes, seeing if your message was read (or deleted), and a couple more things. But that would only be if you want the “cherry on top” kind of experience. Otherwise, enjoy everything else it has to offer for free.
Features: I’m not gonna lie this app has a TON of features. In fact…there are 9 main features to this app. The first is Messages, where you can message all the matches you find. The second is Will Respond, which is a list compiled of people who are likely to respond. Great! The third is Search, where you can go looking for certain people. The fourth is Nearby, this shows people that are close to you. The fifth is My Matches, these are ones that POF recommends for you. The sixth is Viewed Me, this option is generally only available to those with paid membership. The seventh is Meet Me, where you can view photos of local users and chat with them. The eighth is your profile. I’m actually gonna talk about that in a separate section. The ninth is Favorites, here you can see who has favorited you and who you have favorited.
The Profile (In Depth): This is probably one of the strongest parts the app has to offer its users. There are so many questions that you can answer and is helpful when narrowing down your options. Things like marital status, children, if you smoke/drink, what you’re looking for, religion, profession, pets, etc. There are also several personality tests you can take to better match with other users such as Relationship Chemistry Predictor, a Relationship Needs Assessment, a Psychological Assessment and more. Talk about really getting to know yourself and other people. When people look at your profile, they also have the ability to start a conversation with something very specific to you instead of just “hey”.
My Rating: Whew! Still with me? I honestly like this app the most out of all of them specifically because there is so much to do on it. It has a wide variety of things to do, it doesn’t cost money, and allows me to really get to know my matches. Instead of installing multiple apps because you get bored of always swiping, install one that allows you to swipe when you want but also change it up every now and again. The only downfall would be that there is more of a likelihood for scams or married people and for that, it won’t be the highest rated.
Bumble is all about women empowerment, and that even goes for they way they programmed this app. They say “Things change when women are in control” and give women more power to control the conversation within the app. It was and is a game changer since being introduced in 2014. It’s founder was a co-founder for Tinder but the app is majority-owned by Badoo. Hmm!
Paid or Free: It is free to sign up, but they also offer a Bumble Boost Subscription that allows you to rematch with people, extend times to chat, more filter options, etc. You can also use Enhanced Features (a super swipe option that shows you’re really interested or a spotlight option to boost your profile). Otherwise, purchase Bumble Coins to pay for Enhanced Features.
Features: This app is extremely easy to use, there are 3 different interfaces and 3 screen sections for each.. The main screen is your potential matches. Much like Tinder, it requires users to swipe left and right on their matches. Just above your matches it says bumbledate, but what makes this app incredibly unique is that you can change that option to bumblebff or bumblebizz. Both are great for making new friends or professional networking connections. Woah! In the top left hand corner you have your profile. There is an about me section and a ton of things that will tell someone about you like your occupation, height, what pets you have, what you’re looking for, etc. Then on the top right you have your messages. What makes this app unique is when two people match it only allows females to send the first message, and it has to be sent within 24 hours of the match or it goes away forever.
My Rating: I really like the fact that women are the ones that have to message first. It eliminates getting bombarded with weird or immediately inappropriate messages. In fact, this app is known for having super low rates of any harassment or abuse from their users. Since Bumble is majority-owned by Badoo, it only makes sense they would have a photo verification process as well. This is not only safe, but also ensures you’re matching with real people. I am also a huge fan of the bff option, I’ve always wanted that feature.
If you’re sick of swiping left and right through countless profiles, then this is the app for you. (Wow, I really sold it didn’t I?) Three sisters introduced this app in 2012 because they were sick of how other dating apps worked. This app is all about making meaningful connections with matches that were specifically picked for you! But it is strongly encouraged that you connect a Facebook account so that you can find matches that you might not know but that you share a mutual friend with. Talk about a conversation starter.
Paid or Free: Unlike most apps, not only is it free to sign up, but a majority of the app is free to those who use it. You are able to purchase “Coffee Beans” when you want to do things like revisit an old match, reveal who your mutual friend is or pick a profile from the Discover tab. Messaging is always free which allows you to focus on what really matters….finding a real connection!
Features: This app is actually very simple when it comes down to user control. Most people don’t like a busy screen when using dating apps, so this is super convenient. There are 4 main areas you’ll use. The first is where your “Bagels” will appear. That is how your matches are labeled. Women receive 5 bagels of people who have already liked them and Men receive 21 potential matches. A woman has 24 hours from when she received her bagel to like it, say no or to send a comment. The second is Discover, since this app does most of the picking for you some people want to gain back a little more control. In Discover it provides you with more options that the app did not identify as your ideal match. You’re free to take profiles or pass them to friends (Give & Take) but you do need Coffee Beans to do so (Don’t worry, you can earn them too!) The third is Messages, time to get your flirt on and find the perfect bagel for you. The fourth is your profile, you’ll find that in the upper left hand corner.
My Rating: I actually really like this concept. Often times when you meet someone through online dating there is nothing that connects you other than what they looked like and the quirky words in their bio. When I meet someone that way, I always wonder “Would we have connected otherwise?” I think that knowing you share a mutual friend gives an added comfort level and makes it less impersonal. The only issue I have is not having more control on who is recommended to me. I know most people would feel the same.