Sites with specific demographics have become popular as a way to narrow the pool of potential matches. Successful niche sites pair people by race, sexual orientation or religion. In March 2008, the top 5 overall sites held 7% less market share than they did one year ago while the top sites from the top five major niche dating categories made considerable gains. Niche sites cater to people with special interests, such as sports fans, racing and automotive fans, medical or other professionals, people with political or religious preferences (e.g., Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc.), people with medical conditions (e.g., HIV+, obese), or those living in rural farm communities.
Part of what draws some people to The League is the ability be extremely picky about the kind of people you want to match with. You can filter not only by age and location, but also by race or even education. Then every day at 5 p.m. you'll get to see five matches and decide whether to like them or not. Each user profile displays photos, location, height, age, education, career and hobbies. If both users like each other, you can strike up a conversation on the app's messaging feature. If you want more than your allotted five matches, you'll need to upgrade your membership, which costs more. The League also hosts events and group hangouts for users who feel more comfortable meeting people that way.
The site operates based on search, rather than any fancy, undisclosed matching algorithm. This means you can search the entire member database, and the number of members you can see in a week, day, or hour is never limited. Profiles have various areas to express your personality, and can be made as detailed (or brief) as you want. There are also useful questionnaires that give you insight into your own personality traits and compatibility skills, meant to help your online dating game regardless of the site you end up using the most. The site incorporates seven ways to discover other people, the most useful of which is with standard or advanced searches (done by who's online, by city, by new users, by contacts, and by favorites).
"eHarmony is a dating site for people who want to get married," Masini says. "This is usually the site folks go to after Match.com overwhelmed them. It's the next step down in size and manageability." There is nothing casual about dating on eHarmony; most users want to settle down and soon. So, if you're looking for a long-term, serious relationship, eHarmony might be the place for you. (Unless, you are gay or your membership is inexplicably rejected, which happens.)
Hinge lets you customise your profile to add three key bits of personal information - claiming this will help you find something more real. You can certainly tell more about your potential partners from their profiles, but the catch? It comes with the pressure of coming across as witty, fun and effortlessly debonair. Plus the answers might get a little old - we get it, people hate slow walkers.
Whether you're looking for Mr. or Ms. Right or Mr. or Ms. Right Now, there's an app for that. Fortunately, we live in the fast-paced, mobile age where you can meet anyone, anywhere, just by using your phone. More than ever, today's dating services are relying on technology mixed with people's desire for instant gratification. In fact, a recent study has shown that individuals are using dating apps more rapidly than any other kind of app available, including games, news and entertainment [source: Rao]. Whether you're looking for serious dating, a casual encounter or just a bar-hopping buddy, there are many services to choose from (and no more excuses that it's tough to meet people). Here are five of the most popular dating apps that you can download to your phone in about as much time as it takes you to read this sentence.
Why it's awesome: Plenty of Fish, sometime styled as POF, boasts 4 million daily active users, with 65,000 new users each day, apparently, and claims users send 1 billion messages per month. After registering for POF, hopeful daters take a personality test that then helps POF determine what they call, "Your Relationship Needs." Basically, it's a way to make sure users know what they want from their love lives, and to ensure that it serves users other profiles that meet that criteria. One unusual quirk: The site recently launched a feature that allows users to message others through Google Home. Says Spira: "They have a large user base, are a free site, and are very popular."
Studies have suggested that men are far more likely to send messages on dating sites than women. In addition, men tend to message the most attractive women regardless of their own attractiveness. This leads to the most attractive women on these sites receiving an overwhelming number of messages, which can in some cases result in them leaving the site.
Tinder is essentially the modern dating app. You've probably heard of this one already. Every time you load up the app, it shows you some profiles. You swipe one way if you like them, or swipe the other way if you don't. If a match is made, you can converse in a private chat to arrange a meet up. This app can be used for doing anything from finding friends to one night stands and everything between. It has bugs, some spam accounts, and some other issues. However, it's a good place to get started in the dating apps scene. In addition, the popularity helps ensure that people in most areas get profiles to look at that are also real people, and popularity actually does matter with dating apps.