Tinder shows you a photo, name, and age. You can tap on the photo to see additional information regarding the person and Facebook friends you share (if you’re logged in through your Facebook account). You can also choose to swipe right (to like them), left (to pass), or up if you want to use one of your precious “super likes” to show them you really really like them. If you and another person have both swiped right on one another, a screen will appear showing that you’ve matched and inviting you to send them a message. The free option comes with limited swipes, and you’ll have to pay per month for unlimited swipes.
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.
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.
POF doesn’t really offer a whole lot of unique features for you to take advantage of. The messaging feature with the ability to use your mic and send over voice recordings is probably the most standout feature. POF also has UltraMatch which offers up other users who match up best with you and who you are compatible with. It also goes Tinder on you with a swipe right or swipe left feature in the “Meet Me” section. Here you get to look at profile pictures of other members, and if you both click yes that you want to meet each other, it will show up in your matches.
Why it's awesome: On OkCupid, users can offer a ton of information about themselves through the site's Match Questions. Examples include: "Would you date someone who keeps a gun in the house?" or "Should the government require children be vaccinated for preventable diseases?" The answers to these questions help OkCupid determine which members might be a good match for one another. Of note: Per OkCupid's own stats, liberal women in particular have luck on the site. And in 2017, the site offered users the chance to answer 50 "current events" questions that illuminate a user's politics."OkCupid has been a favorite of mine for years," Spira says. "I always liked OkCupid because they have a great critical mass and they have the thought-provoking questions that really allow you to think about how you feel about some of these issues, whether it’s politics or gun control, and how do you feel about your date’s answers. People spend a lot of time on site just perusing the questions that other people answer, and I like that."
Tinder may have been around the dating block a fair few times, having first appeared on the scene in 2012, but it remains a popular choice for those looking for love around the world. Using data from our Global App Intelligence to find and rank the top 10 dating apps across the globe between January and July 2016, it’s clear that Tinder still has its spark. The app dominates the iOS dating scene in terms of downloads, generating more than 11 million installs across the world. That’s almost double the number of installs of its nearest rival, Badoo, and a fraction fewer installs than that of its three nearest iOS competitors combined.
The more potential matches you have, the more likely it is that you're going to find the right woman for you, right? According to James Anderson, dating expert at Beyond Ages, this way of thinking can actually end up backfiring when you're in the market for something more serious. "Many dating apps and dating sites are essentially a numbers game," he says. "You look through hundreds of profiles, message dozens of people, and maybe get a few dates. With Coffee Meets Bagel things are very different. You receive a daily match that is properly filtered to be in line with what you are looking for. Since you only get one match a day, each person actually takes the time to review the match instead of making a decision in two seconds based on the photo."
Features for introverts: You can really be yourself on OkCupid. Whether you're looking for the relationship of your dreams, a one-night stand, or a sham marriage (seriously, we’re not judging), OkCupid doesn't care unless you're being a jerk about it. On OkCupid, you’re more than just a photo, you can share stories, your passions, and pretty much anything else you want and feel totally at home.
Forget about bars, clubs and singles nights – dating apps are the new normal and far from killing romance, they've made it easier to find than ever. You can find your life partner or your next casual fling from the couch, on the bus, in the office, pretty much wherever your phone is. Sound good? Then swipe right and read on for our top dating apps that Australians use.
Clover is a nice, clean, easy-to-use app with plenty of Australian users and a couple of interesting features. Like Tinder you get to look at a list of possible matches that you say yes or no to. But unlike Tinder you can filter your matches based on things like their relationship intention, interests, occupation and religion. Once you find someone you're interested in you can like them, message them or play twenty questions to find out how similar or different you are. Clover also offers on-demand dating which basically allows people to shortcut the small talk and go straight to setting up a meeting. The app is free but setting up a search filter on user profiles requires the premium version which starts from $29.99 per month.
It may not be the number one dating app around yet, but Bumble is coming up in the world and making a name for itself with its twist on the Tinder format. You find matches in the standard Tinder way but once a match is made, the woman has to send the first message (unless you've made a same-sex match, in which case, either party is free to make the first move). This cuts out the problem many women have experienced on dating apps of being bombarded by too many messages from men, and is also intended to empower women and subvert traditional dating stereotypes.
“Performative” approaches to gender are based on the assumption that “gender is not something we are born with, and not something we have, but something we do” (West & Zimmerman, quoted in Eckert & McConnell-Ginet, 2003, p. 10). Gender must be “performed” repeatedly and consistently over time, and this “stylization of the body” includes language and other forms of communicative practice (Butler, 1990). Those individuals whom we recognize and acknowledge as “women” and “men” present themselves convincingly as such not only through the use of markers like clothing and jewellery, hair and makeup, but also through language, voice modulation and tone, gesture, and overall communicative style. This kind of referencing can be effected through textual practice, by generating inferences about one’s physical presentation as well as by making direct statements about it, and by employing communicative strategies that are likely to be recognized as gendered in particular ways.
CMB relies on a system of “coffee beans” in exchange for matches and “flowers," sent by admirers referred to as "bagels." The concept is cute, albeit unnecessary and kind of confusing. You can see which bagels like you in a scroll-down list of profiles labeled, "he likes you, he likes you, he likes you." The first time I use it I feel flattered, and also slightly attacked.
One of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to dive into online dating is through the well-known Plenty of Fish, which functions as both a site and an app. Regardless of which device you're using it on, the platform provides a feature-packed online dating experience that doesn't cost you a dime. There's an abundance of members from all different walks of life, most of whom are continually active on the site. Plenty of Fish is designed for finding people for long-term relationships as well as arranging casual, no-strings-attached meetings, although it skews more toward the latter option.
Coffee Meets Bagel is matchmaking with a twist: guys on the dating app get up to 21 matches a day, which they can like or dismiss. Women are sent a curated selection of the men who have liked them, and can then choose to initiate a conversation (and they can also browse for a match). Like Bumble, there's also a countdown element: once you start chatting, you have 7 days before your shared chatting window is deleted.6
Locating potential matches on Interracial Match is as easy as 1, 2, 3. There are two main ways that your matches are formulated. The first is a compatibility system, which matches you based on preferences you’ve filled out based on what you’re seeking in a potential match. The other is a reverse match system, which matches your profile with others based on the information in your actual profile.
The app does an incredibly good job at collecting feedback from singles, using it to help increase your rate of success. Members are given a report card-style dashboard that shows them why users liked or passed on their profile, down to the specific reason, such as low-quality profile pictures, as well as offering ways to improve their likelihood of getting “liked.” For any online dater, this dashboard alone is a good (and free) tool to gauge how their profile is performing compared to others.
OkCupid has as many downsides as Tinder, and fewer positive ones, with the exception of learning a lot more about your potential dating partners. The interface is extremely clunky and the photos are a little small. You also have to tap on a user’s small image to see a larger version and the person’s profile, which is simply too large for an app. It works on a website, but it’s overkill on an app, and the amount of scrolling required makes it annoying to access. When you exit back to the list, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be in the same order or that it will return you to the spot you scrolled down to, making it extremely hard to keep track of what you’ve already viewed.
Hinge profiles have a good balance of photos versus personality, making it the most relationship-oriented app. It's my favorite app, but I have a lot of difficulty landing a date. I air my frustrations to ELLE.com news editor Alyssa Bailey, who met her boyfriend on Tinder. "Did I tell you I used to have all my dating apps in a folder called Hell?" she says.
When we take a closer look at where Tinder is downloaded and who is spending, a few things stand out from the data. From a download perspective, the US is the place to go if you’re looking for love on Tinder, especially if you have an iPhone. While US users account for 25% of downloads on Android, they account for 34% of all iOS downloads. To put that into perspective, this puts the US download share 9% ahead of Tinder’s second largest market on Android (Brazil) and 26% ahead of it next largest iOS market (UK). This means American users have a much deeper pool of potential matches to choose from, giving them a greater chance of finding that special someone.
Past research about online dating has included both quantitative and qualitative work that addresses the theme of gender norms online. One revealing quantitative study by Hitsch, Hortaçsu, and Ariely (2005) tracked the online activity of 23,000 users on a U.S. dating site and found that they reproduced recognizably gendered patterns of selection, both in self-presentation and in the traits sought in a partner (such as height, weight, and income).
PlentyofFish is the biggest online dating website catering to millions of singles from its start in 2003. About 2.4 billion people visit the site every month to actively mingle with other singles. The site has a user base of more than 90 million active users and 3.6 million visits every day. PlentyofFish provides plenty of opportunities to create successful relationships than any other dating website.
Are you tired of finding what looks like that special someone, then having to pay to send him or her a message? Not only does POF let you send notes for free, but it offers helpful tools to make messaging easier and faster. This includes the Spark function, which prompts you to talk about parts of other users' profiles that you find interesting. That said, the interface feels plain and clunky, and serves up ads more often than other services.
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.
A 2012 class action against Successful Match ended with a November 2014 California jury award of $1.4 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages. SuccessfulMatch operated a dating site for people with STDs, PositiveSingles, which it advertised as offering a "fully anonymous profile" which is "100% confidential". The company failed to disclose that it was placing those same profiles on a long list of affiliate site domains such as GayPozDating.com, AIDSDate.com, HerpesInMouth.com, ChristianSafeHaven.com, MeetBlackPOZ.com, HIVGayMen.com, STDHookup.com, BlackPoz.com, and PositivelyKinky.com. This falsely implied that those users were black, Christian, gay, HIV-positive or members of other groups with which the registered members did not identify. The jury found PositiveSingles guilty of fraud, malice, and oppression as the plaintiffs' race, sexual orientation, HIV status, and religion were misrepresented by exporting each dating profile to niche sites associated with each trait.
Changes in the last year have made OkCupid a bit more like Tinder, focusing more on swiping and eliminating the ability to message a user without matching with them first. You can still send a message, it just won't show up in the recipient's inbox unless you match. Because who doesn't love sending a thoughtful message to someone who might never see it? However, OkCupid has pointed out that these changes did help lower the number of offensive messages users received, which might not be the worst thing.
The first thing you need to decide is how committed you are. As in, how much do you want to pay to make your heart go pitter-patter? Some apps, like Plenty of Fish, let you view profiles and send messages for free. Most of the others let you view your potential matches without charging, but make you pony up and subscribe if you want to actually reach out to them. While the monthly charges for the apps we review here range in price from $10 to more than $40, most offer a discount if you commit to a long-term subscription such as six months or a year. (You're not afraid of commitment, are you?) Then, there are all of the add-ons. Options—letting you pay to boost your ranking in search results, letting someone know that you are really, really interested in him or her or them, or undoing a dreaded left-swipe that was supposed to be a right-swipe—will cost you extra. While some apps may advertise themselves as free, all of them will try to get a buck from you in the end.