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As this is 2019, all of these services, even the decades-old Match, offer both iPhone apps and Android Apps, but still have desktop counterparts for when you're at work and want to take a break from your spreadsheet to set up a weekend tryst. (Bumble is the one exception here.) Just be aware that the functionality can vary substantially between the app and desktop interfaces. For example, there's no swiping on Tinder's browser version.
While filling out personality tests and the “About Me” section is generally useful in helping people get to know each other, some things are left out. It’s almost impossible to put thoughts, opinions, and every personal detail into a small profile box. A potential date may see that you like hiking, but if you don’t put rock climbing as well, they might pass on your profile.
The Nuts and Bolts: Instead of having just a gallery of images, the app prompts you to choose a theme song to play during your photo slideshow. You can tell a lot about a person by the images they choose, but even more by the one song they have them coincide with! The annoying thing is that the app doesn’t allow you to look at only one geographical location, so even though I live in New York, I still have to sift through prospects in Los Angeles, London, and other cities. The other con is that it costs $8 a month, but I figure that’s like two cups of coffee, so it’s not a big deal to me.
It’s very quick and easy to set up and use. The profile creation is pretty standard. You add photos, age, profession, and interests, and you can also specify what you feel like doing, whether that’s taking a walk in the park, seeing a movie, or having a drink. Happn has some nifty integrations — you can use Facebook to set up your profile, hook up your Instagram account to automatically add photos, and add Spotify to see if your musical tastes align.
The initial questionnaire only takes above five minutes, and bam: You're set up with an account, ready to meet matches. However, there's a ton more stuff you can add to your profile to give potential matches even more info. Adding more is optional, so you can totally be mysterious if you want — but if you're picky or want to avoid future disagreements, I'd suggest filling out some more sections.
Zoosk Coins: You can also earn or buy Zoosk "Coins", which unlock your matches, allow you to send virtual gifts, boost your profile, and allow you to get delivery confirmations on emails, among other features. Coins cost $19.95 for 180, up to $99.95 for 1800 coins. Coins can be earned by using or signing up to various third-party apps, surveys, services and websites.
If you're willing to pay for it, The League is a dating app that does all the work for you. You’ll need active Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to log in, and you'll be assessed based on the information you've provided on these profiles, like your education and professional career. On top of that, you have to fill out an application and then are placed on a waiting list for an undetermined period of time that varies by the city you live in. Once you’re a member, you’ll have access to a personal concierge who does a lot of the work for you and helps curate your profile.
Within the first three hours of signing up, Happn welcomed me with 68 users it said I had crossed paths with, even though I hadn't left my apartment all day. It might be helpful if you're looking to date your immediate neighbors (or Uber drivers), but I struggle to see why this is much of a draw when competitors like Tinder already show the distance between you and other users. Frankly, if I saw a cute guy in a coffee shop, I'd rather just approach him than check if he's on Happn. The app seems designed for people who don't want to use online dating but who also don't want to approach people in real life. Pick a lane.
Signing up for a dating app is simple. With no e-mail confirmations involved, users are able to jump right into the action. Profiles are quick and easy to build, if they’re not just uploaded from your Facebook account. Setting up a dating app is so quick that you could, in theory, go from downloading the app to being face-to-face with a new match in less than 10 minutes -- if you really wanted to. On the flip side, most mainstream dating sites offer equally inclusive apps, so if you’re interested in the longer questionnaires that come along with algorithmic matchmaking, you’re in luck.
While Match.com offers the chance to find a committed relationship, getting started and searching for dates can be quite a commitment. Major competitor Zoosk.com (Est. $12.49 per month) takes a more low-key approach, feeding you better matches as you click on profiles you like. "You don't have to take a 3-hour-long questionnaire or play around with the site for days to figure out how to make it work best for you," say AskMen.com editors. The site claims 33 million visible profiles, and while it doesn't publish a demographic breakdown, users skew younger and tend to be looking for more casual relationships, experts say. It had 11.5 million unique monthly visitors in November 2016, according to Statista.
Specifying the age range and gender that you're looking for in a partner does squat to narrow down your options. Considering Zoosk sees a user base of about 40 million members, getting through all profiles that match your requirements could take ages, especially if you're looking for more than a hookup. By monitoring your swiping behavior, Zoosk can tap into your subconscious (okay, not really, but sorta) and give you what you want deep down. However, if you want to boost your profile or send more than a few messages, you'll have to buy and participate in Zoosk's coin game, which is more irritating than fun.