The Best Dating Apps of 2019

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Choices choices. There are plenty out there when it comes to online dating.

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Picking the right dating app comes down to a few key factors that you need to consider.

First and foremost, your interests: are you looking for a long term relationship or are you looking to hookup? Are you gay or straight? Is there are a specific race, religion, age group or kink that appeals more to you? There are the overall best dating apps, and then there are a million others than can pretty much get as specific into your interests as you like.

Another consideration is how you want to engage with technology: some services like Tinder encourage the volume game: lot of quick choices swiping left and right. Others, like Zoosk, encourage deeper engagement viewing one full profile at a time. Some encourage lots of messaging and sometimes low value engagement through messaging, others are a little quieter, and are more about quality vs quantity.

Finally, there is the price, and this isn’t quite as simple as choosing the cheapest, because free isn’t always better, and what we really want is value for our money vs free dating sites and dates with bots. You can’t marry a bot (yet?).

The good news is that there are lots of options for you. on some of the criteria above, we are breaking down the best of the mainstream dating apps.

Zoosk

 Men/Women Ratio: 52% women (AskMen) 
Daily User Engagement: 45.6%*
Price: 29.95/Month (pre-paid plans go as low as $12.95/month)

 

Zoosk has over 35 million users in 80 countries and an innovative matchmaking algorithm that provides you with the best matches and reporting (Dating Insights Report) that breaks down your profile and the users that are interested in you.

Pros:

  • Clear, straightforward navigation
  • No information overload: the focus is always on one profile at a time with no distractions
  • Large international member base
  • Your profile and pictures are made secure with a photo identification process available on the Zoosk app
Cons:

  • Messaging features only work with paid memberships

Registration is simple and quick, a clean and intuitive design and a helpful instructional guide for first time users. Registrants have immediate access to user profiles and pictures, with the ability amplify their profile or send virtual gifts by purchasing Zoosk coins.

Potential matches are found by perusing a carousel system which lets you like other users, clicking on a star that tell the other user you are crushing on them indicate “maybe”, see which other users like you and other users you’ve liked.

Fun Feature

The Mega Flirt option is kind of the atomic bomb of dating app features and allows you to reach multiple inboxes at once. This superpower is limited to one use every 15 hours, use it wisely.

Read our full Zoosk Review

Match.com

Men/Women Ratio: 44.7% women (BI)
Daily User Engagement: 50.5%*
Price: $20/month (but there is a trial option for both app and site 

Match.com is one of the most recognized names in online dating, maintaining its reputation with an ever-evolving, matching algorithm that integrates user feedback. It stands out from the pack with it’s focus on community engagement, from cocktail parties to themed events (e.g. the  Bucket List series) and much more.

Pros:

  • Beautifully designed modern site and app with plenty of features for reporting inappropriate behavior and blocking bad users
  • Match.com hosted group events and meetups
Cons:

  • Pricier relative to its competition

Registration is a fairly quick (~5 minute) process, featuring the normal physical trait, demographic and psychographic questions before digging into interests. Match offers up 26 different buckets of interest (“coffee and conversation” or “volunteering” as examples) and users need to choose 5, a little bit more buttoned up than some of the other sites that  leave interests a little more open ended (we aren’t sure if this is good or bad).

The Match.com app is akin to Tinder in that users swipe left or right to say yes or no to profiles. User profiles and pictures are viewable with a free registration, but you will need a paid plan to be notified when another user views a message or if you want to boost your profile to stand out. You can see that you’ve received messages with a free account but you can’t actually read the messages.

Fun Feature(s)

A feature called MatchMe provides users a way to request to be featured in a users daily matches (privately). Bonus: the Match app has a  “story” feature (think Snapchat or Instagram) that lets users know what has been going on in your day

Read our full Match.com Review

eHarmony

 Men/Women Ratio: 55.2% women (BI) 
Daily User Engagement: 28.7%*
Price: 3 months: $179.85 / $59.95 per month, 6 months : $209.70 / $34.95 per month, 12 months: $239.40 / $19.95 per month

If you are looking for a hookup app, eHarmony is NOT it. From the outset when you engage with eHarmony you are aware that this is an app for singles who are looking for a long term, committed relationships.

Pros:

  • A thorough interview and onboarding process geared towards a match following  eHarmony’s trademarked “29 Dimensions of Compatibility” matching system
  • User profiles are fantastic and in depth, highlighting key personality traits of each user
Cons:

  • Messaging features only work with paid memberships

The registration process is very detailed, starting with basic demographic and psychographic questions (career, salary, smoker/non-smoker, etc.) before progressing to questions about how you see yourself and what you want from a partner, prioritizing how important certain attributes are to you (religion, desire to have kids, race, etc.)

This is just the starting point. The questions then get significantly deeper, and you are asked to rate self describing adjectives (“sensual”, “warm”) on a 7 point scale.  It is a longer sign up process (~40 minutes), but the friendly design, a progress bar and the knowledge that the questionnaire will lead to a close match make it fairly painless

To get the full benefits of eHarmony a paid subscription is recommended, as features are quite limited post -signup. You can see how you match with fellow users out of a 100 point scale, but that is about it. Photos (other than a few photos of close matches they dangle in front of you  to entice a subscription) are not available unless you pay.

Fun Feature

A guided communication option helps ensure you know enough about users before you start messaging with them

Read our full eHarmony Review

OKCupid

 Men/Women Ratio: 48.3% women (BI) 
Daily User Engagement: 49.8%*
Price: Free to browse and interact. Paid A-List ($9.95/mth 6 month membership) and Premium A-list ($24.90/mth 6 month membership)

A clean, no frills interface with a somewhat lengthy and in-depth (10-15 minute) interview process with open ended and closed ended questions around such topics and your personality, desired length of relationship and relationship deal breakers.

Pros:

  • Great features available immediately with free version
  • Straightforward, simple and fun tone and interface
  • Good for casual, semi-casual and serious daters
Cons:

  • Free access might mean access to members who are not as serious
  • Visibility into the people that like you only available when you pay

Once you’ve signed in you can browse profiles right away. You only see messages from users you’ve liked while paid versions allow you to block ads, and see notifications when someone reads one of your messages.

Fun Feature

Based on how you answered interview questions, Okcupid offers a Match compatibility and Enemy Compatibility based on the profiles you visit. This is very enlightening for users who would like to understand the types of profiles they should seek or the type that should be avoided…unless you like to sleep with the enemy, and with one eye open

Read our full Okcupid Review

 

Plenty of Fish (POF)

 Men/Women Ratio: 42.2% women (BI) 
Daily User Engagement: 58%*
Price: Free, with available paid upgrades

For a largely free dating service with a gigantic membership base (over 100MM worldwide users), POF holds it’s own in terms of quality of experience and a worthy addition to your arsenal of tools aimed at finding a significant other.

Pros:

  • Unlike many other dating sites you can access profiles and message users for free
  • A surprisingly in depth evaluation process
Cons:

  • Does quantity equal quality? Are there just too many fish in this free sea?
  • The POF app is nice, but we found the site pretty basic

The initial registration process is simple (and allows you to show a bit more personal flair than some other dating apps by asking you to write a description of yourself), but the real value of POF is unlocked upon completion of the “POF Relationship Chemistry Predictor” and other assessments. The Chemistry Predictor asks about 70 questions (~15-20 minutes) related to self-confidence, self-control, family orientation, social dependency/openness and “easygoingness”.

Once onboarded you have access to user profiles and messaging for free. An additional membership fee gets you the ability to send photo messages.

Fun Feature(s)

 For smart home nerds, POF is one of the first dating apps that you can access from Google Home with Google assistant. Bonus: POF will help you develop your profile and suggest what to write based on your relationship goals (casual vs looking for something more serious, etc.) so you can get better matches right out of the gate.

Read our full Plenty of Fish Review

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve heard very good things about the how personality questions on Okcupid help cut to the chase and weed out bad matches. Anyone else had the same experience?

    • Thanks for joining us Fred! Yes Okcupid has great screening questions. Users can also define “Deal Breakers”, which are specific questions that immediately disqualify a potential match if answered in the wrong way. OkCupid recently released some data on the most common dealbreaker questions, and they included those such as “Is climate change real?” and “Are you married, engaged to be married, or in a relationship that you believe will lead to marriage?”. That last one screams deal breaker to us!

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