The desire to find a partner is an innate human characteristic. Finding someone to share your life, your dreams, your goals, your home and your bed with is a goal for most people, but as technology has evolved, so has the dating process. More than ever, singles are utilizing the seemingly infinite access to eligible bachelors and bachelorettes to source dates and hopefully, loving connections. While hundreds—yep, hundreds!—of dating apps have been developed and released recently, one of the original big player was Zoosk. This international dating site and app has an impressive number of members—more than 33 million to be exact—and has a happy ratio of men to women, making it a smart pick for those who are serious about finding romance. Unlike Tinder, which is notorious for being a hook-up destination, most users on this platform are aching for a relationship—not just a one-night hoorah. If you’ve considered joining this community of hopeful and hungry daters, consider this your honest, raw guide to not only getting started but getting the most out of your experience.
How to Sign Up:
You can visit Zoosk or download the app of your iPhone, Android or Google phone. Though it is initially free to sign up—either using your Facebook, Gmail or email address, it’s important to note there is a fee associated with using the service. The idea is that by paying, you reap more serious members who are willing to put in continuous effort to foster a connection. Give yourself a half-hour to fill out the not-too-lengthy profile, including a handful of questions, including sexual preferences, location and other need-to-known info to help match you with quality users who, hey, might just be the love of your life.
What to Expect With Zoosk
Oftentimes when you download a new dating app, it feels a lot like walking into a bar, putting yourself out on a limb, yet again. Navigating the in’s and out’s of every site and understanding how members interact takes time. Before you get your hopes too high up, take into account much like every rose has its thorn, there are perks and downfall to each dating site. After all, if one was a one-stop-shop for success, it’d be the only one available! Here, experts share what they love most about Zoosk—and what they could do without.
It’s huge—and it’s not free.
Considering most online dating sites are 100 percent free, you might think an associated cost is a negative aspect of Zoosk. Think again, according to professional online dating profile writer Eric Resnick. In fact, when someone pays for a service—much like hiring an assistant, a housecleaner and so on—you put more effort into anything when you know you’ll see the charge at the end of the month. “The fact that it isn’t a free app like Tinder or POF creates a small barrier of intent that keeps some of most undesirable people at bay. If someone isn’t serious enough about meeting someone that they can’t come up with $17.99, you don’t need them messaging you,” he explains.
He also adds one of the most essential qualities of a dating app is having a plethora of singles to choose from. This is where Zoosk really wins, since he explains it’s one of the top four dating sites in terms of traffic.
Pros and Cons From the experts
Pro: You can set up auto reply.
When you’re taking a quick jaunt across the Atlantic to tour through Europe or heading south to waste hours by the blue intrigue of the Caribbean, what do you make sure to do at work? Set up an out of office, right? With Zoosk you can exercise a similar tactic to ensure you don’t lose anyone’s interest when your busy. Life coach Ann Ball says this is a major perk, since having ‘Sorry, I can’t respond right now but I am flattered by your interest in me’ set up may help you score more dates. Everyone loves getting a response right? Use it. The worst thing that can happen is you put a smile on someone’s face,” she says.
Pro: It’s all about identity verification.
While it’s pretty standard across all dating apps these days, Resnick says Zoosk made history when they became the first site to verify your identity by linking to your Facebook account. Though you don’t have to provide that anymore to join, he says the app does offer multiple ways to prove you are who you say you are. From photo and phone number verification to social media accounts, and even military service record, you can rest assured that you are speaking to the person you’re matched with. Obviously, the greatest incentive of this feature is the confidence to know you aren’t being catfished. “In a world where it is very easy for scammers to pretend to be someone else, it’s good to see Zoosk offering so many tools to help protect their members,” he adds.
Pro: You don’t have to swipe.
Again, this might seem like a downer for millennials who are used to swiping left and right for love, but Resnick says that thumb fatigue is real. “It’s a mindless process that is better suited to keeping you amused while you sit on the toilet than it is to helping you find love,” he explains. Zoosk does offer a ‘carousel’ feature where you can swipe, but more importantly, it’s about sifting through detailed profiles and searches, inviting (and challenging) you to be serious about your partner. “This gives you the ability to move past the photo and see if you actually like the person,” he adds.
Con: Members put in less effort.
Though this might be a standard practice for every member, Resnick says sometimes having millions of options can entice laziness. “Far too many of the profiles on Zoosk only have one photo and don’t have any written portions of the profile filled out by the members. Because of this, it can reduce the feeling of the matching process to Tinder-like frustration,” he explains. In future instances of the app, he hopes Zoosk would require at least a little writing in self-description, since he says it would be much easier to determine whether or not someone is worth messaging.
Con: Virtual gifts are silly.
On Zoosk, if you want to express you have your eye on someone in a different way, you can purchase a virtual gift and send it their way. Perhaps fun in theory, Resnick says generally speaking, they’re rather silly. “They say that the virtual gifts are a great way to show that you are interested, but they are more commonly sent by people to themselves to make their profiles look more popular,” he continues. “There is no person in the world who would prefer a JPEG of a flower over the start of a conversation. It’s a waste and a distraction for the people who want to use the site.” Instead, he recommends focusing your efforts on meaningful conversations and connections, and less on sending a fake box of chocolates.
Con: The carousel needs some work.
The only part of Zoosk that mimics Tinder is their carousel, which offers the swiping notion. Though a quick and easy way to get started, Balls says it’s a confusing feature. How come? One main reason: it isn’t geographically based.”It’s using an algorithm to find matches for you, but they don’t offer geographic location. Swipe right and you can find yourself meeting someone 750 miles away! It’s not helpful when you’re looking for love,” she explains.
What Users Are Saying…
User reviews are both helpful and can be jaded, depending on how much success they found on Zoosk. It’s likely worth it to try it yourself, but if you want to get a sense of what users are saying, here are a few soundbites to consider:
Tips for Zoosk Success
If you’re ready to give your chances on Zoosk a whirl, experts reveal the most effective ways to reap what you want the most out of online dating: to get offline—and in love!
Don’t half-ass it.
Resnick says if you’re not only going to answer questions, pick out attractive photos and pay for this service, you better put your whole heart into it. After all, when has a sloth-like nature ever been attractive to anyone? “Fill out your profile completely and post a minimum of three profile photos. You can’t expect people to be attracted to a single photo. If you don’t actually try to fill out the whole thing, you look like you aren’t even interested in meeting someone,” he recommends.
Use the search.
Since the ‘carousel’ feature is still being developed, Resnick strongly encourages using the search feature for better odds of matching. More importantly, you know what you want more than anyone else, so don’t take Zoosk’s opinion to heart. Instead, you want to find what matters the most to you, based on your past experiences and preferences. “Any automated search is pretty much useless when it comes to finding someone you actually want. Instead, just stick to the detailed search and focus only on the members that actually meet your criteria for what is and is not a good match,” he adds.
Choose your best—most honest—photos.
Ball says while it doesn’t have to be professional, your photos should really illustrate who you are today—not years ago. Here’s the deal: starting off any relationship on a lie, even if it’s just about your hairline or how much you weigh, isn’t a smart idea. The best connections are founded on trust, and using accurate representations of who you are is essential for longevity in love. Put your best face forward—and well, smile already! “Everyone is looking for a great smile. Your smile shows your inner and outer beauty and that you’re fun to be around. I can’t tell you how many men I’ve swiped left on because their picture looks more like a mug shot than a man looking to meet a woman,” Ball adds.