Since its 2012 launch, Tinder has quickly become one of the most popular forms of online dating. Its simplicity has been part of what makes it so attractive to its users – using geolocation, the app shows users profiles of their preferred gender and age-range within a set geographical area.
Profiles consist only of a first name, an age, a 500-character description, and up to six photos. If the user likes a profile they “swipe right” and if they don’t, they “swipe left”.
This formula has been incredibly successful – with over 50 million users, Tinder has become a serious contender in the online dating world.
Until recently, one of the biggest draws to Tinder was that it was completely free. However, its most recent update included features (such as the ability to view profiles of individuals who aren’t in your local area or undo an accidental swipe) that can only be accessed by a monthly subscription fee.
Now Tinder also limits the previously unlimited number of right swipes that you can make in a set time period unless you pay the monthly fee.
Even for devoted Tinder users, this update has been a bit of a disillusionment and many are now looking for an app to take its place. We spent some time doing some research on the best free alternatives to Tinder currently on the market – the classics, the copy-cats and the creative – because at some point, we’re all going to run out of right swipes and need another app to turn to!
When it comes to online dating, there is a lot of comfort and success in choosing apps that are already popular. These apps are classic choices for those interested in online dating, and many of them have been around since the pre-app age of online dating. Even though everyone knows about these apps, they’re still worth considering. This is especially true since recent updates have made the apps more intuitive, more interactive, and more open to different dating preferences.
Plenty of Fish offers a lot of different features. You browse matches through a variety of different algorithms (including “my matches”; “locals”; “ultra match”; or “meet me”), and can choose to view their profiles, send messages, or hit a noncommittal “meet them” button. These features provide you with a lot of different options when choosing how to interact with others online, but the several different kinds of notifications can also become confusing!
Ok Cupid’s algorithms make it one of the best online dating platforms available. In addition to this, Ok Cupid has a much more streamlined design than Plenty of Fish, while still offering more options for connecting with potential matches than Tinder does. The “Quickmatch” function is a swipe-based matching system, but other matches (determined based on your answers to quick yes/no questions) are ranked by their compatibility to you. From your list of matches, you are able to browse others’ profiles and send messages to the people that interest you.
These apps put their own spin on the idea of mobile dating, as both focus on the importance of an eventual in-person connection rather than online messaging. They may not be super popular yet, but apps like these could easily end up being the future of online dating.
How About We cuts right to the first date, whatever your ideal first date may be. Users fill out a suggestion for a date that they would like to go on, and are then able to browse other date ideas from people nearby. This is a fun way of keeping online dating focused on the people around you, and is a creative way to express your personality without a questionnaire. Best of all, you know that whether or not you like the person, you are sure to enjoy the activity that you have planned!
Happn walks the line between really cool and really creepy. It connects to your Facebook profile, and then uses GPS tracking to show you the profile of other users of the app that you cross paths with over the course of your everyday life. These features makes Happn a really great way to know whether or not your cute coworker is also into you, but we’ll admit that it does run a few more security risks than your average dating app.
It was actually mind-boggling how many of the different apps we downloaded had a design similar to Tinder’s. In fact, even the classic apps often had an option to do this kind of matching.
Bumble was actually created by an employee of Tinder after she left the beetalk-bureaublad company, and was created with an intent to discourage gender issues in online dating. Bumble includes almost all of the same features as Tinder, but has two key differences – women are the only ones who can message a match first, and if they don’t message within twenty-four hours the match disappears. Bumble has only been available for four months, but these functions have made it popular with women.
Badoo also essentially functions the same as Tinder, but gives a little more biographical information than Tinder’s allotted 500 characters. As well, you can access people’s profiles without matching with them, and leave a “like” on the profiles that spark your interest.
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