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. Once you've installed these apps and signed up for the services, get ready for a barrage of notifications and email. Some, like daily match suggestions, are helpful, while others, like alerts that tell you every new "like" you get, can just be annoying.
The good thing is you can easily tweak these alerts by drilling down into the settings menus in each of the apps. Dating is hard work, so we did some of the legwork for you by taking a deep dive into seven of the most popular apps. Check out our brief thoughts on each below, and then click through to read our in-depth reviews.
Everyone's needs and wants are different, so not every app will be a great fit for you, but if we can help play a part in uniting you with your forever person or your Friday-night fling, we're here to help. For more, check out our sister site, AskMen, for the top dating apps for finding a casual fling. The OG of the dating world, Match has been around since the '90s. It not only set the standard for dating apps, but also gives the most reasons to keep coming back.
It's a friendly ecosystem where profiles reward extra effort, but photos aren't forgotten about. Searches are quick and easily tailored and you get daily matches that seem like more than just a reason to get you to spend money.
Should you decide to open your wallet, it offers enough extra perks to feel like you've spent your money well. If Match is an inclusive, welcoming cocktail party full of people from all corners of the earth, then Tinder is the loud, crazy nightclub down the street that's primarily for to somethings looking for a bit of quick fun. Sure, older folks can hang out there too, but that's not who or what it's built for. Tinder knows you're only here to make a quick snap judgment on photos, so scanning users and flicking them into the discard or keep pile is easy and addictive.
Bumble is a happy bubble of dating zen.
Built to be safe and respectful of everyone, the app feels far more up to date than its competition, with modern language. For example, it asks you how you identify instead of just making you check a "male" or "female" box. It also puts all the power in the woman's hands—a man can't contact a woman unless she has shown interest in him first. Not looking for love? Bumble also offers a way to find new friends, and even a mini-LinkedIn-like section for professional connections.
OkCupid is willing to work to find you a mate. Throughout the signup process, it gathers enough information on you to make informed decisions before recommending potential dates.
It's a good happy medium between eharmony, which makes you answer a litany of questions before signing up, and Zoosk, where you can browse after entering the most barebones of data. Better yet, OkCupid lets you do a lot for free, including messaging other members. This app wants to find you more than just a one-night stand or a cool-for-the-summer situation. That said, you're going to have to work for it. The interviews below have been edited and condensed for clarity.
I am 39 and I know how hard it is to meet people. The reason I prefer Tinder is mainly due to volume. You will find more people on there than any other app or site, at least in my city. Tinder is also great when traveling.
I feel like I can take [Hinge] so much more seriously as a dating app than I can an app like Tinder. I feel Tinder has a "hookup culture" stigma that's hard to get around, and Hinge provides you with more ice breaker questions to help spark a conversation or [discover] a common interest. I'm happily married now and haven't used a dating app in 5-plus years.
The big thing that set OKC apart from other options when I was a user: It was free. But this was before a lot of advances in dating services. Tinder didn't launch until , and by that time I was invested enough in using OKC that it never occurred to me to try a different app. I'd like to tell you that OKC's percentage match [algorithm] , questions, and personality quizzes kept me there, but honestly I also believe people go on the app without a set idea of what they want overall, so the idea of a date and one-nighter is attractive and effortless.
I don't miss being single, but I do miss swiping. I am on Bumble and Hinge. Bumble has been my go-to for quite some time mainly because the quality of men I find on Bumble seem key word: No success yet, but I know friends that have had success so I'm still keeping the faith. I pretty much only use Hinge now.
I have tried almost all of them: Editor's Note: The timer is designed to encourage contact, and some people really do appreciate that feature. But if you're someone who procrastinates, Bumble may not be for you. Also because women must message first, Bumble tends to weed out the slightly more insecure males. However the rate of overly confident males tends to be higher than I've seen on other apps. Bumble also has a BFF feature, but that's really not the focus of a dating app gallery, so I'll save it for another time.
Whether you're looking for a hookup or an LTR long-term relationship , Tinder has you covered. It's basically the first stop for those entering the dating world. If you want to play the odds when it comes to online dating, you probably need to be swiping where everyone's swiping. On the upside the profiles are brief, which allows you to make decisions quickly. The downside is that short profiles make it harder to figure out what people are looking for.
Knowing very little about a person can also make initial messaging more challenging. You'll need to wade through a sea of profiles, which makes it easy to pass over people you might have given a chance under different circumstances.
OkCupid , how you confuse me. I have friends who've met spouses through OkCupid. My last serious relationship came from OkCupid.
In fact, I've been on OkCupid, on and off, for roughly the last 11 years. 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. Hinge focuses on common connections that you and a potential partner share on Facebook. Which is great if you trust the judgment of your friends and family. Of course, some of us are trying to meet new people, far removed from our everyday lives.
Hinge may have gotten the hint, since you no longer need Facebook to sign up. The app also asks questions to help you match with better connections, which can be a plus for serious relationship seekers. Coffee Meets Bagel hopes to offer users better quality matches by sending curated matches, or "Bagels," each day at noon. They suggest ice breakers for first messages and the profiles are more in-depth than Tinder.
For people who like a little extra hand-holding, CMB isn't the worst option.
Ready to jump into the world of online dating apps? Here's the best place to start. 4 days ago Check out our top dating, hook-up and meet-up apps that will help you find the Right One or the Right Now.
However, I felt the app was confusing to use; too many features and too many gimmicks. I shouldn't have to lookup online tutorials to figure out how to use a dating app. And why call matches Bagels? I was also disappointed in the notifications, which were a tad too pushy and out of touch for my taste. CMB was constantly "gently" reminding me to message users I'd matched with and I found myself disabling the app after I received a notification from it that said, "Show [Match Name] who's boss and break the ice today! At the end of the day, I have friends who've had good matches on CMB, but it isn't my favorite app.
Happn matches you with people who are nearby physically.