If the arrival of spring has you dreaming of romance, the best dating apps are standing by at the ready to help you meet new people. And that's even the case during the coronavirus pandemic. Dating apps have flourished in the past year, even if people can't meet in person.
A Marketplace report on the dating app scene found that the top 20 dating apps saw active daily users grow by 1. We don't expect that to change, even if the COVID vaccine le to stay-at-home restrictions being eased in the coming months. It helps that many of the best dating apps have responded to the times by adding video chat features and other ways to stay in touch even when you're stuck indoors. And some apps are beefing up their security features to help you feel a little bit better about getting in touch with strangers.
Different apps make their mark by taking varied approaches to the task at hand.
Getting started with dating apps
Some apps excel at helping you find flings with like-minded people while others are more focused on helping you build long-term relationships. Whatever your heart desires, there's a dating app out there that's tailored to your outlook and needs. If you find yourself looking for some companionship, we can help you sort through a bunch of competing options to find the best dating apps that fit your particular needs. When it comes to finding love in the mobile age, it's hard to topple Tinder, one of the biggest and best dating apps that also enjoys a wide reach.
Tinder has a reputation for helping you find quick hook-ups, though it's also geared to finding more permanent partners and recent additions to the app have improved user safety while adding video features.
Other dating apps boast strengths of their own. Bumble gives the power to make new friends to its female members, while OKCupid offers several different tools for finding romance. Eharmony has its famous algorithm for pairing up people, while Hinge's ultimate goal is to get people to delete its app off their phones presumably because you've found a lasting connection and not out of frustration.
Even Facebook has gotten into the act, with a dating service tied to its massive social network. Looking for a same-sex partner? Grindr was the pioneer in that space, while Her offers a dating app for lesbian and bisexual users.
Before diving in to find the right dating app to find the best possible mate, don't forget to consider privacy. Don't just skim past the privacy policies of any dating app you use, as those policies can outline exactly what a dating site does with your personal data. Also be aware that many dating apps — including several on this best dating apps list — are owned by the same company.
The Match Group, for example, not only operates Match. Tinder blazed the trail set by Grindr toward a world of swipe and scroll dating apps.
On its face, Tinder encourages you to make shallow, snap judgments about potential partners. You create a simple profile with a handful of photos and a few sentences about yourself, then throw yourself at the Internet's mercy. The app displays singles in your area.
If you like one, swipe the photo to the right; otherwise, swipe to the left. If you both swipe right, you can send messages and set something up. Interested in upping your Tinder game? We've got tips on how to use Tinder like a pro. Upgrading to a paid Plus or Gold membership at Tinder gives you premium features like unlimited likes or rewinds that give would-be partners a second chance.
Tinder continues to tinker with its formula, rolling out a video feature that allows you to make in-app video calls to matches without exchanging personal details a very important addition in the COVID era.
An even more ificant change introduced a Safety Center feature that ties into Noonlight app and provides a panic button in case you wind up on a date where you feel unsafe. Later this year, Tinder plans to let you perform background checks of people, pulling data from public records. That feature's coming to other dating apps operated by Tinder owner Match Group, in fact.
Download Tinder: AndroidiOS. For same-sex connections or friendships, either person has to make a move within 24 hours before that connection is gone, though you can get a hour extension.
Just looking to widen your circle of friends, as opposed to a romantic relationship? Bumble has a BFF feature for people who are not looking for dates and a separate section for making business contacts. Bumble added video two yers ago, giving one of the best dating apps a leg up in the shelter-in-place era.
A new Night In addition has added games starting with a trivia game to give you and your date something to do on your video chat. Download Bumble: AndroidiOS. OkCupid features a massive userbase and straightforward dating tools. But rather than rest on its laurels, OKC keeps refining and adding on features to its top dating app, such as a "Flavors" system that allows users to quickly view evocative flavors of potential matches, such as Kinky Nerds, Beard Lovers, World Travelers, etc. All this is in addition to OkCupid's messaging tools, personality quizzes, Instagram integration and other old favorites.
A premium subscription adds other features, such as refined search tools and the ability to see users who have liked you. Free users can set up online profiles, a few pictures of themselves and then engage in some online flirting with "winks", and have new matches delivered to them daily. More comprehensive features, such as the ability to see who has checked out your profile and liked your pictures, can be unlocked by a Match.
Match has continued to add on to its features, such as a Tinder-like Mixer, Android Wear and Apple Watch integration, and the addition of voice and video snippets to your profile. This April, with people stuck at home, Match launched Vibe Check, which lets you enjoy video chats with your matches.
Like Tinder, Match also added a safety feature that lets you alert friends if you're on a date and feel unsafe.
Another recent addition even lets you set your political views, so you can better find a person whose outlooks line up with yours or don't, if you believe that opposites attract. Download Match. Facebook Datingfirst unveiled back inlaunched in the U. The service has since extended to Europe, including the U. An opt-in part of the social network, Facebook Dating focuses on helping you find long-term relationships, not hook-ups.
You access the Dating section from within Facebook's mobile app, setting up a Dating profile that's separate from your regular Facebook profile.
From there, Facebook finds matches for you based on your preferences, interests and activities on the social networking site. Facebook won't suggest matches among people you already know on Facebook, unless you use the service's Secret Crush feature in which you can select up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers you have an interest in. If they also express an interest in you via Secret Crush, Facebook will match you up. You can add Instagram posts to your Facebook Dating profile as well as share Facebook and Instagram stories. Like other dating services, Facebook Dating is adding the ability to make video calls to your would-be sweetie, using the company's Messenger app.
Download Facebook: AndroidiOS.
Grindr allows gay and bisexual men to meet up with like-minded men nearby. Profile creation is a fairly minimal experience, focusing on a profile pic, user name, and a few simple questions, and choosing a "Tribe" that describes your type, and then you're up finding other users and chatting them up in minutes. Grindr is free to use and advertisement-supported, but the premium version, Grindr Xtra, offers ad-free browsing in addition to other features like adding multiple Tribes and advanced search filters.
One notable downside? Unlike other dating apps, push notifications for messages require Grindr Xtra. Download Grindr: AndroidiOS.
Every day, the app will provide you with a selection of matches and your areas of compatibility; you'll have the option to connect if the interest is mutual. Premium subscribers get expanded matching and discovery options, and other features like being able to see who has recently viewed your profile.
Download eharmony: AndroidiOS. Coffee Meets Bagel takes the opposite approach to many of the best dating apps, trying to focus on quality rather than quantity. Every day at noon, the app will send men a small selection of potential matches based on their profile and preferences, and women are then sent a of matches who've shown interest in them, leaving the ladies the option of reciprocating the like. If the attraction is mutual, then the app will set you up with a 7-day chat window and icebreaker.
A rede of the dating app puts a greater emphasis on user profiles, giving you the ability to comment on profiles and photos in hopes of fostering more connections between Coffee Meets Bagel users. Her is a dating and social network app deed with lesbian, bisexual and queer users in mind.
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You up with Facebook or Instagram s, and then view a stream of activity from other verified Her users both in your area and globally. You can Like photos of other users, and if the interest is mutual, the app will link you up to chat. Of course, it's also more than just meeting prospective dates, with the app offering social features, news and articles about LGBTQ issues, events, questions and more.
Download Her: AndroidiOS. Refusing to follow the trail blazed by swipe-driven apps like Tinder, dating app Hinge puts its focus on relationships and interesting conversations.