All of our top dating apps use an algorithm to match you with people you should be compatible with and interested in — and keep those “automatic nos” out of your feed.This is the real heart of online dating (anyone could sift through profiles on their own) and some sites and apps do it better than others.Not into the idea of creating a full-blown dating profile? As opposed to a matching algorithm that evaluates your answers to various questions, Tinder is all about first impressions — your photos are the most prominent part of your profile.And it’s easy to get started: upload a few snaps from your Facebook profile, add an optional bio, and start swiping through other users in your area.We tested any with at least a million active users in the US.It’s impossible to know exactly how many users are active on a given site or app (especially because mobile users aren’t reflected in Alexa data), but we’re definitely in the ballpark.That said, the fact that Ok Cupid, Tinder, and Bumble are free definitely stands out.
(According to a study from Ok Cupid, the majority of women don’t send the first message in online dating conversations — but they get great results when they do.) To keep our judgments as objective as possible, we used a rubric to categorize each message: Unfortunately — but perhaps not all that surprisingly — the majority of the messages we received on traditional dating sites were mediocre or downright bad. To send someone a message, both users have to indicate they’re interested by “swiping right” on their profile.No other dating site works as hard to deliver you the exact right partners, and that means results: In our testing, we found the highest percentage of good matches with Ok Cupid, and the second-highest percentage of high-quality messages.To unlock features like incognito mode, read receipts, and a larger inbox, you can upgrade to a paid plan for per month, but we think the free version is more than enough to get started.It organizes in-person events like speed dating, happy hours, and game nights for its members to help accelerate the search for “the one,” and it works — studies have shown it’s one of the top two sites to produce marriages.(Match.com’s user base is slightly older, too, which may indicate more people who are ready to settle down.) However, Match lacks the robust matching algorithm of Ok Cupid — it came in fourth place for good matches in our testing — and isn’t as streamlined as Tinder or Bumble. We also tested three other sites: e Harmony, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk.While we can’t recommend them, we hope we can save you the trouble of experiencing them yourself.