Everything You Need To Know About The 9 Dating Apps We Are All Using

Let’s face it, the world of dating has changed a lot over the last few years. According to a spokesman from Global Dating Insights, over 20% of heterosexual relationships and 75% of homosexual relationships start online these days! But with so many different dating apps to pick from, it’s hard to keep up: what are they and how on earth do they all work? So, whether you want to get in the game or you’re just interested in how all your single friends are spending their free time, here’s the lowdown on the most popular dating apps out there right now…

1. Facebook Dating: The new kid on the block

 

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Is there anything that those tech geniuses over at Facebook HQ won’t try? Facebook launched their Facebook Dating platform in the US which means it’s now available in 20 countries and will, no doubt, come to the UK soon. It’s an opt-in platform on which you make a new profile that’s different from your main Facebook profile (yes, your matches won’t be able to see the embarrassing photos from your high school sleepovers that you are yet to delete…). Then, Facebook uses data from the wider platform – your likes, activity, interests – to find you a compatible match.

UNIQUE FEATURE: The ‘secret crush’

Facebook won’t show you the profiles of existing friends. However, with the secret crush feature you can select up to nine of your Facebook or Instagram friends that you like the look of. If they reciprocate the like in their secret crush list then you get a match!

2. Tinder: The O.G.

 

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Having launched back in 2012, Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps in existence and can almost certainly be credited for catapulting the digital dating phenomenon into the cultural consciousness of millennials. It works by showing you a stream of profiles, each of which consist of a few pictures and an optional bio (expect to  read something like ‘Willing to lie about how we met…”), to which you can swipe left for no, swipe right for yes. People do seem to have regular conversations on the platform that result in a lot of actual dates. However, due to the reasonably shallow profile, Tinder has gained a reputation as the place to look for short term hook-ups rather than lasting love.

UNIQUE FEATURE: Location data and paid profile boosting

Two points to note here. Firstly, Tinder uses your location to find you nearby matches so when you arrive at a new location, the app will push your profile to the front of the queue.  Secondly, if you pay for the premium subscription, you bag yourself more superlikes, the option to rewind a swipe and the ability to boost your profile.

3. Hinge: The conversationalist

 

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Unlike the characterless playing card nature of Tinder profiles, Hinge asks for a lot more details from users including location, height, whether you drink, smoke and so on. Most importantly, it shuns the classic bio format and instead asks you to answer three question prompts which are then interspersed between your five profile photos. Prompts can be anything from “I recently discovered that…” to “My most controversial opinion is…” or “Worst idea I’ve ever had…” and Hinge users are infamous for their attempts at sarcasm, irony and wit in their answers. Nevertheless, it’s a helpful USP: the idea is that perusing users can ‘like’ one specific photo or answer on a profile and that choosing something specific acts as a natural conversation starter.

UNIQUE FEATURE: Profile repetition

Hinge algorithms have proven that people often change their minds between sessions. So, if you run out of compatible matches in your area, the app will start to slip in previously rejected profiles and give you (or them, depending on your perspective) another shot.

4. Happn: The one you always see around

 

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Like most other dating apps, Happn uses location but in a whole new way. If you pass a fellow Happn user in the street (within an 800 feet radius) a match will show on the app noting roughly where you crossed paths, how many times you’ve crossed and the time of the most recent encounter. You can then view the profile and if you want you can send a heart. When you both send hearts, this is called a crush and you can start chatting. Some people call this app fate, some call it freaky. Safety isn’t actually a problem because another user can’t contact you unless you’ve chosen to heart them. Plus, if you don’t want them to happen upon you, just click the X and the app won’t show that you have passed each other ever again.

UNIQUE FEATURE: Saying ‘Hi’

Once you’ve crossed paths with someone, you can send them a ‘Hi’, just like you might have done in person back in the olden days. This is similar to a heart but will send a push notification to the user showing your interest. Don’t be frivolously greeting everyone and anyone though – you only get 10 of them on the free subscription and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

5. Bumble: The feminist

 

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Bumble is very similar to Tinder in terms of the profile format and swipe functionality, however there is one big difference: when a man and woman match, the woman has to message the man first within 24 hours of the match. It means that the ball is very much in the woman’s court and was intended to stop females from being bombarded with messages from men (who typically swipe right WAY more). As a result, it’s been branded as the feminist app.

UNIQUE FEATURE: Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF

This app actually has multiple modes which you can flick between. When you need a break from soul-mate searching on Bumble, turn to Bumble BFF and set up friend-dates with people in your area. Need to improve your Linkedin profile? Switch onto Bumble Bizz and do some modern-day networking.

6. Wingman: The best friend

 

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How well do your friends really know you and do you trust them? If the answers to those questions are ‘like the back of their hand’ and ‘with my life!’ then this is the app for you! This premise is based on real life wingmen and wingwomen. Instead of singles creating their profile, they hand their phones over to their designated matchmaker who create one on their behalf (all good things we hope!). The wingman will then browse the app, send likes, chat and set up dates. The single friend can have a look to but if they fancy someone they have to send the profile on to the wingman who makes the final call.

UNIQUE FEATURE: The Wingman leaderboard

You can have more than one wingman and there’s a leaderboard which shows which wingman is doing the best at getting their bestie dates. So, if seeing their friend happy in love isn’t motivation enough, maybe a bit of friendly competition will do the trick?

7. Badoo: The look-alike

 

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Badoo was founded way back in 2006, has over 380million users and is similar to most other dating apps in that users create profiles – which include photos, videos and interests – and uses location settings to throw up potential matches. You can either play in a Tinder swipe style or you can view multiple Badoo users on a page at once (their picture will show in a small bubble and you can click on the bubbles to view the full profile). Interestingly, there is also a ‘visitors’ section of the app which lets you see the list of people who have visited your profile, when they viewed it and how they found you on Badoo.

UNIQUE FEATURE: The look-alike feature

You might not be able to date Jake Gyllenhaal but you can come pretty close with a little help from Badoo. On the look-alike feature, the app uses facial recognition technology to match profiles to famous people with similar features. Users can therefore search for their celebrity crush and find the next best thing!

8. Her: The one who hates labels

 

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Whilst lots of the dating apps allow the option to set preferences as lesbian, gay or bi and it is often possible to avoid defining your gender – many of them are geared more towards the heterosexual community. Her, is a popular option specifically designed for lesbian, bi and queer individuals looking for love. Once you create a profile you can see users in your area and globally and send likes. If the like is mutual you can start talking.

UNIQUE FEATURE: Recommendations that go above and beyond

Whilst the app has become a great digital dating tool, it also offers wider social features that highlight news and various other articles related to LGBTQ+ issues, events and questions!

9. Loosid: The sober one

 

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Since a huge chunk of contemporary social culture involves drinking, navigating the world of dating and relationships can be tricky terrain if you’re going sober. Not being able to ‘go for a drink’ (a.k.a the most popularly suggested first date) can be completely alienating. So if you can’t drink or you simply don’t like the taste of alcohol, then Loosid might be a good choice. You know from the get-go that you’re going to match with like-minded individuals and once you do match, the app will suggest a bunch of fun sober events to attend that are a lot better than just ‘going for a coffee’.

UNIQUE FEATURE: Connect with a wider community

Like the Her app, Loosid is more than just a dating app as it can also be used to connect with a wider sober community on a friendship level.