You want a dating app that isn’t Tinder.
But is equally popular and more importantly, right for you.
In this article, you’ll get the 10 best (free) Tinder alternatives.
- The ultimate soul-finder app
- The future of dating apps: which app gives you the best sex life?
- 7 Tinder Alternatives that can give you more relationships, hookups, and meaningful connections
- A copy-pastable opener she can’t resist (works on EVERY app!)
- Screenshot examples of the Tinder alternatives
- And more…
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What are the best Tinder alternatives?
While there are MANY dating apps, only a handful can rival Tinder and give you what you want.
Here are the 10 Best Tinder Alternatives:
- Plenty of Fish
- The League
- Coffee Meets Bagel
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, a short analysis of the online dating landscape of 2020.
How popular will dating apps be in 2020?
Dating apps have been around for almost a decade, but will they stick around?
Some experts say teenagers prefer real-life interactions to online texting, but the numbers don’t lie.
About 15% of American adults, roughly 50 million, are using websites and dating apps in search of romance.
In 2020 alone, the American online dating industry is good for 2.1 billion dollars.
Although some sources say the market will shrink, others predict it’ll grow by another 25% by the end of 2020.
Dating services benefit from increasing millennial spending power, young adults delaying life milestones like marriage and home ownership, as well as working longer hours.
That combined with increasing reach of the internet, and growing acceptance of online dating all seem to point to the same:
Dating apps are here to stay.
What features and benefits do Tinder alternatives offer?
It’s sad but true…
Most of Tinder’s features are stolen by up-and-coming dating apps. Leaving you a Tinder clone army.
Luckily the successful newcomers came up with some unique ideas of their own, like:
- Video calling
- Voice messages
- The option to send photos and other images
- Profile videos
- Unique filter options (Badoo lets you search for your celebrity crush lookalike)
- Profile performance analysis
- Giving Tinder paid features away for free (Bumble lets you undo a left swipe for free)
In short, plenty of reasons to use another app besides Tinder.
Let’s start with #10 of our Tinder Alternatives.
If you’re a straight man that has heard of Grindr, you’re probably not reading this sentence.
Yes, I realize Grindr only caters to a few of you since it’s a dating app focusing on the LGBTQ-community.
But Grindr deserves an honorable mention because it was founded 3 (!!!) years before Tinder.
Are you still here?
Cool. You’re either into everything gay, bi, trans and queer. Or you just love reading my work.
What can you expect from Grindr?
Registration is free and your account will be up within 60 seconds, despite that your photo needs to be approved by Grindr’s team.
Although you have a bunch of profile fields, most can be left empty.
Unique to Grindr is that you can state your ‘sexual health’ and show when you last got tested, among other things.
On a lighter note, Grindr has over 500 unique Gaymojis that aren’t available on any other social app.
As a free member, you can view up to 100 profiles.
If you want more, you can start a 7-day premium trial and browse up to 300. Plus, get access to certain premium features.
One important comment before we move on: Grindr is largely aimed at hookups.
If you’re looking for commitment, Grindr may not be for you.
Badoo was around before Tinder and was the original ‘dating app’.
I use the term dating app liberally, because Badoo is actually a social networking site designed for networking, meeting friends, or finding a partner.
Let’s get down to business.
With over 450 million users from all around the world, and growing as we speak, Badoo is a TITAN.
And like Tinder, you can find a match without spending a dime.
Although Badoo rivals Tinder in popularity, there is one big difference: demographics.
Roughly half of Tinder’s user base is below 30 years old. Whereas Badoo has a more evened out audience.
That said, Badoo seems to attract the… immature.
To sign up, you have a bunch of options: Google+, LinkedIn and email to name a few.
Plus, Badoo demands you verify your identity.
Once your account is up and running, you’re ready to go.
Which brings you to:
- Badoo’s take on swiping, called Encounters,
- The proximity-based connector, called People Nearby, or
- Badoo Lookalikes where you can find your celebrity crush or, if you’re like me, your twin
Both free and easy to use.
If you go premium, Badoo also lets you get in touch with women:
- Who saw your profile
- Who liked you
- Who favorited you, and
- Who are the most popular
In short, Badoo gives you lots more options to reach out and set up dates.
Much depends on how popular the lucky lady is. If she’s especially popular, Badoo demands you shell out special digital credits that cost real dollars.
- Easy to sign up and get started
- Lots and lots of people
- If she doesn’t like you back, you can still get in touch with paid features
- The Badoo Lookalike feature is fun
- The audience seems to be more ‘plebby’ than Tinder
- It’s easy to spend too much money on Badoo credits
Although not the most famous or popular dating service, it is the world’s first.
Match.com has been setting up dates, relationships and marriages for the past 23 years.
At Least we know it works.
And most remarkably, Match.com is still around despite the hundreds of newcomers that broke through onto the dating market.
How did Match.com survive?
Thanks to its one-of-a-kind matching algorithm. Without getting into detail, it ‘learns’ who you are with every use.
Giving you the best matches imaginable.
The role of Match.com is simple:
Once the more casual dating apps don’t give you what you want, you switch to the ultimate soulmate finder.
And because the dating service costs money, most of its users tend to be in the same boat.
Almost everyone wants a lasting relationship. Although it can also be used for hookups of a higher caliber.
Let’s dive into the details.
Match.com separates itself from most dating apps with a detailed questionnaire.
First you tell the algorithm what it is you’re looking for in terms of looks, background, education, hobbies, and specific dealbreakers.
Once you give Match.com an idea of what you want, you fill in multiple fields that describe yourself.
After 30 minutes of questions, you upload your photos and start your search for romance.
Every day, Match.com gives you 9 – 12 matches that you can like or dislike.
Ignoring the recommended matches, you can also reach out to women who’ve:
- Winked at you
- Liked you
- Viewed you, and
- Favorited you
Plus, you can simply search through the Match.com stack using various filters.
- Great for finding relationships
- Best matching algorithm on the market
- Super detailed search options
- Hand-picked daily matches
- Tons of ways to reach out and show interest
- The recommended profiles will sometimes show you your perfect 10 even though she lives hundreds of miles away
- Paid only
#7: Coffee Meets Bagel
No, I’m not talking about drinking down your sawdust donut with a cup of joe.
Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating app designed to save you time.
When the app appeared on Shark Tank, the creators were offered 30 million smackaroos. Which they rejected.
So what exactly makes the dating service so special?
It appeals to a specific audience who:
- Wants to keep his or her dating life private
- Believes lasting romance is most likely found inside your social circle, and
- Who strongly dislikes awkward meet ups
How does it work?
Every day at noon, the app’s algorithm dips its hand into your pile of Facebook friends and pulls out up to 21 ‘Bagels’ (compatible matches) based on your preferences.
There is no swiping, ahem.
Once you get a Bagel, you can Like, Pass or send a text.
And don’t dilly dally.
If you don’t make a choice before you get your next round of Bagels, your old Bagels will be tossed in the trash. Just like real life.
Remember how I said there is no swiping so that you save time?
CMB lied. You also have a ‘Discover’ tab where you can search through profiles that the algorithm ignores.
If you find a lady you like in your discover tab, you have to pay ‘Coffee Beans’ (digital points) to match her.
You can buy Coffee Beans with hard-earned cash, or in-app tasks.
- Great if you don’t have time to swipe
- Because it uses your Facebook, your potential matches are all legit
- The free version gives you all you need for dates
- You can only like up to five people a day
- The app only gives you 21 potential matches per day (women see a max of 5 notifications of men who already liked them)
- You lose your match after 7 days
- Matching with friends of friends may mean you run into co-workers or exes
The dating service’s tagline says it all:
“Find the people you’ve crossed paths with.”
Did you order your Mocha Light Frap from a cute coffee barista?
Get out your phone and look for her on Happn.
If she has the app installed, you can send her a Heart.
Does she heart you back? Now you can exchange texts.
Crossing paths on Happn is pretty forgiving.
With a radius of 250 meters (273 yards), the app lets you reach out to people who are several streets away.
The above image is the Happn Map.
And shows up after you scroll to a specific location you visited.
Tap one of the numbers to open a screen of all the profiles you’ve seen in that spot.
Not sure what to send your crush?
I’ve got just what you need…
The Clickbait Opener.
Send her text she can’t resist by using the power of clickbait.
Plus a short video where I give you 2 follow-up lines and 7 screenshot examples of the opener in action.
Another way to meet singles is CrushTime.
A random mini-game where you see four profiles and have to guess who liked you.
Did you guess right? You have a new crush.
Guessed wrong? You just sent someone else a heart.
The last way to meet women is the I’m Free To…-feature.
Where you can select a bunch of activities, like catch a movie or go for a walk.
Once you make your choice, any Happn ladies who cross your path will see your date proposal and can reply “I’m in.”
Does she want to join you? Then you only have to send the word, which costs in-app credits.
- Frequently crossing paths with the same person increases the odds of matching and meeting up
- It’s free
- You have a second chance at love
- Happen lets you send voice messages and Spotify songs
- To get enough matches, you really need to live in a busy city
- You have few options to curate your matches
- If you had a bad experience with someone you met during your daily trip through town, odds are you’ll bump into him or her again
OkCupid is like the alternative bar on the college campus.
You’ll find liberal art students, young entrepreneurs and brainy engineers under one roof.
Is that enough to choose OkCupid over Tinder?
Let’s find out.
Firstly, because the company has been around for 14 years, the user base is huge.
Every week the app gets 1 million new downloads.
But what really makes the dating service stand out is its focus on diversity and inclusivity.
With dozens of gender identities and sexual orientations, OkCupid caters most to the metoo crowd.
Is that all there’s to it?
No, OkCupid also has a fun take on the questionnaire.
Most dating services get overly deep about questions that most people don’t dare answer truthfully.
OkCupid does away with the ‘meaningful’ questions and asks you stuff like, “Would you rather go to a music festival or sporting event?”
Much more insightful. And also more fun to answer.
After five minutes of questions, you get to the good stuff: matching.
You can swipe faces or ‘discover’ cute singles based on hobbies, musical tastes, Game of Thrones, and more.
Matching is standard: if you both like each other, you’re invited to a chatroom.
- The #1 LGBTQ dating app that’s not super ghey and on the fringe
- An even mix of users who want hook-ups or commitment
- Provides way more info about your matches than Tinder
- Wide-ranging audience
- Free works just fine
- Not as popular in Europe as in America
- Go outside the cities and your matches will plummet
#4: The League
The League motto is “Quality over quantity.”
Is your greatest issue with Tinder that you can’t find someone who is as ambitious, intelligent and career-minded as you?
The League may be exactly what you want.
That said, the 5-year-old dating app is still in its infancy and has only launched in specific cities.
If you don’t live in a metropolis, odds are you can’t access the app.
This may sound sucky, but exclusivity is precisely why its users love League.
Even if you do live in a large city, membership isn’t guaranteed.
Only the best of the best get in.
Put simply, you either need to come from an Ivy League school, be the owner of a successful business, or have a body that will turn the Gods green of envy.
Or do you?
Experience shows that all you really need is connections. The more friends you have on Facebook and LinkedIn, the bigger the chances you get in.
Even so, getting in isn’t easy.
The waiting list in the US alone is currently over 100,000 people long. Although you can skip the line if you have Scrooge McDuck money.
So what happens once you get into the elite club?
The app’s robots give you a handful of potential partners. Literally.
Few members obviously means few matches.
Don’t like the matches you see, or simply want more? Buy ‘League Tickets’ to get an extra batch of prospects.
You also have search filters to find exactly what you want. And there are group chats where you can arrange meet ups with fellow elites.
Both require $$$.
To sum it up, this app is the best way of finding a ‘power’ partner.
- Women outnumber men 2 to 1
- Almost all its members are high up on the career ladder
- Feels good when you get in
- Everyone is vetted
- Logging in regularly pays off
- Limited amount of matches
- Dating app based around education and profession, not personality
- Word around the campfire says people of color rarely make it in
- Almost every app feature has a price tag
- If you ghost the app, your hidden ranking goes down and you may even get kicked
Hinge got off to a rough start in 2012, but reinvented itself as THE relationship app.
The dating app’s latest marketing campaign ran the slogan, “Designed to be deleted.”
Let’s see if Hinge delivers and separates itself from Tinder.
The first thing that stands out about Hinge is registration.
When you sign up you have to fill in your personal info called ‘Vitals’. Your perspective on important matters like politics and drugs called ‘Virtues’. And lastly, your photos and bio called ‘Profile’.
While the info dump won’t exactly make you break a sweat, setting up your profile does take longer than Tinder and other comparable casual dating apps.
Once your account is ready, it’s time to meet cute singles.
Instead of just swiping photos, Hinge highlights specific bits of info from a profile and mixes in the occasional photo.
Do you like what you see?
Hinge forces you to like a specific part of their profile and gives you the option to drop a comment.
Another way Hinge sets itself apart from Tinder, is by giving you a maximum of 5 likes per day.
With such a limited count, you’re motivated to consider your like more carefully.
To help you find what you want, the dating app gives you a large range of filters. Ranging from religion to drug use.
Perhaps you won’t even get to using the filter, because Hinge gives you the option to see who likes you for FREE. The same feature on Tinder costs you a pretty penny.
Messaging is straight forward. Although Hinge does go one step further than Tinder and cleans up inactive chats, giving you a cleaner inbox.
- You get to see who likes you for FREE
- Inactive chats are pushed aside in your inbox, giving you a cleaner experience
- Hinge users are usually much more interested than their Tinder counterparts
- Better user experience than most swipe-based apps
- Not very popular outside of highly populated areas
- 5 Likes a day won’t lead to many matches unless you have a good profile
PS: Check this article for some great openers on Hinge.
#2: Plenty Of Fish
Launching in 2003, Plenty of Fish is one of the FIRST dating sites.
And is hugely popular in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Outside those countries, not so much… yet.
The free Plenty of Fish experience is motivating lots of newcomers to go ‘fishing’.
So what makes Plenty of Fish stand out?
For starters, it has a HUGE audience. Over 3.5 million users log in every day.
Which means you’ll even get matches way outside the cities. Which is why I dub the app, the country bumpkin’s friend.
Thanks to its large numbers, you’ll also find people from all walks of life, who want anything from a committed relationship to a hookup.
Despite its origin as a dating site, the sign-up process is simple and much quicker than dating sites like Zoosk and Match.com.
Fill in a one-minute personality test and presto. You’re ready to go.
So how does it work?
No different than most: like, swipe, chat and date.
What’s cool about Plenty of Fish chat, is that you can send voice messages. A while ago you could send photos to.
Now that privilege is reserved for the ladies after the men sent too much inappropriate content.
Another big pro of Plenty of Fish, is that you don’t need premium to see who viewed your profile.
Although a glance at your profile is no guarantee she’s interested, it does help with inventing an opener once you get a match.
“I totally caught you stalking my profile! My mum always said I was special”
- Huge audience
- You’ll find daters from all sorts of backgrounds looking for commitment or flings
- Lands you dates even in the countryside
- Free is good enough
- A big user pool means lots of people you won’t like
- Competition is fierce
- You won’t know if she read your texts without a paid membership
That brings us to Tinder’s #1 rival.
As a dating coach, it’s hilarious how Bumble is Tinder’s strongest rival.
It’s almost identical to Tinder.
And yet became a threat to the swiping giant by changing one small aspect:
Women make the first move.
Even if you match, you cannot send her a text unless she goes first.
Despite its simplicity, empowering women is exactly why Bumble is seizing more and more marketshare.
And as of writing, women on Bumble match the men.
On Tinder, the ratios are skewed heavily against the bros. Forcing them to fight over (beautiful and empowered) scraps.
Perhaps you don’t know Tinder, so let me briefly explain how Bumble works.
Bumble uses your location to show you a number of singles in the area who fit the criteria you’re looking for. (The app asks you what gender and age group you’re after.)
Once you dive into the stack, you see one profile with a large photo and ‘About Me’.
Based on the bio and up to five photos, you make your decision: like, dislike or superlike.
If the other person likes you back, it’s a match. Or using Bumble jargon, a ‘connection’.
After connecting, she has 24 hours to start a conversation or the match is lost.
At which point another 24-hour timer starts ticking for you.
Don’t message back in time? Bye-bye match.
After the first back and forth, the match is permanent.
So what are some of Bumble’s cool features?
- You have a verification process to prove to the world you’re not a bot
- You can undo up to three swipes in a row (an undo costs 3 hours to recharge)
- You can filter out potential matches based on their relationship desires or smoking habits
- You have no ads
Perhaps most importantly of all, Bumble has a slightly more mature and educated audience than Tinder.
The feminist dating app has one major ironic drawback…
Women don’t like to text first.
And will often let the timer run out. Expiring the match.
When she does decide to reply, don’t expect much more than a “Hey” either.
- Equal man to female ratio
- As of September 2019, Bumble was the second most popular dating app in the US
- Google Trends show that Bumble is getting more interest over time
- Bumble gives you greater power over the profiles you see
- Women are usually more mature and highly educated
- Free undo left swipe
- Women are often hesitant to text first, losing you matches for no good reason
- Less popular than Tinder outside the cities
That wraps up the article on Best Tinder Alternatives.
I guarantee one of the above apps exactly fits your dating needs.
What can you expect? A straight forward video where I give you:
- 14 Pointers to optimize your first photo
- 9 Pointers to boost your bio, and
- Instant application of the pointers to a profile belonging to an email subscriber
For more tips, check out these articles:
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