This week on 30 Dates we’re exploring the ever-expanding offering of dating apps. Continuing from yesterday’s post, here’s the second instalment of the A-Z of Dating Apps 2015.
G is for Grouper
Grouper was the original live meet-up app (and yes, it’s oddly named after a fish!) A group of three female friends, matched up with a group of three male friends – like a triple blind date. Started in New York, Grouper came over to London last year, but then changed its mind shortly after. In its place is the copycat French option Smeeters, which is far less sophisticated and unfortunately doesn’t come with a cool app (or any eligible men, the last time I tried it!!).
I have to admit, I can’t work out if I love or hate this name. Hmm … probably hate! The den of glee is an extramarital dating app … so like Ashley Madison, but in dating app form. At least it might keep all those married guys off Tinder 😉
One of the most popular apps for gay men, the app boasts millions of members in 140 countries. More casual than other gay apps.
Notorious for being ‘THE gay sex app’, when a reviewer checked it out for 30 Dates a while back, he noted there were a notable number of men looking for relationships on the app, and the beauty of it was that everyone seemed far more honest about their intentions than on other sites and apps.
The Game by Hot or Not
Formerly just ‘Hot or Not’, this app changed its name because iTunes decided they would no longer display apps with the word ‘Hot’ in … interesting morals, considering some of the other random apps which come up when you do a search for ‘dating apps’ in the Apple Store! Test the popularity of your photos by finding out exactly how many people think you’re hot.
2015 began as the year of the ‘female empowerment apps’ with apps such as Bumble, Siren, Antidate and Lulu offering alleged female empowerment in a range of ways. The grade markets itself as ‘female friendly’ … though checking out the description, I’m not quite sure how it counts as specifically ‘female friendly’. Users get rated (like American school grades – A+, A-, B+) on Profile Quality, Reply Rate and Message Quality. If you don’t make the grade, you get ‘expelled’. With features such as ‘find out which is the hottest college’ it’s clearly marketed at American college students. I don’t know too many adults who’d want to be given a grade for their photos by the opposite sex, and it just seems to encourage using unrealistic photos on your profile. But then maybe the college students aren’t too fussed about meeting up in real life!
H is for HER
Formerly known as Dattch, HER is still the only lesbian-only dating app, though the app has now broadened to friendship too in its recent rebrand, after the founders realised a number of users stayed on the app, even after they found partners. The thing I love about this app is the Pinterest-like way you populate your profile.
Thanks to a rather aggressive PR and marketing campaign, aside from Tinder, this is probably the most talked about dating app. I haven’t used it this year, but as an early adopter, I have to admit I wasn’t impressed. It was hugely glitchy, and the location-matching switched off during the day (when you want it to work) because of phone capacity, but then would match me every night, on the street I lived on. Not great, in terms of safety. Recent PR campaigns in the UK have included showcasing the ‘most sought after’ users in areas of London, and articles about how many thousands of charms certain women have received from men. Hmm … The app has a reputation for having the most attractive users in London, but having seen the marketing ploys, I can’t help wondering if they’re all genuine members.
Popular in the States, the app works by sending you daily suggestions, based on your friendship circle (i.e. Facebook friends of friends). In this respect it’s similar to Coffee Meets Bagel, though Hinge sends you more than one option (and doesn’t call them bagels!). My Mate Your Date also has a similar premise (and a very similar tag line). While MMYD offers you ‘no randoms’, Hinge offers ‘no randos’. Spot the difference.
Launched last year, and then again at the start of this year, I’ve just received an email to say there will be another Hitch launch this summer. I’ve mentioned before the fact they feature a member of staff on their front page as a user testimonial. Another app based on friend matching, though your friends can actually act as the matchmakers – a function similar to the new My Single Friend app.
Dating app for stoners. Yes, seriously!
A chat and dating app for gay and bisexual men.
How About We
An American dating site, with an accompanying app, How About We falls into the ‘real life’ experience pool of apps, by getting daters to post their date idea, and then prompting people to meet up in real life quickly, by agreeing to the date ideas. HAW was bought last year by the company who own Match.com.
Had Me At Hello
Brand new app, started by a guy in Bristol, where users record a 15 second video message instead of creating a profile. It’s pricey though – £3.99 a week, or £9.99 a month.
I is for Inner Circle
The international elite dating club has its own website, and app, and has just launched an iPhone friendly app. It’s invite only, and members are screened so that only ‘attractive professionals’ make the cut. Huge in Amsterdam, growing in a number of European cities, and soon to launch in New York and Sydney, here’s an invite from 30 Dates.
According to its website, this is the ‘best UK dating site’. I’d never heard of it until I started searching for apps for this article ….
And the whole iRandomword thing is rather 90s, and a rather larger rip off of Apple, isn’t it?
See above …
J is for JPix
For over 10 years JDate has dominated online dating in the Jewish community. It’s HUGE in the States, and the most popular Jewish site in the UK. Predominantly a dating website, JDate has its own app – JPix.
Not to be confused with JPix, JSwipe is a stand alone app, which isn’t linked to JDate. As you can see, the further we get down the list, the more similar ideas are in the dating app bubble. I have to admit, I think the use of the ‘J’ at the start of the app’s name is a bit of a rip off … but I’m guessing American intellectual property law deems the two names different enough, otherwise JSwipe wouldn’t still exist.
A ‘chatting and flirting’ app which has been around since 2013, but never seemed to gain much traction.
Gay men’s social network (again proving just how many more apps there are exclusively for gay men rather than lesbian women).
K is for ??
Apparently nothing in the dating app industry … yet!
L is for Lovestruck
The popular London-based dating site covers all of the UK, Dublin, Singapore, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Sydney. The accompanying app is modern and user-friendly, and saw them win Best Dating App at the UK Dating Awards in 2014.
If 2014 was the year of the ‘anti-Tinder’ apps, then Loveflutter was a front-runner for the title. Promoted with parties where daters wore paper bags on their heads, this app is all about quirky facts, and not what you look like.
Another rating app, this one tried to get in on the ‘female empowerment’ bandwagon at the start of the year, by offering the capability for women to rate men they know. After initial fears men would be appearing on the site without their knowledge (and being slated by their exes) Lulu confirmed men have to sign up themselves to appear (though obviously there are always ways to create fake profiles) and can take down their profiles at any time. The app launched in the States and then came to the UK, though there has been little press about it over here.
Gay dating app with a rather flowery logo … and a provocative location on its mocked up images!
Upload photos, and use hashtags to tell people what you’re into. The chat function on this app allows people to send photos … which may be rather risqué if my own experiences moving Tinder conversations to WhatsApp are anything to go by! There’s also a radar feature to show proximity of singles.
Controversial dating app only for the rich, successful or beautiful. So you can gain entry if you’re a high flying professional … OR if you’re really attractive. The app describes itself as a ‘millionaire dating club’.
Invite-only dating app, designed for Ivy League graduates in the States, and now making its way over to the UK. Your chances of getting on are greatly helped if you have a friend using the app. Not single, but want to get involved as an ambassador – you can sign up and help your friends get on.
I’m not overly convinced by the logo for this app – it’s part heart, part headphones, part womb! But their heart seems to be in the right place, by focussing less on hooking up and casual encounters, and more on the L word. Instead of asking you questions to match you with others, the app uses information from social media to create a picture of you, and match you with other members.