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Tired of Tinder? Seven Free Alternative Dating Apps

Briallyn Smith 12-04-2015

Now that Tinder is charging for its services, it might be time to turn to one of the many other dating apps available.


Since its 2012 launch, Tinder has quickly become one of the most popular forms of online dating. Its simplicity has been part of what makes it so attractive to its users – using geolocation, the app shows users profiles of their preferred gender and age-range within a set geographical area. Profiles consist only of a first name, an age, a 500-character description, and up to six photos. If the user likes a profile they “swipe right” and if they don’t, they “swipe left”. The app only allows users to exchange messages if two users match by both swiping right on each other. This formula has been incredibly successful — with over 50 million users, Tinder has become a serious contender in the online dating world.


However, many online daters have some issues with Tinder’s approach to romance. The focus that Tinder places on appearances has meant that the app has gained a reputation for being a “hook-up” app. While there are definitely stories about people meeting their significant others on Tinder, those stories tend to be the exception rather than the rule! As well, Tinder’s messaging system is far from advanced, the majority of its users are college students, and the app isn’t as secure as you might want something connected to your Facebook account to be.

Until recently, one of the biggest draws to Tinder was that it was completely free. However, its most recent update included features (such as the ability to view profiles of individuals who aren’t in your local area or undo an accidental swipe) that can only be accessed by a monthly subscription fee to an upgraded version of Tinder called TinderPlus. Now Tinder also limits the previously unlimited number of right swipes that you can make in a set time period unless you pay the monthly fee. These new features are intriguing (and I’ve definitely found myself wishing for a chance to take back an accidental left swipe!), but with a sticker price of $11.99 a month, TinderPlus is definitely outside the budget of most of its users.



Even for devoted Tinder users, this update has been a bit of a disillusionment and many are now looking for an app to take its place. I spent some time this week doing some research (sadly, none of which ended in a date) on the best free alternatives to Tinder currently on the market – the classics, the copy-cats, the creative, and the crazy – because at some point, we’re all going to run out of right swipes and need another app to turn to!

The Classics


When it comes to online dating, there is a lot of comfort and success in choosing apps that are already popular (unsurprisingly, dating apps without a lot of users tend to not work very well). These apps are classic choices for those interested in online dating, and many of them have been around since the pre-app age of online dating.  Even though everyone knows about these apps, they’re still worth considering. This is especially true since recent updates have made the apps more intuitive, more interactive, and more open to different dating preferences.

Plenty of Fish (Android/iOS): Plenty of Fish offers a lot of different features. You browse matches through a variety of different algorithms (including “my matches”; “locals”; “ultra match”; or “meet me”), and can choose to view their profiles, send messages, or hit a non-committal “meet them” button. These features provide you with a lot of different options when choosing how to interact with others online, but the several different kinds of notifications can also become confusing!


Ok Cupid (Android/iOS): Ok Cupid’s algorithms make it one of the best online dating platforms OkCupid -- How A Dating Website Wants To Fix Your Love Life With Math Online dating won't fix all your romantic problems. But if online dating is where you're at right now, OkCupid is the best service, free or paid, available on the market today. Read More available. In addition to this, Ok Cupid has a much more streamlined design than Plenty of Fish, while still offering more options for connecting with potential matches than Tinder does. The “Quickmatch” function is a swipe-based matching system, but other matches (determined based on your answers to quick yes/no questions) are ranked by their compatibility to you. From your list of matches, you are able to browse others’ profiles and send messages to the people that interest you.

The CopyCats


It was actually mind-boggling how many of the different apps I downloaded had a design similar to Tinder’s, complete with swipe right/swipe left directions. In fact, even the classic apps often had an option to do this kind of matching with others! These copycat apps follow Tinder’s design almost exactly, but with a twist or two to make them unique.

Bumble (iOS only): Bumble was actually created by an employee of Tinder after she left the company, and was created with an intent to discourage gender issues in online dating Online Dating: Men Don't Get It And Women Don't Understand Do online dating websites work? It's time for a frank discussion! What I learned from interviews was that online dating is equally painful for men and for women, but for very different reasons. Read More . Bumble includes almost all of the same features as Tinder, but has two key differences – women are the only ones who can message a match first, and if they don’t message within twenty-four hours of matching the match disappears. Bumble has only been available for four months at this point, but these functions have made it incredibly popular with women, as women’s experiences with online dating Here's What Dating Sites Are Like If You're A Woman As an experiment I set up accounts on three of the more popular free dating websites, then spoke to some women about their experiences. Here’s what happened. Read More are often quite different from those of men.


Badoo (Android/iOS): Badoo also essentially functions the same as Tinder, but gives a little more biographical information than Tinder’s allotted 500 characters. Badoo has places for users to list their interests and demographic information, as well as a space on their profile dedicated to awards that can be won by being active on the app. As well,  you can access people’s profiles without matching with them, and leave a “like” on the profiles that spark your interest. I did find that the interface for this app was more confusing than most of the others on this list – sometimes I would end up on a page without being entirely sure how I got there.

The Creative


These apps put their own spin on the idea of mobile dating, as both focus on the importance of an eventual in-person connection rather than online messaging. These apps may not be super popular yet, but apps like these (ones that use mobile platforms to facilitate in-person connections) could easily end up being the future of online dating.

How About We (Android/iOS [No Longer Available]): How About We cuts right to the first date, whatever your ideal first date may be. Users fill out a suggestion for a date that they would like to go on, and are then able to browse other date ideas from people nearby. This is a fun way of keeping online dating focused on the people around you, and is a creative way to express your personality without filling out a questionnaire. Best of all, you know that whether or not you like the person you meet up with, you are sure to enjoy the activity that you have planned!


Happn (Android/iOS): Happn walks the line between really cool and really creepy. It connects to your Facebook profile, and then uses GPS tracking to show you the profile of other users of the app that you cross paths with over the course of your everyday life. These features makes Happn a really great way to know whether or not your cute barista is also into you, but I’ll admit that it does run a few more security risks than your average dating app.

The Crazy


Salad Match (iOS only): Okay, this was definitely my favourite app that I discovered this week. Essentially, a salad restaurant chain created their own dating app. After you connect the app to your Facebook and answer a few questions about your ideal salad, it then offers you a chance to find your ideal man or woman through tinder-style swiping. All of this so that you can… share your salad with them? I guess? I’m still not entirely sure what the point of this app is, and the restaurants are only located in NYC, New Jersey, Hong Kong, and Dubai, but I’m spreading awareness of it in hope that there’s someone out there who will someday explain to their grandchildren that this app is how they met the love of their life.

What is Your Go-to Online Dating App?

There are so many options available for dating apps that I filled an entire screen of my iPhone with different options for review! Whether you are looking for a gamer dating site 3 Gamer Dating Sites For Finding Geeky Dates Gamers deserve love too, and several sites have popped up over the years that can help gamers find romantic partners who also share a love for video games. Read More , an app that matches you exclusively to those within a specific socioeconomic status, or want an app that can dial someone’s voicemail, let me assure you – there is an app out there for you (I’ve seen them). It will be interesting to see over the next few months whether Tinder’s decision to become a paid service will result in a decrease of active users, or if it will continue to be one of the most popular forms of online dating available. For those who do continue to use Tinder, the time of absentmindedly swiping is done, and it will be important to follow the same rules for online dating 4 Online Relationship Tips That Actually Work There are plenty of examples to show that Happily Ever After is attainable for online and long distance relationships. Here are some of the best tips and advice to keep you on the right path. Read More  that are commonplace on most other platforms.

What is the online dating app you use the most? And will you continue to use Tinder now that it’s charging a monthly fee for some of its functions?

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  1. Friends Match Me
    July 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Friends Match Me is 100% free dating app.

  2. Duffy duffer
    December 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I want a dating site without "hidden fees".

    • Briallyn Smith
      March 9, 2017 at 3:18 am

      There's the real dream.

  3. Kirk
    December 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Start with the basics. A conversation about a shared interest and go from there.

    What are you passionate about?

  4. Jason
    September 21, 2016 at 6:09 am

    Badoo is a greedy pay side masquerading as free. You have to pay to message pretty girls, the fat and ugly ones they give you for free though. Avoid.

  5. Anonymous
    June 3, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Need a international one.cant use these

    • Briallyn Smith
      July 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Chuck - what area are you in? Several of these are available in most geographical locations (but, alas, some of them - like Salad Match - are pretty limited)

  6. taylorjacob
    March 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Guys, Tinder fix the hack. It doesn't work anymore.
    So you can take it down.

    Also why aren't there dates on when this article was publish !!!

    • Briallyn Smith
      March 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Taylor – Which hack are you talking about?

      The article was published on April 12, 2015 – it's a tiny mention of the date, but it's up underneath the title under the "written by" line. We tend to leave older articles up as most of these apps are still available and are still helpful for people who are looking for a dating app other than Tinder :)

  7. CaPokerface
    February 19, 2016 at 10:44 am

    which one actully works and is free T.T

    • Briallyn Smith
      February 19, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Hi CaPokerface,

      The one that will work best for you is kind of an individual choice - you might want to start with something in the "classics" section :) Both PlentyOfFish and OKC are free to use!

  8. Scotty
    November 12, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Could I just date you Briallyn? It would just make this easier!


    • Briallyn Smith
      November 12, 2015 at 3:16 am

      Alas, Scotty, Makeuseof has not yet diversified into a dating service.

      • Scotty
        November 12, 2015 at 3:19 am

        I thot it was worth a never find real people on the dating sites...

      • Joe
        November 23, 2015 at 2:12 am

        I can see why he'd want to date you, you are quite attractive.

    • Anand
      July 9, 2016 at 8:25 am

      not only attractive, she even replies! :D

      • Briallyn Smith
        July 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm

        Really the only two qualities you could ever want in a date!

  9. Anonymous
    November 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    There are so many options out there for those re entering the dating world and for some Tinder is what they are looking for.
    If you are going through a divorce or looking to start being social after your divorce, check out Its a great place to meet people, find events and travel ideas in your area as well as find resources such as life coaches, personal trainers, yoga instructors, and divorce professionals.

    • Briallyn Smith
      November 7, 2015 at 2:56 am

      Oh my goodness! That's really a multi-purpose app - thanks for passing it along, Ezra!

  10. Anonymous
    November 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm is also useful mobil app

    • Briallyn Smith
      November 7, 2015 at 2:56 am

      Thanks Pavel! Great to hear about other options out there :)

  11. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Hey Briallyn, I like your articles. This one is so helpful, But I want to add a few things.

    There was an app named Chatous, it was great and I met so many interesting people there. But they have updated it (or downgraded) and right now it's so useless. At first it was using hashtags (like on omegle etc) but then they removed that feature. I think the hashtag thing was working perfectly so if any app developers reading this, I suggest them to create a dating app that will let people find others using hashtags.

    Another one is Watme.
    What makes Watme different is it uses "tiny quizzes" to eliminate uneducated people or horny dudes. If I like "movies", strangers have to pass a quiz about "movies" to contact me. I would give you a link but I don't want you to think this is a spam.

    There are also some other apps like "Meeff" etc but they are kind of buggy.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 30, 2015 at 5:56 am

      Watme sounds actually useful at narrowing down choices. Nice one, Mete!

    • Briallyn Smith
      November 7, 2015 at 2:57 am

      Mete I'm just seeing this now - thanks so much for the suggestions! Watme really does sound fantastic and like it really takes away some of the risks that are such an annoying part of most other dating apps!

  12. Anonymous
    August 10, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I eat salads all of the time but so do a lot of overweight people that are trying to lose weight so that site won't work for me. I'm into living a fit lifestyle and I ran across Fitness Singles while reading an article on running a 5K. it's not free but if you are into fitness it is loaded with others who want the same.

    • Briallyn Smith
      November 7, 2015 at 2:58 am

      Michael I'm just seeing this now - thanks for the suggestion!! That's a great way to make sure that the people you're viewing are interested in the same things you are.

      I think the Salad app probably has a really narrow audience - but it was too hilarious to pass up!

  13. John
    May 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    That sounds creepy, Leo

  14. Leo
    April 23, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Hi Briallyn, loved reading your article.
    If only it would have published a month later...
    See, I'm launching a new dating app that will change everything. I'll write down some facts about my app (launching late May in FL) and if you're interested, tell me and we'll find a way to talk about it. If not... well, I'm sure you'll eventually write about it.

    0. It happens in the real, physical world.
    1. It only takes 1 second of eye contact.
    2. It's totally anonymous.
    3. It even works if the other person doesn't have it.

  15. Becca
    April 13, 2015 at 4:36 am

    I am so sad that I only have an android and am missing out on finding my salad life mate. Now how will i find someone who also only eats wraps and detests dressing saturation?

    • Briallyn
      April 17, 2015 at 10:50 am

      This is tragic! You might have to just enter your salad preference in the profile part in one of the other apps... "those who dislike croutons need not apply" :)