With 50,000 downloads on the Play Store alone, Tinder is the uncrowned king of dating apps. The app is about to complete 5 whole years in the market, and we can be sure it has revolutionised how people of our generation date. Then why are people looking for Tinder alternatives?
For a generation so captivated by ideas of not settling for less and never giving up hope of meeting the one, there are too few avenues to meet people in social settings. All bars and clubs are about is drinking and dancing like there’s no tomorrow, and at best, you end up with one night stands that you must tiptoe away from before the other person wakes up. How is anyone supposed to have their happily ever afters?
Tinder arrived on the scene in September 2012 and was almost an instant success. People could use it to get anything from just some fun under the sheets to long term relationships. Of late, though, Tinder has begun to come with a lot of hidden costs, and the Plus subscription which curtails several features that attracted the audience to it in the first place. Dating culture on Tinder is too looks based, which doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. Plus, there are far too many bots nowadays, which only serves to dehumanise the audience further.
And so, we have people going to different apps to get features they have been seeking all this while. To be fair, these apps have their own fan base and it is sizeable next to Tinder. But you’re going to find them much superior to Tinder, in concept if not in execution.
1. Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel (or CMB for short) is a much more humanised app than Tinder. CMB gets you matches based on your mutual friends (so it feels safe to meet them in social situations and you can confirm the person is not fake), and they’re called “Bagels” in app terminology. Each day, you get one bagel at afternoon, and you can talk to them for 7 days to see if you two can kick off something.
If you’re the awkward kind who doesn’t know how to begin a conversation, the app suggests ice-breakers you can use to begin a conversation. CMB is a lot less looks oriented and more focussed on establishing contact between people looking for love in a manner that can lead to something substantial and long lasting. Among apps like Tinder, this is the very best we recommend.
Price: Free, till you want to woo more bagels.
OKCupid’s USP is that it has been around for a long time. The app is among the oldest online dating services around, having been in vogue since 2004. OKCupid works the old fashioned way, by matching people based on common interests.
In a bid to get more tech savvy, the apps have come to include Tinder-like features of swiping at the screen to express interest or disinterest. But the people on your screen still appear according to your preferences, either curated by matching common interests, or through other filters you choose like distance. The app has a neat incognito mode too, which allows your browsing profiles to leave no unintended traces.
Price: Free, with a place in the “A-List” available in lieu of a fee.
3. Hot or Not
For all purposes one can achieve through a dating app, Hot or Not seems to be the app that inspired Tinder in the first place. You get to rate people you come across in everyday life (hence the name, Hot or Not), and get to see how you are rated by others. There are badges once can earn to get people to like your profile.
The app is not expressly devoted to dating, but you can find the hottest people around you, and you can message people privately, which can be a start to something magical.
Price: Free, unless you want to promote your profile to people around you.
Happn is also location based like Hot or Not, but while Hot or Not merely gets you people close by, Happn shows you profiles of people who have been near you at some point in time. Happn is a sweetheart, it even lets you know how many times you have been near the person. It shows you their shared interests, lets you browse their photos, and you can like them. If they do, it’s a “crush”, and you may shoot the breeze! Like common apps like Tinder, you can “Charm” someone to try to get attention on their app, like if you really like them. But unlike Tinder, each individual Charm consumes credits and you need to keep replenishing the balance to charm more people.
PINK is a lot of fun if you’re a girl looking for a nice guy. Aimed at the female audience, it puts women in charge of initiating conversations. The guy likes your profile and can only send you messages if you like them back. It cuts on the spam and unwanted inappropriateness that women usually receive on dating apps.
Apart from the feminist USP, the app also keeps your exact location secret, along with your personal data, which makes it a lot safer.
Price: 100% Free, and no ads!
LOVOO lets you find people in an interface that is much more fun than conventional swiping for matches. Find people with similar interests, flirt to your heart’s content and meet people close by. The app’s interface is a lot more streamlined than Tinder or other contemporary apps. Your likes and chats are neatly arranged, easily accessible through the home screen of the app. There are a few shortcomings, surely. The ads and the in app purchases ruin a lot of fun. But the reviews remain largely positive.
Also, points for the radar and how it is conceptualised.
Price: Pay to remove ads.
Grindr is not among apps like Tinder, rather it is the other way round. Grindr is arguably the place which started online date hunting. This app meant initially for gay, bisexual and bi-curious men now includes various hues of transgender people as well. The app also doesn’t have a restrictive “liking” system. Everybody can message anybody if they can access their profile.
Grindr users report problems like the app being too looks based, but the app has since expanded the information section in its profiles, though it is not necessary to reveal anything you don’t wish to share. As a means of making meetings informed and stress safety, the app has introduced a section on HIV status on each profile where users can see the person’s status and when they were last tested. This really needs to figure on every dating app around.
Price: Free, pay to increase radar range.
Fem takes a big step and breaks the mould with video dating. This app devoted to lesbian and bisexual women lets you update video clips to the app, which can be accessed by like minded users around you. Once mutual liking has been established, you can take things ahead with a bigger and better.
Video clips make it a lot harder to make fake profiles. You can join chat rooms to interact with multiple users and make new friends, explore connections in personal message boxes, and do a lot more.
Price: Free, has ads which can be removed by paying
Mingle too boasts video clips in its interface as its USP. Like Fem, users can tell the visitor about themselves in a short video. Mingle is a lot more social than most other apps of the dating genre, which affords it a more real, relatable perception in the mind of the user. It has group conversations you can join, along with personal messaging, and a nicer, more approachable labeling of “fans” and “friends”, which are people who like you and ones you like back.
Most importantly, the app is free, which means you can find friends, fans and dates without needing to pay for them, although you can supercharge your experience with a few payments for some extra help.
Price: In-App purchases, none of which are compulsory
Match seeks to eliminate hook up apps by getting you your true love. The app caters to all genders and sexual orientations, and lets you chat, flirt or cut to the chase and arrange a meeting. Wink at people to show you’re into them, and search from a huge group of profiles arranged according to your locations or interests.
What’s more, the app is also accessible on Android Wear, and you can control it using voice commands. The app has a Facebook-like Notifications centre where you can see the profiles of various people who interacted with yours, making it easier to find someone you like.
Price: Might need some purchases to be of use eventually
Skout brands itself as a social app, but it is a great tool for finding someone interesting. The app is like a basic social network, arranged to make things more engaging with more contemporary and attractive color schemes, surfing arrangements and notifications.
Skout stands out because it lets you find people to chat with even if they are in a city you are not currently in, like if you’re going to visit it sometime soon. It helps you keep your social life happening, and makes it quicker to find the one you’ve been waiting for.
11 amazing apps, which one are you in love with? Do you know any other apps like Tinder or Tinder alternatives?