Newly single? A beginner’s guide to the best dating apps

Newly single? A beginner’s guide to the best dating apps

Millions of people look for love online, but it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s what you need to know

S wiping singles are big money – it is estimated that the dating market is worth $12bn (?9.3bn) globally. But how do we navigate the glut of options available to help us find love? With about 25 million people in the US alone thought to have regularly used dating apps this year, the sea is stocked with fish aplenty – so should we Bumble, Tinder, Happn or perhaps Grindr our way to success?

Tinder

What is it? The most popular and enduring of the first wave of dating apps, Tinder was founded in 2013 as a way to help US students meet each other; in other words, a social network for friendship as well as dating. By 2015, however, Tinder had moved far beyond the campus and was registering a billion swipes on the app every day (left for “no”, right for “yes”), with users spending an average of 90 minutes a day scanning through their geographically defined options. Despite having added “super-likes” and paid-for profile consultancy, the app has become known for one simple reason: hooking up.

How do I use it? All you need to do is upload some (ideally well-lit) photos. Personal information can be as minimal as you want it to be, although men may want to be judicious in their use of dog pics: some users were accused of “dogfishing” – posing with furry friends in an effort to attract more dates – on the app.

Who will I meet? Tinder is where you are most likely to find anyone and everyone in your local area: the person you see on the train platform each morning who you swear wears a wedding ring; the primary-school friend you lost touch with 15 years ago; your boss; or maybe your ex. Either person can make the first move to start a conversation on the app, so https://hookupdate.net/local-hookup/las-cruces/ it is anyone’s game.

Word of warning If you meet “the one”, merely removing the app from your phone won’t be enough to delete your profile – you will still be roaming the ether looking for love. You have to delete your profile as well as the app to be fully off-grid.

Bumble

What is it? Billed as the female-friendly version of Tinder, Bumble is very similar except for the fact that only women can start the conversation. When it comes to same-sex matches, either person can make the first move.

How do I use it? Again, users swipe left or right depending on their preference and the requirements for signing up are minimal: images, your name and your age.

Who will I meet? With more than 55 million users, Bumble has become many people’s first port of call in the digital dating world; Tinder’s open door and hookup-centric reputation puts off some new users.

Word of warning Despite taking the lofty position of promising a platform for relationships rather than encounters, Bumble still exists for the same purpose, no matter what your matches may tell you. Watch out for the “softbois” here (alternative-minded emotional manipulators who draw you in with their promises of late-night chats about Lou Reed and Ocean Vuong then leave you high and dry).

Hinge

What is it? Here is where things get a little strange. Hinge’s USP is limiting your pool of potential matches to friends of friends (as gleaned from your Facebook account) or friends of friends of friends, and so on. In theory, you or someone you know should be friends with your match.