Most couples meet online now – here are the top apps and websites to help you find success in the dating world
ooking for love? Dating apps are one of the most popular ways to meet people. According to a study released a few months ago, heterosexual couples are more likely to meet a romantic partner online than through personal contacts and connections – with 39 per cent of American adults meeting a partner online in 2017, compared with 22 per cent in 2009.
If finding a new beau is on the cards this year then there’s no better time to download an app and get swiping. The first Sunday of the year, which falls on January 5, is known as “Dating Sunday” – the most popular day for people to start chatting and matching on the hundreds of apps out there. The Inner Circle reckons the busiest time will be 9pm, FYI.
With so many dating apps to choose from and so many potential partners out there, here’s how to navigate the virtual dating landscape in a bid to find modern love.
Badoo: to meet anyone
Launched by Russian tech entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, Badoo is the biggest dating app in the world. The app launched in 2009, three years before Tinder, and it now has 380 million+ customers, operates in 190 countries and is available in 47 different languages.
In 2017, Badoo launched a facial recognition feature which allows users to upload an image of a person they like, whether that’s a celebrity or someone they know, and find other Badoo users who look similar.
Bumble: to meet the nice guy
Bumble’s USP is that it challenges female users to make the first move, basically eliminating the bro-culture of other dating platforms. In traditional apps, when women match with guys, the unspoken rule is that they hesitate to initiate a conversation for fear of seeming weird or desperate. On Bumble, women have no choice in the matter.
Bumble’s founder Whitney Wolfe told the Standard that her feminist matchmaking tool is designed to reset the “heteronormative rules in our current landscape”, giving women the power to message their matches without stigma.
The app wants to ensure people are safe when they’re swiping which is why in 2019, it launched a new Private Detector feature which uses AI to detect unsolicited pictures.
Bristlr: if you like your men hairy (or you are a hairy man)
Do you like beards? Do you sport a beard? Do you exclusively date men with beards? Then listen up, because this is the app for you. Bristlr is basically a niche dating pool of exclusively bearded men, and people who want to date them.
Chappy: for Mr Right
Chappy made headlines in 2016 as the new gating app for gay men. Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke co-founded the app, alongside Jack Rogers and Max Cheremkhin. Chappy is also backed by Whitney Wolfe.
The app has a ‘Chappy Scale’, offering Mr. Right as well as Mr.Right now. As well, it wants to make gay dating a safe space, by verifying users through Facebook and only featuring images of a Chappy user’s face.
Coffee Meets Bagel: to meet ‘The One’
It’s been described as “the anti-Tinder” – and with good reason too. Coffee Meets Bagel’s radical focus is on the quality of matches it offers, rather than an endless sea of faces you find yourself vacantly swiping through elsewhere. Every day, you’ll be offered just one single ‘holy grail’ match based on information you’ve already inputted on your tastes, preferences and hobbies.