Are you looking for Tinder alternatives or apps like Tinder?
Whether you’re sick of Tinder or just want to find some alternative apps that are like the world’s most popular dating app (or hookup app, depending on what one is looking for), we’ve got plenty of Tinder alternatives for you to check out.
Also, if you’re on the other side of it and you’re considering starting a dating app or matchmaking service, you can take a look at the wide spectrum of competition.
Where is there white space in the dating app scene? Is there a market or demographic that hasn’t been captured yet?
If you’re thinking about entering the dating startup space, this article is for you.
While Tinder is still the kind of dating apps with over 80 million monthly active users (MAU), it’s no longer the only game in town.
In fact, the entire Tinder concept (swipe right, swipe left) has gone beyond just dating and is now spreading into other types of matchmaking services outside romantic interests.
Even within human matching, there are things that run from finding platonic friends to matching various needs or interests.
Outside Tinder, there are many free apps for dating that are performing well in the market. So even if you’re designing a new dating app, there is market share for you to capture.
As long as you offer unique features and functionalities that differentiate from Tinder and other types of existing top dating apps, there is space for your app. Then it’s just a matter of getting people to use it and achieving a critical mass toward wide adoption.
There are now apps like Tinder for teenagers, for 30+, for seniors, for educated singles, for gay / lesian / queer dating, and more.
So whether you’re looking for:
- apps like Tinder (but for friends)
- best dating apps (in general)
- best free dating apps
- non-location based dating apps
…or something else, we’ve listed out the best dating apps of 2021 that have found their niche in the market and operating successfully as Tinder alternatives.
Let’s take a look at the top dating apps (or best hookup apps).
Bumble was co-founder by Badoo founder Andrey Andreev and former Tinder employee Whitney Wolfe-Herd.
Bumble puts the women in charge of the conversation. It only allows the female participant to strike up a conversation, switching traditional roles.
The idea behind this was to reduce the amount of harassment that was often a common complaint on Tinder.
Bumble verifies all profiles, so you know you’ll be talking to someone legitimate. Many apps, including Tinder, do this by requiring the person to take a picture performing certain gestures and someone will compare these photos to the ones in their profile.
Bumble requires you to respond to a match in 24 hours so the match doesn’t expire or auto-delete. After that, you can respond at any interval.
The app also enables you to switch between different modes:
So even if you’re looking for apps like Tinder but for friends, Bumble could also be a good choice.
Bumble has over 45 million users.
It also has a serious audience. 85% of Bumble users are looking for someone for marriage or a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Hinge is a more serious version of Tinder. Many on Hinge are looking for a serious dating partner and just not a fling. That’s why Hinge is centered around its “designed to be deleted” marketing slogan.
Many celebrities have come out and said they’ve met their partner on Hinge. Politician Pete Buttigieg is one example.
Hinge shows users each other’s interests, which helps increase the fluidity of a first conversation.
Because so many use dating apps to find a serious boyfriend, girlfriend, or life partner, Hinge has surged in popularity.
It is currently the fastest-growing dating app in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
Hinge also has new features for LGBTQ users, including an update to add a non-binary gender.
90% of Hinge users are between the ages of 23 and 36. 99% are college-educated. ·Women are 50.2% of the audience.
OkCupid is a popular app and similar app to Tinder. It’s been around since January 2004, back when online dating was not as widely accepted (Tinder came about in 2012).
By filling out a personality quiz it helps the app filter potential matches.
OkCupid is also known for its basic interface, which can make it a bit easier to use than Tinder.
Though most apps like Tinder cater to younger demographics, Australia-based Elite Singles has positioned itself in the age 30-55 contingent and focuses on those who are highly educated.
So, in theory, Elite Singles hosts those who are serious about dating for purposes of long-term relationships and those who are more career-oriented.
Elite Singles also hosts a personality test to better match compatibilities and match based on preferences.
Zoosk is also more oriented toward long-term relationships than short-term flings. The app is even older than Tinder, having launched in California in 2007.
The Tinder alternative also uses more advanced technology, enabling users to connect with its SmartPick and carousel features.
Zoosk has over 40 million users globally.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Sick of swiping? Want to find a partner without having to endlessly look at profiles?
This is where Coffee Meets Bagel comes in.
Women get hints from guys who show interest in them. Men get matches in the form of bagels each day (21 potential matches). They can like or pass.
This app essentially curates potential matches for women, thus eliminating the swiping part for those who don’t want to go that route.
It’s analogous to Tinder Boost, where you can see your likes ahead of time and like or pass.
Remember Andrey Andreev, the fellow we mentioned in the Bumble section?
The Londdon-based entrepreneur also founded Badoo, way back in 2006. (He sold out of MagicLab, the holding company for Badoo and other dating apps he founded, back in November 2019, to investment giant Blackstone.)
Badoo is a social network focused on dating where you can connect with people within your city or with others across the globe.
The app uses facial recognition technology to show you celebrity look-alikes and look-alike users from half a billion people worldwide.
Her is the world’s most popular lesbian dating app.
While Tinder is basically about everything – male-female, male-male, female-female – other apps specialize in a certain segment to really draw in that audience.
Her is a very popular app that focuses exclusively on girl-girl dating for lesbian and queer women. The gender options available on Her are also inclusive, including female, non-binary, gender fluid, agender, and intersex.
Currently, the app is available in the “big four” English-speaking countries – the US, Canada, UK, Australia – and some additional European countries.
Happn is based on the concept of cross-path dating.
This is designed to find compatibilities based on who you come across in day-to-day life.
Unlike Tinder, which can match you with anyone within a certain radius (or even internationally if you allow it to), Happn uses GPS to match those who cross paths with one another in real life.
When this happens, their profile will show up on your timeline.
The app also shows the user the number of times they’ve crossed paths and the time.
It will also keep your location confidential.
Happn has 70 million users total.
Facebook has also gotten into dating in the US, Canada, and more than 20 countries globally.
If the user is 18 or over, they can make a dating profile separate from their normal Facebook account.
Because Facebook owns Instagram, users are able to integrate their Instagram photos directly into their Facebook Dating profile.
It also has a feature where Instagram followers can be added to a Secret Crush list. If someone from the list also adds them, the two match.
So even Facebook can be one of the best alternatives to Tinder.
Plenty of Fish (POF)
Plenty of Fish is another legacy dating app, founded in January 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
It’s been around a long time so it has a huge number of users (around 70 million).
With POF, you can chat and do live video with people you meet. POF is also free and works differently from Tinder.
There’s no swiping and you can meet people without having to subscribe.
The main drawback to POF is that people tend to not be as responsive as they are on Tinder because they are less engaged on the platform. On Tinder, most people receive push notifications for any matches or message from matches.
Pickable is a good Tinder alternative where women get the privacy to choose a guy they’d like to chat with and potentially date.
Pickable is a similar type of women empowerment app that enables complete anonymity to only contact who they’d like to contact.
The app allows women to select the man anonymously. Men do not browse or swipe on women.
Once she selects a guy she’d like to talk to, he can either accept or deny the invitation.
So, accordingly, it also provides a very streamlined experience for men who don’t wish to go through the whole swiping process and pick and choose which chat requests they want.
Match.com was founded all the way back in… 1995!
That’s even before Google.
But Match is still around for a reason. The filters are among the best to narrow down your options. The ‘like’ system is quite similar to Tinder, but the discover page enables you to look for a greater number of potential matches at once.
Lumen is for over-50 audiences.
Basically all dating apps have age boundaries, but Lumen is the first dedicated app for those over the age of 50. Its verification system also keep bots and trolls away.
Luxy is for upper-class dating. You literally have to be a millionaire to get in.
This means for younger people there are many trust funders and among older people that means many divorced retirees. And many high-earners, company founders, crypto gamblers (:)), and others along the way.
Luxy does take measures to protect your privacy. It also does a good job of weeding people out who are just looking for a rich caretaker (a sugar daddy or sugar momma).
Another Tinder pre-cursor. Founded in 2009, Grindr is for gay, bisexual, or curious men.
It has a reputation for hookups, so may not be the best fit for those looking for serious relationships.
Online dating has a reputation for rudeness and other unpleasant behavior.
So, The Grade was designed as an accountability-focused dating app that aims to eliminate the culture of coarse and creepy behavior that plagues Tinder and other online dating apps.
The Grade measures the profiles, messages, responsiveness, and behavior of users to highlight who the good eggs and bad eggs among them all are. Some profiles even get kicked out if they don’t meet a minimum threshold.
Best dating apps – Honorable mentions
There are literally hundreds of apps when it comes to Tinder alternatives.
We can’t include them all, but here are a few honorable mentions for the best dating apps.
- Inner Circle
- Jungle Dating
- The Intro
- Christian Mingle
The future of online dating
The future of online dating is likely to move further in favor of better matchmaking.
For example, right now on Tinder, you have limited ability to filter your options. You can filter by age, location, sex, but not much else.
Over time, dating apps are likely to get better at matching potential mates.
For example, facial recognition technology is likely to become a bigger part of it. Matching based on interests is likely to become more common.
The more you’re closer to someone in various respects, the more likely you are to match.
When you think about who becomes an ideal couple, they tend to be around the same age, have similar body types, similar facial symmetry, same ethnicity/nationality, similar levels of education and intelligence, similar values, and so on.
Big differences can and do exist, but they’re rare.
Tinder is like being thrown in a big pool and forces you to sort everything out for yourself. It’s not a very efficient way to find a match.
Increasing efficiency in the matchmaking process using extensive data gathering, facial recognition AI, and other technology is likely to be the way forward in the dating app scene.
In this post, we covered 17 of the best dating apps just like Tinder.
Many have their own features and functionalities that differentiate them from the competition.
- Elite Singles
- Coffee Meets Bagel
- Facebook Dating
- Plenty of Fish (POF)
- The Grade
Many of these alternative dating apps are free apps like Tinder. Some can also work as friend apps.
Most of them are freemium apps. In other words, some provide a basic level of service for free and provide extra features for a one-time or recurring fee (like a subscription model).