- Free dating sites can be a convenient way to meet new people if you’re new to the dating scene.
- Although many dating apps are free, their functionality is limited unless you upgrade to a paid subscription.
- Facebook Dating is a truly free dating app. all of its features are available for free.
- Visit Insider’s Tech Reference Library for more stories.
As the internet has matured and more and more people have grown connected to mobile apps and the web, online dating has become a mainstream way to meet new people. In fact, dating sites and dating apps are now among the most common ways for potential partners to meet, especially when meeting new people in public places is difficult.
There is no shortage of dating sites or apps, and most are free to varying degrees. Here are seven of the best free dating sites you can access via the web or on a mobile app.
Facebook Dating has quickly become one of the best free dating sites. Unlike the alternatives, it’s completely free with no subscriptions or in-app purchases, and it’s easy to create a profile as it lets you tap into your existing Facebook profile. Also, it’s a little less common to come across fake profiles because the whole service is built on Facebook, and users can optionally share their Facebook profiles with each other. Facebook Dating avoids connecting you with your existing Facebook friends, but you can use common interests and Facebook groups to find potential matches.
It’s only available in the mobile app (iOS, Android), so you can’t access it on the Facebook website on your computer. And while that might be a downside, Facebook Dating has plenty of other benefits, including the ability to take a second look at the profiles you initially passed on and the ability to match your “secret crush” – someone listed among your friends on Facebook or a follower on Instagram.
Tinder is the dating app that basically invented the idea of swiping right and left to match or reject potential partners – a dating app mechanism that is now commonly used in most other apps. If you both like each other’s profiles, you’ve matched and can then start a text chat or have a video chat in the app. Plus, it has a host of “Discover” modes designed to connect you with potential matches.
You can use these basic features for free, but it comes with significant limitations. You can only swipe up to 100 times per day, for example, without upgrading to unlimited likes with Tinder Plus ($10 per month if you’re under 30, otherwise $20 per month). And for a better chance of matching with someone, you’ll want to upgrade to Tinder Gold (which starts at around $30 a month) so you can see users who’ve previously liked you, plus other advanced features like ability to message users before liking and “rewinding”, which are essentially swipe undos.
OKCupid is part of the same family of dating apps as Match, Tinder and Hinge – they are all owned by the same parent company. Still, OKCupid tries to differentiate itself by collecting a lot of information about you when you create a profile and giving you the option to answer a lot of optional questions to create a more nuanced profile. The site also gives you tons of ways to self-identify your gender and sexuality, more than most. Once your profile is set up, the app tracks users who like your profile as well as potential matches who have a high percentage of interests and responses in common with you.
But while the app can be used for free, with an upgrade to OKCupid Premium – which starts at $39.99 per month (it’s cheaper if you subscribe for more than a month at a time) – you can see the people who liked you so you can like them back. Additionally, upgrading allows you to purchase unlimited likes and an ad-free experience.
Bumble stands out among dating apps. While the basic mechanic is the same as many other dating services (you swipe to like or dislike profiles), Bumble is a first-time dating experience for women in its heterosexual matching iteration. Once a man matches a woman, the woman must make the first move, so a man cannot message a potential match until she has already started the conversation, and if that doesn’t product not within 24 hours of a match, the connection disappears. It’s a nice feature that lets women control the pace of the meeting, but some guys might be less than thrilled with this arrangement.
Most of the site’s basic features are available for free, but as with most dating apps, it’s a limited experience. Messaging is completely unlocked even when using the free app, but you can only see who’s liked you before if you upgrade to Bumble Premium, which comes in a variety of subscription lengths. These paid options also include a lifetime one-time fee or even a daily and weekly subscription.
Like Facebook Dating, Hinge is only available as a mobile app (iOS and Android), not on the web. The trade-off is that the app has some of the smartest profiles, which makes it more fun, if not necessarily easier, to find a good match. Along with the usual basic stats, Hinge profiles encourage you to pair photos with captions and respond to written “prompts,” and you can record audio clips that let you hear your potential date. Everything is very charming.
But the app offers a limited suite of features for free. You only get a dozen free likes a day, and you’ll need to subscribe to see everyone who’s liked you (your last like is the only person visible for a free subscription). Subscriptions start at $29.99 per month (it’s cheaper if you buy longer subscriptions).
A lot of fish
Plenty of Fish may not have the same audience size as sites like Tinder and Bumble, but it’s still a very popular option – and it has the advantage of being a free dating site with the cheapest subscription rate if you choose to upgrade to a paid plan. While the free version lets you enjoy standard app features like viewing profiles and sending and receiving messages, you can upgrade your subscription for as little as $10 per month if you’re willing. sign up for a full year, but even a three-month plan. is a $20 per month. Upgrading gives you the ability to see which users liked you as well as expedited access to new site users who might be more likely to respond to you.
Match is one of the oldest online dating services, long predating mobile apps, and it collects a lot of information about you to create profiles you can use to find a good connection. Like many dating sites, Match in its premium version lets you stand out with boosts (to put your profile at the top of the heap) and super likes (which let you catch the attention of someone you really love.
But the free aspects of Match are quite limited. You can only like or reject potential partners and send a few messages to people you’ve paired up with. To really communicate with anyone within the app or website, you need to pay to upgrade to Match Premium, which starts at $35 per month for at least three months. The monthly price goes down with the six- and 12-month plans, but either way, it’s an investment. You can sign up for a single month, but Match doesn’t make it easy to find that option.