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Well, not every kind: We excluded sites that catered specifically to how someone looked or to “unscrupulous” relationships (think Ashley Madison).We also didn’t evaluate anything marketed as primarily for hookups — the best dating sites facilitate all sorts of relationships, from friendship to long-term monogamy and everything in between.Match Group, for example, says it has 59 million active monthly users, roughly 3.5 million paid subscribers worldwide, and 2.4 million paid subscribers in North America — but Match Group includes Ok Cupid, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, Tinder, many others.(That’s right: Most of the big dating sites are owned by the same company.) It’s impossible to know how many users are active on which sites. In its 2015 Series 1 filing, Match Group acknowledged “a meaningful shift in [its] user base from desktop devices to mobile devices” with 68 percent of new users signing up via mobile channels.
When you’re putting in your search criteria, and it’s coming back ‘no matches found,’ that’s a bummer.” But information about the size and activity of sites is hard to find.
Since our tester was a straight woman, her experience with dating sites is weighted more toward receiving messages than sending messages.
(According to a study from data off Ok Cupid, the majority of women don’t send the first message in online dating conversations.) To keep our judgments as objective as possible, we used the following definitions: Bad Messages ● Spam or a scam ● Harassing or threatening ● Obscene ● Extremely short: “Hi beautiful” ● Generic copy-and-paste: “I found many features of your profile interesting” ● A neg: “I like your big nose” ● From someone who acknowledges they’re outside your age range, but messaged anyway ● Passive-aggressive or a guilt trip: “You probably won’t respond to this, but…” ● Obviously from a bot because it’s so generic and from such a sparse profile Mediocre Messages ● Suggestive, but not outright obscene ● Only talks about your physical appearance, but isn’t lascivious ● Impersonal, but starts a conversation: “Any plans for the weekend?
Chemistry, attraction, and love are obviously difficult to quantify, and (also obviously) different people have different desires, needs, and goals for their romantic lives.
Plus, your experience with any online dating site is going to be colored by all sorts of things: your gender, age, sexual orientation, looks, location. Knowing it would be impossible to evaluate the ineffable, we set out simply to find which online dating sites were most likely to get you a compatible match.