Online Dating

22 Most Popular Dating Apps (Free, Gay, Lesbian, Black, Senior)

Hayley Matthews • 8/29/17 •
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Thousands of dating apps exist — from the standard to the strange — and narrowing down the best on your own can be as hard as narrowing down your favorite cheese. I mean, brie is great for just about any occasion, but you can’t go wrong with a classic cheddar. cheddar. And, then, what about Parmigiano Reggiano? Pasta would be lost without it. Sorry, I’m getting distracted.

To help get your love life on the fast track and save valuable time, we’ve looked at all the dating apps out there and created a list of the 22 most popular — based on size, of course, as well as pricing, user base, relationship intent, and consumer reviews.

Overall | Free | Gay | Lesbian | Black | Senior | Hookup

Most Popular Dating Apps Overall (#1-3)

The following three apps are extremely popular, but they’re not like the popular jerks some of us have encountered at school. They won’t tell anyone they can’t sit with them just because they didn’t wear pink on a Wednesday. Singles of every age, race, gender, location, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, and background are more than welcome.

1. Match

Match has more than 22 years of helping daters under its belt. Since its founding in 1995, more than 42 million people have signed up for Match. It also sees 13.5 million monthly users, and that number is only going to continue to grow.

Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.

Go to Match.com now »

Match isn’t just big, though. It’s also well-liked. The app has numerous five-star reviews on iTunes and Google Play, including Vanna M., who says, “I have had nothing but happiness and an increasingly better track record in men. Brilliant tool.”

2. OkCupid

One of the reasons so many singles (40 million, to be exact) have used OkCupid is that it’s been free from the very beginning, and the team promises to keep it that way until the end of time. Another reason OkCupid is so high on our list is that the app uses a one-of-a-kind algorithm to match users based on more substantial qualities and characteristics, not just pictures, age, and location.

3. Tinder

Launched in 2012, Tinder has been at the forefront of dating app innovations. It was one of the first, if not the first, to allow swiping, GPS-based matching, and common connections via social media.

Tinder is one of the most well-known apps in the world — available in over 30 languages and with over 50 million users.

Tinder is available in more than 190 countries, it’s responsible for more than 20 billion matches so far, and it facilitates more than 1.6 billion swipes and 26 million matches a day as well as 1.5 million dates a week.

Most Popular “Free” Dating Apps (#4-6)

Sometimes free is bad. For example, do you really want a free dental cleaning? Probably not. Then sometimes free is awesome. For example, wouldn’t you want to try out a dating app before paying for it? Probably so. Well, the good news is all of our most popular free dating apps don’t cost anything to download, create a profile, upload photos, browse, or receive matches. They also won’t charge users to add members to Favorites, and send and receive likes, among other things.

4. Elite Singles

Not only does Elite Singles see over 290,000 users every month, but the app also helps over 2,500 people find love every month. Elite Singles’ target audience is college educated, commitment-minded 30+ singles. More than 80% of members have a bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctorate degree, 100% are looking for a long-term relationship, and 90% are at least 30 years old.

Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with Elite Singles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. Elite Singles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.

Go to Elite Singles now »

We’re not the only ones who have good things to say about Elite Singles. Paul Rymaszewski called it a “truly genuine app. Way ahead of other scam apps [whose] only purpose is to make you watch, browse through fake or dead profiles, and pay for it, obviously.”

5. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish (POF) is beloved among singles and celebrities alike. The app has been featured in music videos such as Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R,” Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo,” and Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me.” According to POF, users have more conversations here than on other dating apps, exchanging 1 billion messages a month. And they never have to pay to have those conversations.

6. Bumble

Often called the female-friendly Tinder, Bumble requires two people to mutually match, and then the women have to initiate the messaging within 24 hours (if you’re gay, lesbian, or bisexual, either party can make the move). The team said their mission is to put the power in the women’s court and prevent them from receiving a ton of unsolicited, vulgar messages (we’re looking at you, dick pics).

Bumble provides a fun and safe environment for singles, particularly women, who are the only ones who can initiate messaging.

Founder Emily Wolfe said within the first eight months of launching, approximately 5 million unique conversations were initiated, all by women, and today the average user spends about 62 minutes on the app every day.

Most Popular “Gay” Dating Apps (#7-9)

Gay singles can sometimes feel neglected and frustrated on traditional dating apps because the platforms and matching systems aren’t necessarily built with them in mind. LGBT users on Tinder have long complained about receiving matches they’re not looking for (e.g., the wrong gender or sexual orientation). However, they can confidently turn to the three dating apps below.

7. Zoosk

More than 40 million members from around the world, 30 million downloads, 8 million verified photos, 3 million messages exchanged daily, a 4-star rating on Google Play — these are the kind of numbers you’re looking at if you’re considering Zoosk. Not to mention it has one of the largest gay user bases of any dating app.

Meeting gay singles on your phone (whether it's iOS or Android) doesn't get any better than on Zoosk, particularly because it's integrated with Facebook and Google+. When you want to be in control, go to the Search page and view guys based on sexual orientation and other characteristics. When you want Zoosk to do the work, go to the Carousel and SmartPick™ pages.

Go to Zoosk now »

In addition to its impressive numbers, this app has an intuitive interface. Take it from Anonym Incognito: “Seems very professional and concerned about my security. Great software. Clear and precise [and] very accessible and easy to use.”

8. Grindr

Grinder was founded in 2009 by Joel Simkhai in response to the problems gay and bisexual men were having in the dating app industry. It works in similar ways as other apps (set your location and swipe right for yes and left for no), but it was the first to be 100% dedicated to this audience. The latest stats show that Grindr reaches 196 countries and 2.4 million users on a daily basis.

9. Hornet

While Grindr is for finding hookups, Hornet is a dating app and social network for gay, bisexual, and curious men to find friends, dates, and serious relationships.

Gay, bisexual, and curious men who want a lifelong partner should turn to Hornet. Plus, it’s free to download via iTunes and Google Play.

“Redefining the gay app,” Hornet has over 20 million users and several useful features, including push notifications when someone follows you or likes your photos.

Most Popular “Lesbian” Dating Apps (#10-12)

A close friend of mine who’s lesbian has had some of the worst experiences on some dating apps — most of them to do with spending hours swiping left on dudes when clearly that’s not what she’s looking for. Like other lesbian singles, she’s been close to giving up on online dating altogether, but we want to encourage you not to do that. We have three apps that will show you how worthwhile online dating can be.

10. Zoosk

Zoosk, of course, has users select their sexual orientation and the preferred sexual orientation of their ideal match, and the app allows them to search just that. However, Zoosk also has extensive search filters to zero in on other things important to you — like zip code, education, appearance, and interests (just to name a few). Here are more key facts you should know:

Founded in 2007, Zoosk is the most well-known dating app out there. If you're constantly running from place to place and have less and less time to meet people, give Zoosk a try. The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store, and you don't have to start from scratch on your profile either. Just create a login through Facebook or Google+.

Go to Zoosk now »

We’ve found a lot of positive comments online about Zoosk, one being Dana P., who wrote on SiteJabber.com that, “Zoosk was the easiest to use and the best for getting to know people. I have recommended it to many of my friends.”

11. HER

HER (formerly Dattch) was created by LGBTQ+ women for LGBTQ+ women to find companionship in any form. You’ve got the app, which provides streamlined profiles and your own customized feed of potential matches. But you’ve also got daily lesbian news and a regularly updated list of LGBTQ+ events in your area — so you can get off your phone as soon as possible.

12. Hinge

Hinge has gotten the nickname “the anti-Tinder” — because its mission is to “swipe left on swiping” and make dating apps have less of a game-like feel, as CEO Justin McLeod puts it.

Hinge is a go-to app for lesbian singles, especially those who want a relationship because it focuses on common interests and not appearance.

On Hinge, your profile is called your Story (which users can comment and ask questions on), and that’s just one of the little, personal things that make this app stand out — particularly for commitment-oriented lesbians.

Most Popular “Black” Dating Apps (#13-15)

According to BlackDemographics.com, people who identify as “black only” or “black in combination with another race” make up 14.5% of the US population, which is about 47 million people. If they’re single and interested in dating someone who’s also black or biracial, dating apps are the top way for them to meet. On the next three apps, they don’t have to worry about filtering by race and can, instead, concentrate on other important filters.

13. BlackPeopleMeet

BlackPeopleMeet is one of the most renowned black dating apps because it was around way before so many others you see today. You can join its 1.4 million users by downloading the app via iTunes or Google Play (it’s free to do). After that, you can view profiles and photos, see who’s viewed your profile and photos, and send and receive flirts and emails.

The largest black-only online and mobile dating community can be found on BlackPeopleMeet. This popular dating app was designed in 2002 to serve black and biracial singles around the world. Today, BlackPeopleMeet’s easy-to-use chat features and location-based searches allow millions of African American daters to flirt with one another while on the go.

Go to BlackPeopleMeet now »

Don’t just take it from us, though. Chan C. met his now-fiancé on BlackPeopleMeet and said it “worked miracles for me. It can for you as well!”

14. BAE

BAE stands for “before anyone else,” and the app puts you and your needs first when finding you that special someone. BAE’s features include a Hot-or-Not-like feature, real-time notifications, and the ability to bookmark members who catch your eye. Black daters will have a lot of fun and, most importantly, success on BAE — no matter if they’re using a smartphone or tablet.

15. MELD

MELD believes “you deserve to be happy,” and so do we — which is why we’re recommending the app to you. Dedicated to single black professionals, MELD connects you with like-minded people for meaningful connections, whether it’s romance or networking. The app uses Facebook to verify everyone’s identify and LinkedIn to verify everyone’s jobs — so you can rest assured you’re talking to someone who truly is who they say they are.

MELD is specifically for black professionals and offers a free membership on iOS and Android devices.

A basic membership on MELD doesn’t cost anything and allows you to upload your info and photos and browse through profiles — which you can either Pass or “MELD.” Before communication is open, two people have to mutually like each other, so say goodbye to unwanted messages!

Most Popular “Senior” Dating Apps (#16-18)

I have several older family members and family acquaintances who aren’t the most tech-savvy folks, especially on smartphones. They’ve got calling, texting, taking photos, and getting on Facebook down pat, but they seem to get lost in terms of everything else, including online dating. In this section, we’ll highlight three senior dating apps that take all the unnecessary bells and whistles out of the process.

16. OurTime

Receiving more than 1.4 million users a month (and counting), OurTime is among the largest over-50 dating apps. Something also worth noting is this app is a part of the Match family, so you know it’s a reputable app with a high success rate.

OurTime is a leading dating app for those aged 50 and older because it was made specifically for this audience. With one less desire to put on your list (in this case, age), you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money on OurTime and can focus on more important characteristics and qualities like lifestyle, passions, and dating and relationship goals, among others.

Go to OurTime.com now »

Tomi Antony gave the app five stars on Google Play, saying, “Women are themselves on this app, and so many photos are just honestly the person you’re looking at. It’s fun to browse and take souls in.”

17. SeniorPeopleMeet

SeniorPeopleMeet is a sister site of OurTime (sign up for one, and your profile appears on both), but its focus is solely on singles aged 55 and over. With a standard account, you’ll never have to pay to edit your profile and photos, search through members, swipe to meet single seniors, or know when someone’s looked at your profile.

A sister app of OurTime, SeniorPeopleMeet is very similar in terms of layout, popularity, pricing (or lack thereof), features, and successes. Though, in terms of age, its sweet spot starts around 60. In addition, you can sort singles by male or female, race, appearance, religion, and education, just to name a few. Just download it to your iPhone or Android device, and you'll be on your way!

Go to SeniorPeopleMeet now »

Cheryl Conidaris is just one of tons of people who’ve met their match on this app. She said she “met a wonderful guy on this site and have been with him 5 months so far.”

18. SeniorMatch

SeniorMatch is the self-proclaimed “#1 senior dating app for over 50 single people to meet local 50-plus men and mature women.” The brand has been around for more than 16 years and is headquartered in Silicon Valley. After you download SeniorMatch (on either an iOS or Android device), spend some time testing out the app’s tools such as virtual winks and Sparks.

Most Popular “Hookup” Apps (#19-22)

Just because you may be experiencing a lull in dates doesn’t mean your sex life has to suffer. Or maybe you’re just horny and looking for a hot girl or guy to spend the night in bed with. Whatever it is, our favorite hookup apps can help you accomplish your goals.

19. Adult Friend Finder

Adult Friend Finder isn’t just a leading sex app — it’s also one of the most established, as its parent company was founded in 1996. Here, you can give in to your desires without worrying about someone passing judgment. We’re talking one-night stands, threesomes, fetish or swinger partners, affairs, you name it — and 77 million members to put the moves on.

One-night stands, full-blown affairs, threesomes, swinging encounters — you name it and Adult Friend Finder can help you find it. A favorite among iOS and Android users, this app is one of the most established and largest names in the hookup industry. Adult Friend Finder has more than 77 million members and is responsible for more than 4.5 million connections.

Go to AFF.com now »

One user named 112211D wrote on ViewPoints.com: “Currently, I have met four women… all of them were average to slightly above based on looks. They want the sex just as bad as you do.” Now it’s time to go see for yourself!

20. BeNaughty

The team behind BeNaughty doesn’t just care about finding you a hookup. They also care about helping you find a hookup as quickly, easily, and safely as possible. Give the app your location, and, within seconds, it’ll start making suggestions. Plus, the app uses SSL encryption to keep you and your personal information out of the hands of scammers.

"Try more new delights. Feel no limits!" is BeNaughty's promise to naughty singles. After you download BeNaughty, you're automatically given a free account. There aren't any limits on how many profiles you view, matches you receive, and chat rooms you participate in. On the app, you can be as racy as you want because your info and conversations are protected by SSL and 24/7 customer service.

Go to BeNaughty now »

One of the best user reviews we’ve read about this app comes from Sam S., who shared on SiteJabber: ” What can I say? Ten minutes since I registered and I’ve already got four messages from muscled gods. Won’t lie — it felt good.”

21. FriendFinder-X

FriendFinder-X is “where good girls do bad things,” but the guys on this app are definitely down to do some bad things as well. Signup online takes a couple of seconds, and then you’ll be a part of the most welcoming online sex community.

FriendFinder-X is a popular online sex community that welcomes singles and couples (who are at least 18 years old) with various sexual desires and of various genders, sexual orientations, and locations. Whether you're an iPhone or Android fan, you can download the app without having to pay a cent, and then you can take it wherever you go.

Go to FriendFinder-X now »

FriendFinder-X offers a lot of communication features for getting to know your future sex partner before meeting them in person — including private photos and videos and live two-way webcams. If you happen to come across any issues, there’s also a section where you can ask for advice from your fellow members.

22. PURE

PURE calls itself “the hookup app for awesome people,” and one of the things that makes them so awesome is they know precisely what they want, vocalize it, and go for it. The app encourages this focused determination — once you match with a sexy single or couple, you have one hour to exchange contact info and/or set up a meeting. Uiytui J., who gave PURE a 4-star rating, said: “Love it. I get exactly what I want out of it.”

Watch Your Dating Life Take Off Thanks to These Popular Apps!

While you may still be deciding on your favorite cheese (I’m right there with you), hopefully we’ve helped you choose the right dating app for you among so many good options. In fact, you don’t have to choose only one. Just like mac and cheese is better with three cheeses in it, your dating life will see significant improvement the more apps you try!

Photo source: vice.com

About The Author

As the editor-in-chief of DatingAdvice.com, I oversee content strategy, social media engagement, and media opportunities. When I'm not writing about cheese or my 19-year love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, I'm listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns (I'm a proud Slytherin!), or drinking IPAs.