Most Downloaded Dating Apps

Online Dating

9 Most Downloaded Dating Apps in the U.S. (2024)

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major in college, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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As of 2020, about 30% of American adults in the U.S. told Pew Research that they used a dating app, and the Covid-19 pandemic only increased the draw for singles who wanted to connect with a potential partner while lockdowns kept them at home. The explosive growth of dating apps shows no signs of letting up, and dozens of new apps launch every year. Despite the crowded market, some platforms stand out against the competition.

Although popularity isn’t everything, these dating apps get the most downloads in the U.S., making them plentiful hunting grounds for mainstream daters. If you want the most choices possible, these dating apps are the place to be.

1. Tinder

It’s not exactly a secret that Tinder is the one to beat when it comes to dating apps. The app launched in 2012 and almost immediately achieved viral success. But just how big of a giant is the hookup app? According to Tinder’s statistics, the app has over 530 million downloads and 75 billion matches. That’s right, billion, with a B. 

Screenshots of Tinder
Tinder is a popular dating app that has been downloaded over 530 million times.

The secret to Tinder’s success lies in its ease of use. There’s no need to spend an hour setting up your account because all you have to do is download the app, use your Facebook credentials or provide your email address and phone number, and add some photos.

You can include as much or as little detail in your bio as you want, and you can get to swiping right away. Right to match, left to pass. It’s a system that continues to inspire countless copycats, although Tinder still reigns supreme.

2. Bumble

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Heard took what she learned from her previous gig to build the women-first dating app, and it shows in Bumble’s success. Bumble is among the most downloaded apps with over 100 million downloads as of 2020. Fewer than 800 apps have crossed that threshold on the Google Play store. For context, Google Pay has 500 million downloads. 

Bumble screeentshot
Bumble is a woman-led company committed to improving the dating landscape.

Bumble’s quick growth isn’t just good for singles looking for a safe platform to pursue romance without harassment. Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz launched in 2016 and 2017 respectively, as more platonic platforms for people to connect on. A major selling point for Bumble is the woman-first approach: After finding a mutual match, the woman must make first contact with the man (for same-sex matches this isn’t a requirement).

But the woman-led dating approach isn’t restricted to matching and conversations. It also plays a role in all of the areas of the app. Bumble has strong content moderation policies, and a zero-tolerance position on harassment, so many women find it a lot more comfortable than other mainstream dating apps.

3. Happn

With 100 million downloads and counting, Happn continues to provide proof that spontaneity and planning can coexist in online dating. The France-based dating app is popular around the world and boasts 10 million active monthly users.

Happn takes a different approach to online dating than do most of the sites and apps in the industry. Instead of just setting up a profile and browsing people at random, Happn works in the background on your phone, tracking user movements. Then, each user receives suggested matches based on the other users whose paths they have crossed throughout the day.

Screenshot of Happn
Happn prioritizes real-time location when pairing potential couples.

Unsurprisingly, Happn is most popular in major cities, where the app’s users have a greater probability of crossing each other’s paths every day. The premise behind Happn is that you’re more likely to share interests with people who tend to be in the same places you go to regularly, and the popularity of the app shows it’s a valid approach. And for users who still like to swipe, Happn even offers Crush Time: the platform presents you with four potential matches, and you guess which one has already liked your profile. 

4. Ashley Madison

Not every marriage is happily ever after, so the fact that the Ashley Madison app boasts 80 million downloads makes sense. The discreet married dating app is a companion to the popular site, and it offers all the same benefits in a mobile package. Users have access to features like photo blurring, password-protected picture vaults, and the panic button to keep their dating lives discreet, whether they’re married or not. 

★★★★
AshleyMadison.com 4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.0/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dates, Affairs

Match System: Search by age, location, appearance, and more

Our Experts Say: “With its massive user base and advanced privacy features, Ashley Madison is the #1 site for discreet hookups, dates, or relationships…” Full Review »

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Ashley Madison’s scandalous reputation suffered in the wake of a major hack in 2015, but the site and app both doubled down on security and discretion as a result. This includes encryption, flexible billing options for Ashley Madison credits, and other measures to keep user identities a secret. 

5. OkCupid

Although 50 million downloads feels like a low number for a dating app with OkCupid’s lengthy history, keep in mind that the platform started life as a dating site, with the app only coming along in 2012. In addition, OkCupid’s browser format is mobile-friendly, so a lot of users stick with the browser.

Okcupid
OkCupid is a free dating service for singles seeking new connections.

The app includes all of the same features, including forever-free messaging between members, along with all of the other core tools. OkCupid remains a popular platform in online dating, with 7 million daily messages exchanged between members and a constantly growing supply of success stories.

The OkCupid dating app brings everything you get from the site to the device of your choice, which includes a swipe-based matching option you can peruse in between messages to potential matches or browsing profiles. The mobile format also offers a user-friendly experience to answer one of the many compatibility questions to further refine matches and spark conversations.

6. Plenty of Fish

Although Plenty of Fish isn’t at the top, 50 million downloads is still an impressive number. The platform plays host to more than 150 million users around the world, most of them on the site.

Launched in 2003, POF remains one of a small number of completely free digital dating platforms, with no required membership fee to access key features you need to find your next date or your next relationship. Users even get access to unlimited messages without paying a single penny. 

Screenshot of Plenty of Fish
It’s free to join Plenty of Fish and mingle with compatible singles.

According to the platform’s data, Plenty of Fish makes an average of 57 million matches per week across 20 different countries, which makes it a powerhouse of matchmaking. The platform saw a major uptick in membership following the site’s appearance in the Lady Gaga and Beyoncé “Telephone” music video, and Plenty of Fish continues to use that popularity to introduce new features and tools for members to connect.

7. Grindr

With 30 million downloads, Grindr’s status as the most popular gay dating app in the world continues to prove hard to beat. The app has the benefit of years at the top, thanks to being one of the first dating apps to cater specifically to the gay community, bringing the easy and convenient swiping methods of Tinder to a highly receptive market of man-loving men.

More than just a hookup app, Grindr is also a touchstone for queer men seeking friendship and community, while offering a judgment-free space to explore sexuality.

Screenshot of Grindr
Grindr is one of the most popular dating apps for gay and bisexual men.

Although by far not the only gay dating app out there, Grindr dominates the LGBTQ+ online dating world not just because of its seniority but also because the app’s CEO and development team constantly look for ways to improve the platform. Grindr gives back to the community through charitable donations and events, and takes user feedback into consideration, like when the team announced the removal of its “ethnicity” preference filter.

Although Grindr isn’t immune to criticism from the broader LGBTQ+ community, it remains a popular platform for men looking for hookups and community with other men.

8. Hinge

Although Hinge positions itself as the quality-over-quantity dating app, the platform boasts having 23 million downloads, making it a strong contender in popularity. Another interesting statistic is that, while the app has 23 million downloads, an average of 5.5 million active users are active on the platform at any given time.

The Hinge logo
Hinge has grown in popularity thanks to its reputation for getting results.

The dating app’s success and popularity are due in no small part to Hinge’s “designed to be deleted” mission. This goal plays into all of the decisions the Hinge team makes, including the push to get matched users on a date as quickly as possible and the decision to solicit first-date feedback to see how each match goes.

Hinge users don’t just swipe on pictures and get to messaging. Instead, the app pushes users to start a real conversation by looking over more detailed profiles and choosing a post or picture to comment on. To take the stress out of first contact, Hinge even supplies ready-made icebreaker prompts. Once a free member matches with another Hinge user, the app encourages the pair to take things deeper with video chat or a real-life date as quickly as possible.

9. eharmony

With well over 20 years in the industry, it may come as a surprise that eharmony only boasts about 10 million app downloads. Although it’s a strong showing, that number is a far cry from its total membership of over 33 million members.

Users on eharmony seem to prefer the site to the app thanks to a combination of the mobile-friendly design of the main platform and the somewhat older user base. Still, the mobile app continues to grow in popularity, especially as millennials and Gen Z start looking in earnest for more serious relationships.

★★★★★
eharmony 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.8/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Simply put, eharmony is where you go if you’d like to speed up the marriage process. Complete a free questionnaire, get matched for free, and find your lifelong partner all in one fell swoop…” Full Review »

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The app experience offers everything you can get from the dating site, including access to icebreaker quizzes, pre-written conversation starters, and video chat, so it’s easy to switch between formats whether you’re at home or on the go.

Although the dating platform also comes with a higher price tag for premium membership, the focus on quality over volume means that singles on eharmony are more likely to find The One, and eharmony data shows that limiting free communication discourages scammers.

FAQs: Do Dating Apps & Sites Really Work?

Yes! Although there is still some lingering stigma around meeting people on dating apps and sites, the statistics speak for themselves. From niche dating sites like JWed to more mainstream platforms, dating sites continue to rack up a large proportion of success stories every year. 

Studies indicate that marriages that begin with online dating tend to be stronger because online dating gives singles a solid foundation to begin a new relationship. Compatibility-based matching plays a big role in this, but a more significant factor is probably that you can meet people on apps and sites that you might never cross paths with any other way. 

Beautiful woman with man wearing sunglasses walking on beach.. Young couple enjoying honeymoon after marriage at sea. Happy casual couple holding hands and walking at the beach with copy space.
Single people can use search filters and preferences to identify deep compatibility.

Unlike the traditional methods of meeting a partner at a local bar, through friends and family, or through your social circle and the places you go, online dating makes it easy to identify a lot of people who share the same interests as you. Those people might be in your city or might be in the next town. They might even be on the other side of the world. 

Also at play is that the stigma behind dating sites and apps isn’t what it used to be. As digital dating platforms continue to stay in business for decades, more and more people accept them as a valid way for people to connect and get to know each other — and perhaps even fall in love.

Is Tinder the Best Dating App for Seeking Relationships?

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for your happily ever after, Tinder is not the most likely place to find the person of your dreams. The dating app keeps things simple and direct, but the swipe-based approach to matching doesn’t encourage people to do the kind of deep dive that leads to a serious relationship. There’s a good reason that Tinder has a reputation as the first big hookup app in the online dating world.

Although Tinder has many success stories from singles who found The One, it’s definitely not the go-to platform for people seeking a long-term relationship. If you want something more serious, our dating experts recommend an app where the members are all seeking the same thing, like Match or eharmony.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.9/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “As the largest and most diverse dating site in the world, Match features profiles of millions of local singles and a popular app. If you only try one dating service, make it Match…” Full Review »

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Match is a heavyweight in the online dating world since the site’s launch in 1995. For busy singles on the go, the platform also offers a dating app for your phone or tablet, with all the same features you can find on the original version. 

★★★★★
eharmony 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.8/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Simply put, eharmony is where you go if you’d like to speed up the marriage process. Complete a free questionnaire, get matched for free, and find your lifelong partner all in one fell swoop…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Although the eharmony app isn’t as popular as the main site, the mobile platform for the compatibility-based dating service offers all the same functions and gives you access to all the members. The 32 Dimensions personality quiz pairs with a proprietary algorithm to match users up based on deep compatibility in interests, goals, and beliefs.

That means you’re more likely to find your perfect match there than on a platform like Tinder where you have to judge based on a few pictures and one or two sentences.

Which Dating App Has the Most Real Users?

This is a tricky question because getting detailed information about active users from any given dating app is not easy. Active user numbers tend to wax and wane, not just monthly but daily, so it’s hard to get a good lock on the real stats. But our dating experts have methods to gain an idea of general trends. 

According to our dating experts, the Match Group network of sites includes some of the most reliable platforms for weeding out fake and inactive profiles, which makes for a higher proportion of real, active singles to interact with. Factors like membership fees for full messaging access and user bases looking for long-term relationships rather than one-night stands tend to lead to a more engaged demographic and quicker removal of fakes.

Although you should still do your due diligence when it comes to any profile you encounter on a dating platform, Match Group sites tend to deter fake users and encourage the real deal.

Just Remember: Numbers Aren’t Everything in Online Dating

Although the dating apps on this list are indisputably some of the most popular platforms for online dating, keep in mind that popularity isn’t everything. There’s a tradeoff at play: More users means that there are more chances of meeting someone you like, but it also means you’ll spend more time weeding out people who aren’t what you’re looking for. If you have very specific tastes, it may be worth your while to look for a niche dating site to find the right fit.

But if you’re looking to cast your net wide and take your chances, the most popular dating apps are a great place to meet new people and see what sparks.

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