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Just because you did something first, that doesn’t mean you did it the best. Orville and Wilbur Wright built the first airplane in 1903, but that rickety, spruce glider doesn’t hold a candle to today’s Boeing 747, let alone the F-16 fighter jet.
Along the same lines, Tinder pioneered swiping in 2012, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best dating platform available today. Other dating sites and apps around the world have spent the last few years building on and learning from Tinder’s success, and now the notorious dating app has quite a few rivals, including Zoosk.com.
We’re here to put Tinder in a head-to-head competition with Zoosk and see which dating app comes out on top. We’ll compare the prices, users, features, and successes of these two platforms to help you decide which one reigns supreme.
We here at DatingAdvice are pretty good at writing dating site reviews. That’s kind of our thing. So we’re going to start off our comparison list with an overall expert rating of Zoosk and Tinder. Here goes!
We score Zoosk as among the top-rated dating sites/apps because of its wide appeal and proactive matching system. You’re not left to figure things out for yourself here. Zoosk provides clear, step-by-step information about how to use the interface to your advantage. Check out our official review:
Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
Match System: Search and get match recommendations
Browse Free: View Photos Now
|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|28.9 Million*||Start Zoosk for FREE|
It’s also worth mentioning that Zoosk boasts an international dating network of over 40 million users, and that makes it one of the most popular global dating platforms around.
We’re impressed with Tinder. How could we not be? They’re one of the biggest names in the dating industry and owned by Match Group, which also own Match, OkCupid, PlentyofFish, and Hinge, among others. Just for name recognition alone, we’d rate Tinder pretty highly. We give it 4.3 stars because it has millions of members and a fast-paced dating scene that’s perfect for young singles who want to get their feet wet without making a big commitment.
Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg called Tinder “a swiping machine,” saying the app had potential if it could overcome some of its more superficial and short-term tendencies. “What we’re trying to do is really create a much more robust experience,” she said. We wish her luck, but we don’t see evidence of it yet on the official hookup app of 20-somethings everywhere.
Taken as a whole, we rank Zoosk higher than Tinder because of its easy-to-use interface. We like that Zoosk has a little something for everyone. You have swiping in the Carousel, but you can also use advanced search tools. Altogether, Zoosk offers a low-pressure environment where you don’t have to send a like unless you really mean it.
Next, let’s talk dollars and cents. Cost is an important consideration when joining a dating site or app because you need to know that you can afford its services and get the greatest bang for your buck, so to speak. Zoosk and Tinder are both somewhat free and somewhat not free, so we’ll parse out what you have to pay for and what your money will get you.
You can join or download Zoosk for free and check out what the dating platform has to offer. It doesn’t cost anything to create a profile, add pictures, view profiles, send likes, and browse for a date. That’s where the free ride ends though. Members have to subscribe to a monthly plan to send and read messages. Subscribers also gain access to Zoosk’s SmartPicks. Here’s the pricing breakdown:
Free and paid members can pay for and use Zoosk Coins to send virtual gifts, unlock mutual matches, and boost their profiles in search results. You can also pay a little extra for Premium Membership to allow free members to reply to your messages.
Zoosk’s membership plans will auto-renew unless you change your Account Settings. You cannot cancel your membership, hide your profile, or delete your profile until your paid subscription term is up, so make sure you’re committed to hanging in there for the long haul.
The upside of Tinder is that it’s free. The downside is you get what you pay for, which is not a lot of guidance or helpful features. The free membership includes swiping (duh) and chatting with mutual matches, but not much else.
You have to upgrade to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold to get the good stuff, like unlimited likes, a monthly profile boost, and five Super Likes a day. Paid members can also swipe around the world, not just in their location.
Juts be warned, some Tinder users say the paid perks are worth the cost. “SuperLikes don’t make a difference, in my opinion,” said Reason3HateApp on iTunes. “This app has a one-size-fits-all appeal that works for most in a certain demographic.”
You can chat with matches and find a date for free on Tinder, and that alone is often enough to tempt singles to choose this app over more quality-driven alternatives.
You can’t beat free. Many dating sites and apps don’t allow free chatting, but Tinder does. And that’s important, especially if you’re on a budget. Tinder doesn’t force users to upgrade, doesn’t tease users with trial memberships, and doesn’t keep couples apart with paywalls. It’s just free, and that’s pretty awesome.
Dating sites are only as good as the people who join them, so you better make sure you’re using trustworthy networks where fake profiles are few and quality dates are plentiful. Below, we’ll go over the main aspects of Zoosk’s audience versus Tinder’s audience and figure out which platform has the most and/or best singles around.
Zoosk is an up-and-coming dating platform with a growing user base. Over 40 million people have joined the network since its launch in 2007. Before Tinder was even a sketch on a whiteboard, Zoosk was already building its network. Today, it has members in 80 countries and is available in 25 languages.
The global platform prides itself on attracting young singles and uses social media integration to keep people connected in an authentic and familiar way. Its members include singles of all ages and orientations.
Tinder has Zoosk beat in terms of sheer numbers. The app is available in 40 languages and 190 countries. Experts in the industry estimate that over 50 million people use the app every month. That’s more than Zoosk’s entire network!
Probably because it’s free, Tinder attracts a young crowd — 45% of its user base are between 25 and 34 years old. Another 38% are between 16 and 24 years old. It seems to be particularly popular among millennials. In a 2018 survey, 27% of single millennials said they use Tinder, which made it more than twice as popular Bumble, Match, OkCupid, and other dating platforms.
There’s no contest here. Tinder is one of the most widely used dating apps in existence. So yeah, it wins in terms of sheer size. This dating app is the go-to hangout for young singles seeking a date. Despite its reputation for casual dating, a strong majority of Tinder users (80%) say they want to find a meaningful relationship on the app.
Of course, it takes more than a large network to satisfy daters. You need tools and features to help them turn that pile of prospects into a calendar of dates. Which brings us to our next match-up.
We’re going to look under the hood now and discuss how these dating platforms work. Every dating app and site differs slightly in how they bring singles together. Some offer an array of chat tools while others focus more on the match algorithm.
You’ve probably heard of Tinder’s swiping feature, but did you know that Zoosk has something very similar? They call it the Carousel. The platform shows you a profile picture and you can click the checkmark to like it, the star to favorite it, the x to rate it down, or the O to skip it. The more profiles you rate, the better your Smart Pick matches become. Zoosk uses a Behavioral Matchmaking system to understand its users by their actions and interests.
Additionally, you can search for a date on your own using its advanced search features. You can filter by age, location, height, ethnicity, religion, education, body type, and other criteria. You can even save your favorite searches. That makes it easy to direct your own sails in the dating world and find someone who fits your preferences.
Zoosk allows free members to send scripted messages to users to gauge interest, but they can’t read replies or write their own messages unless a Premium member gets in touch with them. While that does limit communication on the platform, it doesn’t seem to stop people from starting conversations. According to the site’s internal data, Zoosk members exchange over 3 million messages a day on the app and site.
Tinder encourages singles to “Join swipe life,” and we can’t deny that’s it’s a fun and fast way to sort through the dating scene. You basically play a game of hot-or-not, and only the people you’ve liked and who have liked you end up in your inbox.
We can criticize the swiping system for being superficial and for gamifying dating, but, at the end of the day, it gives singles something they can do to attract date prospects. Like it or not, swiping is part of the reason online dating has exploded in popularity in recent years. The mutual matching system isn’t complicated, and it ensures the only guys/gals who talk to you on the app are people you have pre-screened and approved.
This was a tough battle. Both platforms have reliable features designed to accelerate the dating process. Tinder gives you date options and empowers you to make a match for yourself, while Zoosk gives you curated matches and empowers you to search based on your criteria. Both platforms learn from your interactions with profiles, and they both offer a smart algorithm to direct your way.
In the end though, we prefer Zoosk because it offers more transparency and proactive tools to find a date yourself. Its hands-on recommendations and feature-rich environment allows for connection on multiple layers using a variety of matching, searching, and communication tools.
Though Zoosk has a customer rating of 4.5 stars on iTunes, you can’t judge its success just on customer satisfaction. You have to look at the end result: Did the singles who joined the network get the results they wanted? The evidence seems to say they did.
Zoosk proudly posts its success stories on its blog. The dating platform has a long track record of pairing up happy couples, and it has thousands of published testimonials to prove it.
From finding a new friend to falling in love, these heartwarming tales offer an encouraging sign that Zoosk does indeed work.
A Connecticut single named Elizabeth joined Zoosk 10 years after losing her husband. It only took one message to sweep her off her feet.
“One day, Tim messaged me and said I was adorable,” Elizabeth said, “and the rest is history.”
Tinder certainly has some impressive numbers to its name. The app claims responsibility for making 20 billion matches in the last six years and arranging 1 million dates per week on average. Not sure how they calculated that 1-million-date number, but, OK, let’s go with that. So how many friendships, relationships, and marriages have sprung from a billion matches and a million dates? Tinder doesn’t say. The app doesn’t post success stories.
The closest thing you can find to a testimonial would be in Tinder’s customer reviews on iTunes, where it has an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Not all that encouraging.
“Dating apps help you find the people, but you can’t rush the connection.” — Daffy Duck_22, a Tinder user
BuzzFeed posted 15 Tinder love stories to give users hope. But, honestly, 15 love stories isn’t all that impressive in the context of 20 billion matches. There should be millions of success stories happening all over the place.
LittlePrettyThings posted on r/AskReddit looking for a Tinder success story, and the top answer was, “I deleted the app.” Some users posted cute stories about downloading the app under a table specifically to match with a girl or going on a date to the arboretum. One guy posted that he was thinking about marrying a girl he met on Tinder. “We were one of the rare cases of success, that’s for sure,” he said.
This one wasn’t even close. Tinder doesn’t publish success stories, for whatever reason, so users have to comb through Reddit, BuzzFeed, and other websites to hear about the rare Tinder love story. That doesn’t give us great confidence in the app. Sure, it’s big, but how many of those people are actually finding what they’re looking for? And how many are simply stuck swiping and chatting with no actual dates in sight?
Zoosk shares its success stories and makes it clear that the dating app and site have worked in the past and can work in the future.
Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has had a tremendous impact on the modern dating scene. It created the swiping culture that is currently satisfying, frustrating, and entertaining millions upon millions of singles. And no one can take that away from it. However, this pioneering app loses out to Zoosk in terms of features, successes, and overall ratings.
Zoosk’s network may not be as big as Tinder’s (at least, not yet), but Zoosk’s feature-rich platform offers far more ways to connect with people online, and it empowers singles to conduct searches on their own. Tinder paved the way, and now Zoosk is soaring into the future.