• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

A guide to your perfect dating app

BySarah Shaw

Feb 16, 2018

Throughout the Valentine’s period there is one obvious question on everyone’s mind. Out of the many options out there, which dating app is best? To put all your minds at rest, we at The Student thought it best to save you some time this Valentine’s.

From the classic Tinder to the up and coming Hater, I’ve signed up for some of the popular apps to test them out and review them, making Valentine’s dating that little bit easier.

Tinder is a classic in the student dating world, over five years old and still going strong. Tinder was the first major dating app for young people and has created a foundation for all others. Of all the apps I’ve tried, the layout of Tinder is definitely the easiest, pioneering the swiping system now used by many others. With a decent Apple App Store rating of 3.1 stars out of 5 it’s persisting while competition rises.

Most have had Tinder at some point, and sadly a lot have deleted their accounts striving to find love in different places.

Almost everyone I questioned said that they feel Tinder is going increasingly downhill. In the interests of research – and checking if this is true – I have reactivated my account and can assure you that the matches and cheesy pickup lines are still there, even if, with a loss of users, there are fewer of them.

Of all the apps recommended, Bumble is the most frequently mentioned in the post-Tinder era. It has taken on the swiping system but charges one coin per ‘super swipe’ (with a single coin costing you £1.99). There is plenty of choice while swiping, and the 4 out of 5 App Store rating shows that Bumble has become pretty popular in the rising world of dating apps.

So far it is the only app I have found that has a ‘women message first’ system, giving us ladies a bit more choice in opening a conversation. There is, however, a time limit of 24 hours for any messages before the match is removed (the same time is given for the match to reply). This time limit adds a bit of stress and pushes you to use the app regularly, not letting a good match get away.

This may be ideal if you’re rushing to find a Valentine but in day-to-day dating it’s nice to be able to take your time.

Having recruited friends to ‘investigate’ Bumble, one found a match willing to make a statement: Jonny claims that out of the common dating apps used “Bumble is probably the best,” this shows that, despite the stress, Bumble is still well-liked.

Another app I found was Badoo. Badoo is relatively unknown but seems to be rising fast. There are plenty of users allowing views, likes and messages to build up quickly. However, as these compile in one long list it can be a bit daunting to look through a list of 99+ likes. The swiping feature helps, but ultimately many of those ‘liking’ will be neglected.

Read receipts on messages also make the whole process a little bit more stressful. People can also message before you match, but while this can be helpful in getting conversations rolling faster, there isn’t quite the same scope for choosing who to talk to as there is on Tinder and Bumble.

With a 4 out of 5 App Store rating this obviously isn’t a major issue in the long run, and with an option for making friends as well as finding dates, Badoo has the added advantage that it can be used for those looking for company in ways different to what is typical of dating apps.

Mint is an app I had never heard of before, but featured in the top 10 results in my ‘dating apps UK’ App Store search.

Having signed up, I can see why. Mint allows you to scroll back to people you’ve already passed instead of removing them as options like most other apps do, which is definitely a help when you have had the dreaded accidental swipe left.

Like Badoo you can message anyone without having matched. This feature is useful for starting conversations easily but can be a drawback in terms of privacy and unwanted messages.

Another useful feature on Mint is a tab for seeing which people are active at the time, as well as swiping through everyone inside your radius.

Once again Mint is helping to make conversations easier, which has clearly  paid off looking at their 4.4 out of 5 App Store rating. Unfortunately, there is a small selection of people currently using this app as it is relatively unknown, but once user numbers pick up it has the potential to be a great place to meet new people.

A lot of people have mentioned an app they heard about which matched based on dislikes, as well as their images and profile. After some hunting I found the app Hater, created last year in time for Valentine’s Day.

The concept is that you swipe through hates as well as people, and match with people based on mutual dislikes. This is a fun and inventive idea but the choice of hates on the app is fairly limited (examples being ‘the metric system’ and ‘paying extra for guacamole’), and not many people in Edinburgh seem to be using it.

Currently their main user base is America, so it’s important for the app to pick up speed here before it can be as strong as the others. There is also the limiting nature of  there being no information about users except their pictures and their dislikes.

With a 3.8 out of 5 App Store rating the app does seem fairly popular with users,  but for me the possibilities of use were very restricting. While the idea behind Hater is great and interesting, it doesn’t seem quite ready for Edinburgh just yet.

Happn is another app not heard of by many that is beginning to move into the city. Happn connects with users you are near to or pass by. As a user Lauren said, “like Pokémon Go for adults.”

Its concept requires the need for  popularity and significant users to find matches, and in Edinburgh there are a fair number (although it hasn’t yet made it to the level of Tinder or Bumble).

You have the ability to go through the users you have found and choose who to talk to, and again there is the possibility of messaging without a match.

Happn has an App Store rating of 3.8 out of 5, which shows how it can be useful in dating once the user base has been built up. However many reviews did complain about pop-up adverts being a bit too common. Happn appears to be a good app, with a significant choice in potential dates, but still needs some work to build up popularity in Edinburgh.

These are just six of the many apps out there, geared up and waiting to match everyone with their perfect date this Valentine’s Day. Dating apps make the whole process of meeting and dating a lot easier, which is perfect for this time of year.

However for many, Valentine’s Day has lost its appeal. For those who are feeling slightly more cynical this year, me included, let’s grab some friends and some drinks, and make the most of being single.

Image: Gjonesredhill via Wikipedia

By Sarah Shaw

Features Writer

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