Online dating can meet your romantic needs, whether you’re seeking a long-term partner or a casual hookup. But with so many online dating sites, choosing the right app can be challenging.
Match and Zoosk are the two big names in the online dating scene. Type their names into Google, and you’ll be overwhelmed with information, reviews, and competitors hoping to catch your eye. You might not know which platform is best or what factors should determine the right online dating app for you.
To help you out, we have gathered all the information you need to know about both Match and Zoosk, including insights on its user base, matchmaking system, cost, and safety issues. Use the links below to jump to the section that’s the most relevant to what you’re looking for.
User Base Breakdown: Who Joins Match vs Zoosk?
Match and Zoosk are reliable dating sites that offer the same service: Helping you find matches and get dates. But every app has slight distinctions, and as users, it’s important to know how they differ so that you can choose the right app that caters to your needs and preferences.
Match: For Adults Who Want Serious Relationships
When it comes to online dating, Match is often the first name that pops into people’s minds. With a nearly 30-year track record, Match has more than 39.7 million members, 15 million monthly active users, and 7 million paid members, making it one of the biggest players in the online dating scene. Today, 48% of Match users are adults between 30 and 49 years old who are looking for serious relationships. The rest of Match users are pretty evenly split between people under 30 (35%) and over 50 (27%).
- Match is the world’s longest running dating site
- The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
- Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages
The gender ratio on Match is almost equal, with approximately 49% men and 51% women. Inclusivity is also part of the Match experience, as its members come from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and religions. Though most Match users are looking for something serious, you’re still welcome to join even if you’re only looking for casual hookups.
Zoosk: A Place for Younger People to Meet New People & Have Casual Fun
Zoosk is a unique dating website founded by Alex Mehr and Shayan Zadeh in 2007 with a mission to seamlessly integrate social networking and online dating. Given this approach, it is no wonder that Zoosk attracts users between 18 and 40 years old who are looking for casual dates. Currently, Zoosk is available in 25 languages and has 40 million members in 80 countries who collectively send an average of 3 million messages a day through the platform.
- Send messages to premium members for free
- Over 3 million messages sent a day
- Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts
As with Match, Zoosk has a fairly even gender ratio: 48% men and 52% women. Inclusiveness is also important to Zoosk, and the platform welcomes people of all backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations. Zoosk is a good place for younger people to find matches and have fun in an online environment.
Features: Is the Matchmaking System Simple & Effective?
For decades, Match and Zoosk have helped find matches for singles. These industry mainstays continue innovating their apps to provide the best experience for users. With that in mind, let’s learn about each platform’s unique features and to decide which suits you best.
Match: matchPhone, Daily Matches, & Life Events
Match is an online dating site with an algorithm that does the legwork for you. Every day, you receive a profile recommendation as your potential match. You can find these under the Matches tab at the top of your screen. A free member can chat with any of the profiles in these Top Picks at no cost.
Another special feature is the matchPhone. It provides a stand-in phone number you can give to your online match. When your match calls or texts you, it will forward to your real number. This means you can connect with your match privately without sharing your real number. If things go wrong and you no longer want to connect, you can easily block them. This feature aims to make online dating on the platform even safer.
Match also encourages singles to get off their devices and meet in real life. To facilitate that, Match hosts live events in selected cities. You must be a paid member to join a Match live event. Once you receive an invitation, all you have to do is show up ready to have a new experience.
Zoosk: Singles Carousel, SmartPick, & Zoosk Coins
Zoosk matches singles through the Carousel located in the sidebar of its site and app. The platform suggests profiles in the Carousel based on the parameters you set when you sign up, and asks, “Want to Meet Him/Her?” You can respond with a yes, no, or maybe, and can also favorite the profile and save it for later.
Another perk of using Zoosk is that the more you browse and interact with the site, the more Zoosk understands your preferences. This feature is called SmartPick™, and it leverages Behavioral Matchmaking technology to determine suggestions. The system ensures that match recommendations are hyper-personalized to you.
Zoosk Coins add another unique element by allowing members to select which upgraded features they want to pay for, and the ones they don’t. With Zoosk Coins, you can buy virtual gifts for other members, unlock Carousel matches (people you’ve liked who like you back), boost your profile visibility in search results and messages, and get delivery confirmation on messages.
If you’re not ready to make that investment, you can earn Zoosk Coins by referring a friend, winning contests on the site, and following Zoosk on Facebook.
Cost: What’s Free vs Paid on the Dating Platforms?
Price is often a determining factor for singles choosing a dating platform. No matter how desperate you are to find “the one,” it may not be worth spending an exorbitant amount. Finding the right app at a reasonable price is a good way to go. So let’s jump into the pricing differences between Match and Zoosk.
Match: Free Memberships & Worthwhile Discounts
You can start using Match for free by signing up for an account that never expires. However, features are limited for free members. If you want to get the most out of Match, you should upgrade to a paid membership.
Match has memberships for three, six, and 12 months. The 12-month subscription is the best value because it typically offers a good discount. You could end up spending less than $6 per month if you hit it at the right time. If you’re still unsure, you can opt for a free trial membership to test all the premium features.
The free membership is a good place to start for singles who want to explore the online dating scene. You can message profiles in your Top Picks for free, which makes it possible to find a date without a paid subscription.
If you want total freedom to connect with anyone who catches your interest, a premium membership is the way to go. As a premium member, you can invite matches to a Vibe Check video date and gain exclusive access to expert dating advice and Match events.
Zoosk: Never-Expiring Free Membership, Premium Plans from $12.49
Zoosk has a range of membership options to consider. A single person can choose the plan that works best within their budget — from a free membership up to $30 a month.
With a Zoosk free membership, you can include photos, browse profiles, access the Carousel, check out who’s online now, see who’s looked at your profile, send Winks, and receive messages and IM requests. The best part is that Zoosk’s free subscription never expires, so you can use it as long as you like.
If you want to enjoy the cool stuff, including unlimited browses through the Carousel and back-and-forth messaging, you should upgrade to a premium membership.
Safety: How Do the Sites Protect Members?
Safety is an important consideration in the online dating world, and singles should know what security features Match and Zoosk can offer to provide peace of mind.
Match: A Premium Service With Proactive Verification Features
The Match dating website and app have been around for a long time, and reviews for the service are overwhelmingly positive. The majority of Match’s success stories involve love and marriage, which isn’t the case for fast-paced swiping apps like Tinder.
Match Group is always working to improve its customer service and user experience. A big part of that effort involves profile moderation and following up on user complaints.
Some users on Consumer Affairs, where Match has over 3,200 reviews, have expressed frustration with the moderation process. Repeated themes in the complaints show that the strict moderation can negatively impact people whose profiles have been reported for any number of reasons. Debbie from Daytona Beach, Florida, lodged a complaint about being blocked from the dating website.
“I dated someone, and after I decided not to date him anymore. He told me ‘I’ll show you, you won’t be able to date online anymore.’ … He reported something on me that caused Match to cancel me for life. I tried for over six months to be reinstated and tell them the circumstances. Seems they believe whoever spoke first they believe whatever he said.“
One member — Richard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — found it difficult to contact Match after his account fell under suspicion and locked him out. He explained in his review that he signed up for a premium membership and then received a suspicious access code request for his login. He promptly changed his password on his Match account and contacted the Match team about the incident.
“A day later I am locked out of the account, [and] if you try reporting ‘forgot password’ it only sends back a notice saying something is wrong with the account and to contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org. I did so and remain locked out, and there no other way to contact them and now I’m on day two with no access.”
Match operates under a better-safe-than-sorry (or better-blocked-than-fake) approach that can leave innocent users out in the online dating cold while the moderators verify profile information. But such proactive measures also ensure fake profiles and bots have no chance to thrive here.
Zoosk: Watch Out for Fake Messages and Bots
On Consumer Affairs, Zoosk has an average user rating of 2.4 out of 5 stars, with only 21% of 772 reviewers giving the app five stars. Recent reviews include many one-stars, and the topics of complaints include failed refunds, poor customer service, and fake profiles. Here’s one bad review from Mark from Batavia, New York:
“Guys, seriously, do not pay this site any money. Just another crap dating site trying to lure you into subbing up. I am short, and …wait, short. That’s all I need to say. I like to search the women while on the crapper, and when I like someone, I almost immediately get notifications that ‘blank’ wants to hear from me or I have a message from someone I liked two mins ago… Am I supposed to believe this? …I mean, how many bots or fake accounts do they use? And trust me. Women aren’t paying either. They just post a pretty smile and hope us schmucks pay up to message them. Well, I, for one, won’t be that guy. Rather be single.”
If you’re looking for something serious, Zoosk may not be the best place to explore. Nika from Silver Spring, Maryland, wrote that Zoosk’s low price comes with a cost for its users.
“There are a lot of casual daters, not really interested in anything serious. I did not see anything happening. I was luckier on another dating site I used long ago, but now, after my divorce, I found Zoosk, which is cheaper but way worse. I really think I should have changed the site right at the beginning.”
The Winner: Match Is Our Pick for Best Dating App
Based on our analysis, we can conclude that Match remains too powerful to be defeated by the popular Zoosk. Match has been in the matchmaking game for decades, and its many success stories are a testament to its effectiveness.
- In-depth matching appeals to women with high standards
- Video chat tools help online daters establish a rapport
- An established singles network in 50 countries worldwide
While both apps could improve their dating service, the cons for them are very different. The complaints about Zoosk center on suspicions of fake profiles and bait-and-switch gimmicks to lure single people into becoming paid members. As for Match, the complaints are simply about day-to-day business practices and proactive moderation sometimes catching a person unaware.
Our dating experts prefer Match over Zoosk in the online dating world, but nothing beats firsthand experience. It’s up to you to make your choice, take a leap, and create a dating profile. If you give it a shot and feel you’re on the wrong app, you can always delete your account and hop to the next one. Happy dating!