Some dating apps and sites can feel a little too planned if you fantasize about a meet-cute in which you and your soulmate just kind of find each other. But dating apps like happn help singles split the difference between algorithms and spontaneity, profile bios and missed connections.

This happn review will tell you everything you need to know about the online dating app, so you can decide if it’s right for you. Our dating experts leave no link unclicked and no feature untested to give you the real deal on how the app performs and where its strengths and weaknesses are. Read on to learn more!

How Does happn Work? It’s All About Location

The happn app launched in 2014, co-founded by Didier Rappaport, Fabien Cohen and Antony Cohen as an alternative to dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. The premise of the app is simple: put your daily movements around the town or city you live in to work for you. Each happn member gets a daily timeline of potential matches based on whose paths they have crossed throughout the day. 

The app runs in the background on your device, and makes a note whenever you pass within a few kilometers (about a mile and a half or so) of another happn user. Whenever you want, you can check your timeline of close encounters and check out the profiles you come across. You can “like” the profile, which won’t show up for the other user unless they feel the same way about you, or send them a FlashNote to get their attention. If you and the other person both express interest, you get a Crush, which opens up the lines of communication.

So how well does the dating app happn work? A profile on the company from 2016 on Business Insider showed the online dating platform was making big moves in the industry, with 1 million users in the UK alone. The current statistics for the app show 100 million users globally, 4.9 million messages sent per day, and 1.5 million new users signing up every month. The happn mobile app is most popular in major cities like London, São Paolo, New York, and Paris. But as it continues to grow, you’re likely to find other happn users in most moderately sized cities and towns. 

The happn App Cost Breakdown

The basic experience on happn is free of charge, and readily available. Anyone can download the mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and get started on finding a potential match, all without paying for anything. 

However, like many dating apps and sites, happn also offers a premium subscription option for singles who want exclusive perks. The happn premium membership isn’t the cheapest out there, but the cost is still pretty reasonable. Here are the rates to get premium perks on happn:

  • $24.99 for one month
  • $89.99 for six months
  • $119.99 for a full year

What do you get as a premium member that you don’t get as a basic member? According to happn itself, you get an ad-free experience that lets you schedule periods of being in “Invisible Mode,” which keeps you from showing up in other happn user timelines. You also get perks like the ability to see who has liked your profile without having to like theirs first, lets you hide some personal information about yourself, and gives you expanded access to different communication tools on the app. 

A premium happn account also gives you better access to Crush Time, an in-app game that serves up a grid featuring four different profiles and lets you guess which of the four potential matches already liked your profile. Free users can also access CrushTime, but the game is tricky. The first guess is free, but you have to send a FlashNote to get another chance to guess. 

Robust Safety Features Protect happn Users

Safety is a major concern for online daters, and just about every dating service out there plays host to the occasional fake profile. The dating app happn takes this risk and annoyance seriously, which is why it offers robust and innovative safety features and systems to keep the platform free from scammers.

The first tool happn offers is the ability to certify your happn profile in-app, to reassure other members that you’re legit. The process is simple: Take a video of yourself doing a particular move dictated by the app, and you’re done! In addition to showing other people that you’re bona fide, going through the certification step gives you the option to only Crush with other certified members, reducing the risk of running into a scammer.

Another way happn keeps things safe for its members is the robust flagging and reporting system. If you encounter a profile that sets off alarm bells in your mind, simply report it to the happn team. The happn team investigates every report, flagging profiles and checking the behavior users report to get to the bottom of things. Depending on the severity of the issue, happn may issue a written warning, restrict the account, or ban it entirely from the platform.

In the words of happn CEO Karima Ben Abdelmalek, “User safety is the number one most important element to everyone at happn, so it is essential that we communicate our process to current and prospective users. It’s not always easy to be safe online – sometimes, we fall into traps that we think we never would, so I encourage users to be vigilant at all times.”

How Successful is the happn App?

The real test of any dating app or site is its success rate, since after all it doesn’t matter how easy or fun a dating service is if it doesn’t find you dates. The happn app is a little inconsistent on that front because a lot of the success of users depends on where they are.

If you’re in a major city, especially in Europe, the app seems to work very well. But if you live in a less densely-populated area, you’re probably not going to have as many encounters with other happn users.

Some users report that they get very few matches, and that matches can be flaky about actually meeting up on happn. Other users have great things to say about the app, though, so it really depends on where you are.

Bonus Alternatives: 6 Apps Similar to happn

These six apps offer many of the same key benefits that happn does, but don’t operate in exactly the same way as the niche dating app. If there are some aspects of happn that don’t sound exactly right for you, these dating sites and apps may be a good alternative to go with instead, and they’re all top picks for our dating experts.

Category Rating
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 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

Match consistently comes out on top among dating sites in our experts’ ratings because the platform offers the best balance of features and price point. You can use the internet site or popular dating app version of Match, or switch between the two, which makes it a little more flexible than happn. While Match doesn’t use location tracking to serve up your potential partners, the dating site does let you filter your suggested picks based on how far away they are from you, along with other factors. 

Your communications options are a little more limited on Match when you stick with the free profile, but you don’t need a premium membership to reach out to your top picks or mutual matches. Match also offers one of the largest dating pools in the world, with millions of people looking for love. That will improve the odds that you’ll find someone who’s perfect for you.

Category Rating
★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

While happn doesn’t restrict membership based on age, the dating app does tend to attract younger daters. As one of the top names in senior dating, SilverSingles offers a dating pool of singles who are exclusively 50+ years old, making it a better fit for older single people who want to stay in their age range. Silver Singles is also a much more streamlined, easy-to-use dating service, with features designed with older daters in mind.

Because seniors tend to be targeted more often for romance scammers, SilverSingles puts even more effort into detecting and removing fake profiles from the platform. The dating website and the app that goes with it also ensures customer service and tech support are easy to find. Its good reviews reflect that every member feels comfortable and safe while looking for love.

Category Rating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

Hookup apps and sites abound out there, but BeNaughty consistently gets top marks from our dating experts because it offers a lot to free and premium members. The dating site encourages members to put it all out there, with no shame and no stigma. Putting your profile together takes less than a minute, and you can start looking for people in your area who want a hookup. While BeNaughty doesn’t use location tracking the way happn does, the dating service does offer up matches based on your location.

Like happn, BeNaughty offers a variety of different options when it comes to making contact. FlirtCast lets you send a pre-written message to multiple members at once, and female BeNaughty members get access to unlimited messages as soon as they submit a profile picture. Men on BeNaughty are a little more restricted, with only five free messages per day at the basic membership level. 

Category Rating
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Send messages to premium members for free
  • Over 3 million messages sent a day
  • Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts

Although Zoosk started out as a Facebook extension, the dating site quickly made a name for itself in the crowded industry by keeping things easy, simple, and free. You can set up your profile on Zoosk in about a minute via Facebook Connect. And don’t worry; Zoosk doesn’t post anything to your Facebook account when you use it. The dating app also keeps things fresh by offering innovative and unique services.

Great Dates is a virtual dating tool that lets Zoosk site and app users take their potential match on a tour of cities around the world without leaving their living room. Users can explore Kyoto, Athens, Naples, and other romantic and intriguing locations with recorded content and digital sightseeing.

Zoosk also launched live video chat options in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, giving singles the chance to connect while socially distancing. Most of all, Zoosk doesn’t box itself in by restricting members to one type of connection. Whether you want a local hookup, new friends, or true love, many Zoosk users looking for the same.

Category Rating
★★★★ 4.3/5.0

If a Christian dating site is more your speed, the top choice for our experts is Christian Mingle. The faith-based niche dating platform has tons of success stories from around the world and offers an approach to finding the right partner that focuses on quality, not quantity. The goal for Christian Mingle users is to find a God-centered person to marry, so if you’re looking for a hookup, it’s not the best choice.

While you do have to pay for a premium membership to gain full access to communication on Christian Mingle, you have certain free features for getting your crush’s attention first that are open to all members. You also get expanded access to other member profiles and read receipts to make sure you’re not waiting and waiting for someone who hasn’t even seen your message. 

6. Facebook Dating

Facebook Dating isn’t the biggest dating platform in the world, but it’s an easy choice for people who already have a Facebook account and want to stick with singles in their own area. Facebook Dating isn’t exactly a location-based dating app the way that happn is, but the dating service uses your network of friends, along with your interests and hobbies listed on your profile, to suggest potential matches to you.

Unlike some of the other dating sites and apps on this list, you can contact anyone on Facebook Dating for free, at any time. If you’re on a tight budget, the fact that you can truly do everything you need to do on the platform without paying for anything is a big benefit. The downside is that even years after its launch, Facebook Dating still doesn’t have as many members as many other mainstream dating sites, so you won’t encounter as many matches.

A Free Online Dating Account Can Start a Path to Romance

If a great meet-cute story is a key ingredient in your romantic fantasies, using a dating app that brings real life and the digital world together is a great solution. As this happn review shows, the dating app happn lets you connect to the people who are literally all around you by serving up potential matches based on the paths you cross throughout your day.

Find your next match in the grocery store, your favorite coffee shop, or on your way to work and see where the path takes you!

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