If you feel like stepping into the dating world in 2022 is overwhelming, you’re not alone. Combine leftover pandemic panic, an age in which our digital attention spans are getting shorter by the day, and busier than ever schedules and it may not exactly feel like the recipe for a dating dreamworld.
So, how about accepting a little helping hand?
If you’ve all but given up on finding love, maybe went through a difficult heartbreak that knocked your confidence or simply don’t know where to start with meeting new people, let us introduce four of the UK’s best, most innovative and successful dating apps here to help you find your match, whatever it is you’re looking for.
So, where to start? With multiple apps out there all claiming to be ‘the one’, we spoke to the guys from Tinder, Bumble, Thursday and Hinge to get the lowdown on what they’re all about, and how to know which one (or few!) are right for you…
“As the dating app designed to be deleted, we’re the go-to app for intentional daters and meaningful connections” says Team Hinge.
Offering in-depth profiles, people can find a match who shares similar interests and align with their lifestyle habits.
The app focuses on the idea that people are “more than just a profile photo”, and has been designed to allow singles to showcase their true personalities. By offering in-depth profiles, people can find a match who shares similar interests and align with their lifestyle habits.
“Ultimately, the easier it is for you to find people you’re compatible with, the sooner you can go on a great date and find someone special.
Committed to empowering all daters on their journey, Hinge offers more than 50 gender options to select from within the app and also gives people the ability to write in their gender too.”
If you’re thinking about swiping right for Tinder…
“Right now on Tinder over 50% of our members are Gen Z, aged between 18-25 and it’s the world’s most popular app for meeting new people. Tinder has been designed to embrace the magic of human connections, whatever form that connection may be.
We recently launched Explore, a newly-created hub within the app that hosts completely new, interactive ways to use the app. With Explore, members have more control over who they meet by giving them the option to navigate through profiles arranged by interest, while also allowing them to access a growing list of exclusive social experiences, such as Festival Mode, Blind Date and Swipe Night – with many more to follow.”
Hot girl summer just got way more fun!
Bumble – give us the sales pitch…
“Bumble is a women-first dating app, built on the belief that when dating is better for women, it’s better for everyone.” You can say that again!
Bumble is the only dating app that empowers women by putting them in control of their interactions.
“Bumble is the only dating app that empowers women by putting them in control of their interactions. With women making the first move on Bumble, they decide who they engage with and unwanted messages or advances are not tolerated.
No matter the type of relationship, women always make the first move on Bumble. Bumble is built on the importance of equitable relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, and happy life. The app is built around kindness, respect and equality – and everyone plays a part in that.”
Thinking about Thursday? What’s the deal and who can you expect to see there?
“The app is open to absolutely everyone but the large majority of our members are aged 24-30 and tend to be in the “young professional” category. However, we do host 30+ events as well as more “free for all”. In terms of expectations, the whole point of Thursday is to get members to meet IN REAL LIFE that very same day. Whether that’s through matching and chatting on the app or whether that’s by attending an event where everyone is single, the choice is yours.
The inside scoop. Digging deeper with Hinge:
With 30 million dates and counting, since Hinge was created in 2021 the app has gone on to see thousands of success stories, connecting couples in 20 countries and counting. One such perfect match? In December 2020, award-winning author, journalist and broadcaster Elizabeth Day got married to partner Justin, the couple originally matched on the app. Fun fact, Justin, sent the first message – it was about crumpets. Aww!
Building your Hinge profile …
“The key to a great profile is selecting photos and Prompts that show who you are,” say the Hinge Experts.
“Think about your profile as your opening line in a conversation — something your match can respond to or ask a follow-up question about. Try skipping the small talk and go deep with your Prompts – selecting the ones which allow you to be vulnerable and help the other person get to know you. Whatever it is you love about who you are, make sure other people can see it.
84% of UK Hinge singles say they would prefer to date someone who goes to therapy and are open about it.
“And there’s definitely room for all sides of you – serious and funny. To help encourage meaningful conversation around mental wellbeing, Hinge has just launched a new Self-Care Prompts pack – 84% of UK Hinge singles say they would prefer to date someone who goes to therapy and are open about it, so these Prompts are designed to help daters be vulnerable from the get-go and find others who are willing to do the same.
“Your dating app profile is a chance to show who you are, not who you wish you were! Singles want to get a sense of your true personality and what dating you will look like. Being upfront about this will help save you heartache down the road. Show the real you in your photos; how you dress, where you hang out, and what you like to do.
“Next up, ask your friends for their thoughts on your profile – they can help you to create a profile that is actually you. Get their thoughts on your good traits, what you’re looking for, and all that you have to offer a partner. Above all else, a good profile should represent you, not an aspirational version of yourself.” Say it louder for the people at the back!
Hinge is setting up a date every 2 seconds, which is more than one million dates a month!
“Our community has been spending less time on the app and more time connecting with other Hinge singles where it matters- out in the real world. Hinge is setting up a date every 2 seconds, which is more than one million dates a month! In 2021, Hinge saw a 36% increase in dates globally in comparison to 2020 [according to We Met].”
The inside scoop. Digging deeper with Tinder:
Needing no real introduction, the OG dating app Tinder is available in 190 countries and 40+ languages, it’s been downloaded more than 505 million times and led to more than 70 billion matches. Phew!
So, how do you stand out and make your profile show you in your truest form?
“Now more than ever, bios are so important,” says team Tinder. “In just a few lines, you can give a potential match key info about yourself to spark their interest. Love dogs? Perfected Latte art during lockdown? Add it to your bio to ignite a conversation, and even link your favourite tune to your Spotify anthem on your profile. Finally, add a dog! Having a dog in one of your photos increases your match rate by 5%!
Your Tinder profile should be all about you, being solo in front of the camera means potential matches know who they’re looking out for.
“Your Tinder profile should be all about you, being solo in front of the camera means potential matches know who they’re looking out for, so don’t opt for all group shots! We want everyone to keep their profiles fresh by keeping photos up to date. We also encourage members to use our Photo Verification feature on the app to ensure we remain a safe space for meeting new people. Photo Verification allows you to verify your profile, showing potential matches you’re really you through getting a blue tick.”
The inside scoop- digging deeper with Bumble.
An app built around kindness, respect and equality in dating sure sounds right up our street, and at its core this is the ethos of Bumble, founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014 and now seeing more than 42 million monthly active users. Bumble empowers its users to make meaningful connections across dating, friendship (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz) around the world. To date, women have made more than 1.7 billion first moves on Bumble. We love to see it!
Making the most of your Bumble profile…
“If a serious connection is something you’re looking for this summer, updating and completing your profile should be a top priority. Bumble gives you a clear indication of how complete your profile is, by showing you a percentage around your profile picture, which encourages you to fill in each section fully.” Pretty neat!
“Completing your profile (interest badges, prompts, basic information) not only increases your opportunity to make the most suitable connection but Bumble’s sex and relationship expert Dr Caroline West further explains, “A fully filled out dating profile indicates someone’s intentions to be committed to finding a partner. On the flip side, a barely filled out profile could be a red flag as it may signify that they do not want to communicate their traits clearly and honestly.”
“Opt for what you do want vs. what you don’t. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid including what you aren’t looking for (e.g., “not seeking anything serious” “no drinkers”). Instead, reframe your bio to emphasise what you DO want, like casual dates with someone who doesn’t drink. Including things you could potentially have in common also helps start a conversation.“
Your profile should be mostly made up of solo shots, and that very first picture should definitely just be of you. “It’s crazy how many people still make this mistake,” Dave Bowden, author of Stop Doubting, Start Dating, says. “They think it’s important to show that they’re social and have friends, so they choose a photo that shows them with one or more other people. While it’s okay to work in a few shots of you with friends later, starting with a photo showing multiple faces makes it impossible for your potential matches to know which one is you.” Let’s quit the guesswork, people!
The inside scoop. Digging deeper with Thursday:
Dating app Thursday is the new kid on the block, and with a fresh take on meeting new people, it’s making waves in the industry and on social media. Every Thursday, the app comes to life with people near you who also want to meet that day. With exclusive events at some of the sexiest spots in the city, it’s perfect for those ‘I just want to meet someone at a bar’ people, allowing you to focus on yourself and live your best life for the 6 remaining days of the week and prevent dating fatigue.
So, why Thursday? Is it really the new Friday?
“The founders actually had a previous dating app before rebranding to Thursday (still based on meeting in real life but a slightly different concept),” says Jess, Thursday’s Digital Creative Lead. “From the data on this they noticed that members were most active on a Thursday…” Interesting!
“Let’s be honest – we don’t really want to waste our Friday night and Saturday night on a date that might not be worth our time. We’d rather save those days for things we really want to do – hanging out with friends, family, doing hobbies. If we ‘waste’ a Thursday, it doesn’t feel as bad because we’ve still got the weekend!”
Building your Thursday profile …
“A picture can say a thousand words so picking photos that really represent you and your lifestyle are important,” says Jess. “In terms of using prompts – use one prompt to show a deeper side, one to show your sense of humour and one to show your interests/hobbies. However, it is absolutely impossible to show who you truly are in a dating profile regardless of how honest we think we’re being. Meeting in real life truly is the only way.
“We all want to pick our best photos, our best angles, our wittiest remarks but I think it’s important to remember, no matter what you put on your profile, it’s not you. You can’t get the full version of yourself across in just 5 photos and 3 prompts. You are wayyyyy more than a profile. Having said this, to get that date, it’s all we have to go on.
Just remember this: at the end of the day, if you’re faking who you are on your profile, you won’t be able to keep a facade up for long in real life so you might as well be as honest as you can be.
“Our primary difference and our mission is to connect singles IN REAL LIFE, every Thursday. People are bored of swiping, they’re bored of matching, they’re bored of even chatting via messenger. It’s mundane, it’s a waste of time and more often than not, the conversation just fizzles out and that’s it, you don’t actually get to meet.
“By only being live one day a week, we create that sense of urgency to match, chat and meet that day. Otherwise that match will be gone forever (all messages and matches disappear at midnight on Thursday). In addition, we’re the only dating app that runs successful singles events where we hire out bars, venues, experiences and get singles to meet other singles IRL. I think the best thing about us is there is always something you can get out of a Thursday being single (if you’re in London or NYC that is), don’t fancy going on a 1-1 date? No problem, we’ve got events going on where you can meet other like-minded single people. It’s a win-win, no matter the Thursday.”
Committed to finding the one? Let’s talk about paid features!
“Tinder is available in three paid subscription tiers: Tinder+, Tinder Gold and Tinder Platinum. Each subscription tier comes with its own set of features.
With Tinder+, Tinder Gold and Tinder Platinum members are able to use the Tinder passport feature. Tinder Passport provides endless places to go and new people to meet all without leaving your home. The most popular cities for singletons in the UK to passport to are LA, New York and Paris.
Another paid feature available on Tinder Gold and Tinder Platinum is the ability to see who has liked you! Likes You, or “See Who Likes You” allows members to see who has already liked them. Singletons can then browse the profiles in a grid view, rather than the traditional cardstack, and decide who to match with.”
“Our free membership offers daters a unique level of access to connect with each other, including the ability to see everyone who likes them (something most other apps charge for), to send a comment to someone you’re interested in and access to the same in-depth profiles and curated community of relationship-seekers as Preferred Membership. If you do fancy paying though, Preferred Members receive access to an unlimited number of likes and advanced profile preferences (e.g., height, family plans, vices, and more).
“Bumble has a new two-tier subscription model offering Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium – our top tier option. With the new subscriptions we launched Incognito Mode in Bumble Premium which allows you to only be seen by people who you swipe right on.”
- Rematch – chat to expired matches
- Extend – get more time to chat with matches beyond the 24 hour window
- Spotlight – get your profile to the front of the queue
- Superswipe – make a bold first move
- Backtrack – change your mind and give someone a 2nd chance
- Unlimited swipes
- Everything from Boost (Rematch, Extend, Spotlight, Superswipe, Backtrack, Unlimited Swipes)
- Beeline – see who’s already swiped right on you
- Incognito – only get seen by those you swipe right on
- Travel – change your location to connect with people in different areas
- Unlimited Advanced Filters – allows you to refine your matches and focus on what you really want in a partner
Users with a standard (free) membership can log in on Thursdays and:
- Send up to 10 ‘likes’
- View up to 200 profiles
- Exchange messages with matches
There is also a premium “VIP” membership called BlackCard, which costs £14.99 per month, giving you the option to send unlimited likes, check out as many profiles as you want and boost your profile (giving you 60x more exposure!).