When you think of dating, Zoosk probably doesn’t come to mind unless you’re thinking of dating ten years ago – ya know, when the app was founded. Dating has come a long way since the likes of EHarmony and Zoosk itself. I’m just thankful that commercials for dating apps have become few and far between. Though I do miss the Farmer’s Only TV spot…
But that’s beside the point. When you think of where you’re going to find your next partner or hook up, you’re probably not thinking of Zoosk. However, this app – which was popular when I wasn’t even old enough to know what a dating app was – is still around.
I first remember hearing about this app at my aesthetician’s office. While she was taming my eyebrows she thought it was appropriate to tell a teenager with an almost-unibrow about her dating life as a newly divorced middle-aged woman… Now, I finally have the chance to see what all the hype was about.
Here are my thoughts on Zoosk:
This app is a little bit of a cluster. Upon signing up, it’s unclear what you really accomplished during that process. The photo that you initially upload doesn’t actually appear on your profile, and you aren’t asked to fill out any information that will eventually appear on your bio.
After signing up, I found myself re-uploading the same picture a few times until it finally took. Additionally, I had to fill out my first and last name when going into my profile to complete it. And that made me uncomfortable.
Even though there’s a display name option, I don’t want my first and last name in a dating site’s database. Most sites don’t ask for your first and last name – then again most of them have you sign up with Facebook – but either way, I didn’t like it.
What’s interesting about this site is they have two different swipe-like features – like Tinder and Bumble!. There’s a feature where you can swipe to match with people who are online and a feature where you can swipe to match with what I can only assume are all the people on the site.
One of the features you can’t go back and if you want to you best believe they’re going to charge you quite the pretty penny. It doesn’t seem productive to me to be able to swipe through people and not be able to go back when you can just search for them later or find them in a different stack of matches.
They also have a feature called Smart Pick (which is trademarked). There must be some fancy database or algorithm involved because Zoosk doesn’t play when it comes to their Smart Pick feature. They basically are looking at your likes and match history along with simple answers to questions like “Do you want kids?” to find you curated matches.
However, after a few days on the site, this becomes paywalled. I find this to be a bad choice for Zoosk as there are other apps like Hinge which will show you their favorite matches for you based on your history for FREE.
Pricing and membership details
Their upgrade does the stuff that you might expect it to do. It gives you access to premium features like the Smart Pick content on their site, and you’ll be able to be boosted so that more people see your profile.
However, their membership is easily the highest priced I’ve seen. They’re not charging you by the month like most apps or services, they’re charging you per week. Yes, per week. You can either go for a high commitment subscription at $3 a week (which comes to $12 a month), or you can pay per month at $10 a week (which comes to $40 a month).
For what they’re offering, I think they’re insane for asking that much money for a pretty basic set of upgraded features.
Quick little tutorial: I like that when you sign up that you get a very quick walkthrough of how the site works. I like this because in the days of swiping apps I’m scared that if I make one wrong move that I’ll match with or swipe away from someone on accident.
The tutorial removes any swiping fear that you may have ingrained in you by the likes of popular mobile dating apps.
Important Q’s with Smart Pick: When you first go to the Smart Pick page, they ask you some pretty important questions. By asking you these and matching you based on your answers you can avoid wasting your time talking to someone who’s a total deal-breaker.
For instance, let’s say you start to hit it off with someone who has kids when you’d never be interested in dating someone with kids. Once it comes out that they have kids, you have to let them know that you’re not interested, and you’re left with them feeling uncomfortable as well.
This feature works to remove that problem.
Finally, a “maybe” button!: When I’m swiping through people, I often will get stuck on someone I’m on the fence about. Finally, there’s an app with a “maybe” button! I like this because you can come back to them later after you’re swipe-exhausted.
Limited gender options: In this day and age, you should have more than two gender options. It can’t be that difficult to integrate that into your app. This is another one of those sites that only have two gender options. This makes it uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for non-conforming or trans people to use the app.
Limited interests: When making my profile, I found that I needed to fill out some interests of mine before I could start swiping. But here’s the problem: the interests are too oddly specific, or too vague.
For instance: reading isn’t listed as a hobby, so naturally, I tried to enter in the title of some of my favorite books… however, I couldn’t find any of them listed as an interest either. The same thing with music! Going to festivals or concerts wasn’t listed as an interest, but neither were some of my favorite bands.
Hopefully, you have really basic interests because god forbid you like something that makes you unique.
Requires so much validation to start: After I filled out my information, I wanted to get to it! I didn’t want to have to stop and fill out my entire profile before getting to the good stuff. Most apps will encourage you to fill out your profile before matching, but they don’t force you.
I found this aggravating because I had to enter my phone number to verify my account before I was even sure I liked the app! And once you verify your phone number they enroll you in texting alerts! No thank you!
In all, I didn’t hate the app. It’s not a bad dating or hookup app. However, they’re wrong to use a testimonial saying that Zoosk isn’t a “dating site, it’s a relationship site.” It feels more like a hookup app than anything else.