Electric Youth | Younger daters flock here: 70 percent are under age 35. Zoosk promotes speed and efficiency and emphasizes physical appearance. A feature called “Carousel” has you vote yes or no on photos with only ages noted; based on this feedback and other parameters you’ve set, it hones in on your preferences and then begins to send more tailored prospects in both Carousel and suggested matches with profiles. Interact on Zoosk via subscription or the purchase of “coins,” which also allow you to send virtual “gifts” such as chocolates or flowers.
Terms: Search and send 10 first messages for free (responses not included). One month, $29.95; three months, $59.95; six months, $74.95. Website, iOS, Android, and Facebook
The Social Butterfly | In a year, Tinder has attracted so many (mostly young) fans that its name has become a verb among app daters. Tinder finds people near you and sends their picture for you to reject or accept to chat and potentially meet up. You must belong to Facebook, as the app pulls your profile, including friends and “likes,” from that site. Don’t have a fleshed-out Facebook page? Then there’s not much more than your picture for potential matches to go on when deciding to “heart” you or not.
Terms: Free. For iPhone and Android
The Troop Leader | Match offers an easily navigable user experience. Filling out the lengthy profile is time consuming if you want to augment checkbox answers with essay-esque elaboration. Match promises improved daily matches by integrating your preferences with your on-site interactions and other factors. It includes “Date Spark,” where you post an ideal date and see who wants to join you; and The Stir, invitations to live Match events such as cooking classes and bowling nights.
Terms: Search and wink for free. Then one month, $35.99; three months, $59.97; six months, $101.94; 12 months, $191.88. Website, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Facebook
The Talker | Consider this new service the anti-OKCupid. Billed as the “First Intellectual Flirting” site, Twine encourages users to message back and forth (average volleys: 50 to 60; ice breaker topics are supplied) before revealing their faces. Personality, not pulchritude, rules. Twine extracts users’ Facebook profiles to gauge proximity and similar interests, then suggests four matches a day. When both parties feel a connection, one or both can request a reveal.
Terms: Free for now, with a possible queue to activate as new member gender ratios are controlled.
For iOS 6 and above and Android
The Stud Finder | A Match property, OKCupid has a huge mobile following of people who don’t mind being judged (and judging) heavily on looks. The site notifies you if someone rates you 4 or 5 stars and if you have been deemed by the site to be among its most attractive users. Paid members can search with body type and attractiveness filters. Their algorithm scores suggested candidates based on your answers to 75 useful questions, and labels them “match,” “friend,” or “enemy,” which is an odd way of saying you wouldn’t hit it off. OKCupid also connects Instagram to profiles.
Terms: Send messages for free, then one month, $19.95; three months, $44.85; six months, $59.70. For iOS, Android, and website
How About We
The Adventure-Seeker | This upstart works backward: You plan and pitch a date (“How about
we play tourist and go take pictures around town?”), then see who’d like to join you. It downplays messaging. A dating “concierge” can jump-start activities.
Terms: Pay to read your inbox. Then one month, $12; three months, $24; six months, $36; 12 months, $60. For iOS, Android, and website
The Soulful Thinker | Intense and involved, eHarmony says the work has paid off for 565,000 married couples who met through the site. Personality Profile test results are presented for free, as are suggested matches. Actual interaction, which can be “guided” or conducted freely via messages, requires payment. Keep an eye out for Free Communication Weekends and frequent specials.
Terms: One month, $59.95; three months, $119.85; six months, $179.70; 12 months, $239.40.
The People Pleaser | Put Match, eHarmony, and OKCupid in a blender and you have POF. Users create a headline and profile and fill out a relationship needs test, chemistry assessment, psychological assessment, and sex and “keeper” tests. POF then shares a detailed report about you. Once a paying member, you can send virtual gifts and track your interactions with each match to keep them straight. Filters let you search by education, height, and body type.
Terms: Free up until interaction. Then three months, $38.70; six months, $51; 12 months, $81.40.
For iOS and Android