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Does flexible dating have a place in the digital age of highly-specific matchmaking networks? Zoosk seems to think so, as do their reported 40 million users! Let's see what it's all about.
While we often see dating sites with increasingly specific niches, Zoosk is bucking the trend with inclusive, flexible dating for US singles looking for any type of relationship!
The difference here isn't so much with the demographic as with the technology that runs behind Zoosk to make it feel like a personal dating experience, even in a community of a reported 40 million users! With a unique trademarked SmartPick feature, you get highly specific matches and have lots of tools at your disposal, even if you've signed up on a free membership.
It's smart, it's slick, and I like the opportunity to connect with men and women who might have been ruled out on a less intuitive site, where the engine driving the dating machine wasn't smart enough to know that the perfect person for me - might not be who I think they are!
“Flexible dating site with a massive membership - Zoosk knows what it's doing, and the smart advanced tech here speaks volumes!”
There's a lot to be said for good first impressions - and I definitely get them from Zoosk! You can sign up through your Google or Facebook account, as well as with an email address, so there's a lot of flexibility here!
I chose an email registration, theoretically the most extended option, and it took me a full four minutes. You need to fill in some basics such as whether you have kids and where you live - and even that can be done automatically by granting location permissions. The verification email didn't turn up on the first try, so after waiting a few minutes, I requested it be resent & it popped up pretty quickly.
Once that's done - you're in! While I found it quite hard to see how Zoosk would work (what if I match with someone looking for a hookup, and I'm after a committed relationship?), it does seem to be comprehensive.
In terms of ease of use, there are a lot of positives here to point out:
You get both Matches and SmartPicks, displayed side by side, so you can find suggested users in your area or more specific recommendations of singles who match your criteria.
The toolbar is vertical on the left-hand side - this is WAY easier to use than the typical header toolbar and means if you want to flick onto another page while you're scrolling, you don't need to go back to the very top of the page every time.
Profiles are different from the norm - you get four main boxes: Basics (age, DOB, etc.), your story, where you can write a bit about yourself, Perfect Match, where you describe your perfect person, and Ideal Date. I love this because it's a fast, simple way to see if someone is a match - and you get to learn a lot about a person by seeing not just what type of guys or girls they want to date, but what they'd love to do on a first meeting.
Carousel is a typical 'swipe' game, but again the layout is just perfect. The left-hand tab is to Play, and the right hand for Mutual matches, and you can click yes, no, maybe, or favorite to decide how you feel about any suggested matches.
If you come across someone you'd like to message, you can see a quick-fire profile, with the ability to send them a Like or Smile, send a message, and see which users have been verified or have signed up with a verified social account, so there's little chance of spammers.
Another pro is SmartPick - a trademarked behavioral matchmaking algorithm that monitors how you use the site and what you think of suggested matches. Therefore, you're likely to meet folks who are similar to profiles you're interested in, even if they don't match your exact criteria - what a way to broaden your horizons!
One of the little touches I like about Zoosk? That it displays your horoscope sign on the Basics section of your profile automatically! It's a small thing, but all those basics are more about an overall picture of a single person you might like to date and provide a nice coverage of the key questions I'd want to ask.
I found zero fake profiles. I like that there is both a social media account verification process and a photo verification process, so you get a good idea about whether you're chatting with an authentic person from the bat.
The membership numbers are impressive (when I logged in, the little counter on the left-hand side reported that 120,345 messages had been sent in the previous hour!), but I think that's a given when you've got a site that operates in most major countries. We're talking a sizable audience with somewhere around 20 million US members and 1.6 million logins per day.
Generally, the Zoosk users tend to be at the younger end of the spectrum; the biggest group of users are aged 25-34 - but that lack of a niche or target group means that you can bump into anyone - provided they're over 18, of course!
It's easy to see why Zoosk has grabbed such a big chunk of market share, and if they keep focusing on customer experience and intelligent matches, the sky is the limit.
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