Dating Apps: A Guide

As discussed in a recent post, technology is changing the way we do everyday things. Dating is one of those things. Austin is a city whose dating culture is very app-focused. Considering how many people are developing apps here, it’s no wonder.

For those of you not in-the-know of all the latest dating app trends, enjoy this handy-dandy guide explaining them all to you. (Disclaimer: I have not personally used most of these apps, just gathered intel from friends or the internet. Let me know if I got anything wrong).

The first domino: TINDER πŸ”₯

If you’ve read my blog before, you may be familiar with Tinder and its advertising potential. Tinder is the app that really started the whole dating app craze. The app shows you potential dates based on location + preferences you set (age, range, sex). You then swipe left (no) or right (yes). If you both swipe right you are matched + can message each other. It’s pretty simple.

Lady-friendly: BUMBLE 🐝

Bumble is built similarly to Tinder. Before Tinder updated, Bumble was one of the few apps to show you education + job information. You swipe on Bumble just like with Tinder but for this app, the woman has to message first. If she doesn’t message within 24 hours, the match expires + disappears. They also have A VIBee program. Bonus: Bumble is headquartered in Austin.

Friend-friendly: HINGE ⏱

Many people think Hinge is a more relationship focused app than Tinder. The beauty of Hinge is that you are only connected to people that you have friends in common with. One thing that makes Hinge different is that it allows you to have more images, pick pre-set terms that describe yourself like “wine lover” or “movie buff” + like Bumble it times your matches. If neither of you messages within 24 hours, the match disappears. The match also automatically disappears after 14 days. They do this in an effort to get people to take their conversations offline.

The I hate dating apps App: HAPPN 🌎

Happn is a little different from the previous apps. There is no swiping involved. Happn keeps a log of when you cross paths with other Happn users. It shows you in a timeline who you have crossed with + how many times. You can message these people or delete them. Basically, Happn wants to help you connect with people you could be connecting with in real life anyway.

The Anti-tinder:Β COFFEE MEETS BAGEL β˜•οΈ

Most known for its founders turning down $30 million on Shark Tank, Coffee Meets Bagel resists the hookup culture that other apps are faced with. Coffee Meets Bagel serves you one match everyday at noon. You can either like or pass this match within 24 hours. If you both “like” each other, you have 7 days to set up a meet (or exchange numbers) before the chat disappears.

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Tinder for famous people: Raya 🎭

Raya is rumored to be where Amy Schumer met her new beau.Β This app is very exclusive. Unlike most dating apps where you log in through Facebook, Raya uses Instagram. Whether or not you are accepted into the app is determined by your overall influence + a referral from a Raya member. There is also a charge to be on the app. NY Mag has a great review of the exclusive app.


The League may be easier to get on than Raya but it is still very exclusive. The app is for “smart, busy, & ambitious” people. Β To get on the app, you can apply to be on a waiting list or get a VIP pass from a current member, no biggy. The League relies more on LinkedIn than Facebook. It looks at things like education + work history.

The real OG: OKCUPID πŸ’˜

Started as a desktop site, the OkCupid app is just an extension of the computer version. The app allows you to message + view potential dates. My understanding is that you don’t “match” on OKCupid the same way you might Tinder or Hinge. You are shown a likelihood of being a match after answer questions about yourself, your lifestyle + your beliefs. Bonus: There is even a polyamorous feature if that’s your thing.

For those really serious: MATCH.COM πŸ’Œ is obviously a website. Match has been in the online dating game before apps even existed. If you are really looking to meet your potential life mate, you’ll be looking at a more serious app like Match. The app is an extension of the website but shares some features of apps like Tinder.

There are so many apps, it would be impossible to cover them all. There is even one that chooses your matches based on your heart rate. These are some of the most common. So, with Valentine’s day around the corner, try your luck in the online world (or don’t).

What dating apps do you love? Which do you hate? Let me know in the comment section below or Twitter. If you are on any dating apps, take a leap today + send a few extra messages. I have good feeling for you!

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