2015 was the biggest year yet for online dating. Ten years ago, digital dating was still viewed with skepticism. Today, a majority of Americans believe it's a good way to meet people and 5% of Americans in committed relationships say they met their significant other online.
Now that singles have fallen head over heels for online dating, services have exploded. From the basics like Match and eHarmony, to youth-centric options like OkCupid and Tinder, to hyper-specific sites for bacon lovers and beard aficionados, there's something for everyone. So which dating services are a cut above the rest?
Bustle teamed up with Google to reveal the top-searched dating apps and sites[*1] in 2015. The list is surprisingly diverse:
- Plenty Of Fish: Plenty of Fish sounds like a throwback to an earlier era of online dating, but the site is alive and well as we start 2016. Its inexpensive options draw 50,000 new members every day and even hooked The Match Group, which acquired POF in July 2015. See our full review of Plenty of Fish.
- Tinder: It's no surprise that Tinder nearly took the top spot. The time-killing app made “swipe” an important part of everyone's vocabulary and totally changed the dating game. See our full review of Tinder.
- Match: Match.com has been connecting singles since the primitive days of online dating and is still a prime choice. Over the years, the site has perfected its matching technique and remained a favorite for daters all around the world. See our full review of Match.
- OkCupid: OkCupid revolutionized the online dating industry as an entirely free service. Today paid options have popped up, but OkCupid remains largely free to use and scores highly for its excellent compatibility algorithm. See our full review of OkCupid.
- eHarmony: Though it began as a dating service strictly for Christians, eHarmony has expanded its service to welcome a wider variety of singles. The site has built a reputation as a go-to service for serious relationships. See our full review of eHarmony.
- Zoosk: Zoosk quietly continued its quest for world domination in 2015. With service available in 80 countries, 25 different languages, and on your computer, phone, tablet, and Facebook, Zoosk is practically inescapable. See our full review of Zoosk.
- Bumble: Bumble got a lot of press last year for its “Feminist Tinder” approach to online dating. The app takes the infamous swiping set-up, but attempts to lower the creep factor by putting female members in charge.
- Hinge: Scared of meeting strangers online? Hinge solves the problem by using Facebook to connect users with mutual friends. Members can breathe easy knowing that their dates have been vetted by someone they trust. See our full review of Hinge.
- Grouper: It's impossible to take all the awkwardness out of a first date, but Grouper helps lessen it by adding friends to the mix. The app connects groups of friends to take the pressure off.
- Farmers Only: Yes, believe it or not, the uber-niche Farmers Only made the cut. Although perhaps it's just from people searching Google to find out if it's actually real.