Match Group restructures exec team with focus on Asia

Tinder parent company Match Group, also the owner of a suite of dating apps including OkCupid, Meetic, Match, PlentyofFish and others, announced this morning plans to restructure its leadership team in order to better focus on the market opportunities for dating apps in Asia. Specifically, the company has appointed three new general managers in Asia to focus on areas like Japan, Taiwan, India, South Korea and other parts of Southeast Asia.

The company explains its decision has to do with the potential it sees for growth outside the U.S. and Europe, where there are more than 400 million singles, two-thirds who have not yet tried a dating app.

One of the new GMs is Tokyo-based Junya Ishibashi, who has been CEO of Match Group’s Eureka business in Japan. He now becomes the general manager of Match Group for Japan and Taiwan.

Taru Kapoor, who’s based in Delhi, will be GM of Match Group India. And Seoul-based Lyla Seo, who previously served as regional director of East Asia for Tinder, is now GM of Match Group for South Korea and Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Lubot, who has served as both CEO of Meetic and CEO of Match Group EMEA & APAC since 2016, will remain CEO of Match Group EMEA & APAC. He will oversee the brands across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with the three general managers reporting directly to him.

Meetic, which is Match Group’s European dating app, will now be overseen by Matthieu Jacquier, who has worked as a CPO with the company for a year. Alongside Jacquier, Elisabeth Peyraube will now take on a new role of COO & CFO of Match Group EMEA & APAC.

While Match Group plans for growth across Asia, India has been of particular importance, especially as rival dating app Bumble entered the country last year, where it tapped actress, celebrity and Bumble investor Priyanka Chopra to advise its expansion.

Tinder has also tried to cater to its Indian users with the more recent launches of expanded gender options in its app, and the Bumble-like “My Move” feature, which allows the women to chat first.

However, Tinder’s strategy in India needs to differ from here in the U.S. where it’s now promoting the young, carefree and often less relationship-focused “single lifestyle.” In India (as well as in China and other markets), dating apps today still face challenges due to cultural norms. That’s led to an unbalanced ratio between men and women using the apps in India, a report from The Wall Street Journal found. And when women join, they’re overwhelmed by the attention they receive, as a result.

These issues will require Tinder to adapt everything from its marketing and advertising messages to even its product features in order to better cater to its Indian users. And it requires someone who fully understands the market to lead.

“Taru was originally hired to grow Tinder in India, but a little more than a year ago we increased her responsibilities to oversee the growth of other Match Group products in the country,” said Mandy Ginsberg, Match Group CEO, in a statement about the leadership restructuring. “During that time Tinder has become a big brand in India, but Taru also has meaningfully grown OkCupid’s user base in India over the last six months due to her keen understanding of the market and culture. Her success is a template for how we can approach these emerging Asian markets, particularly when we have stellar talent on the ground that understands the cultural, regulatory and market dynamics at play,” she added.

In Korea, Match Group credits Seo with executing Tinder’s first-ever TV ad campaign, which helped increase downloads in Korea 2.5x from 2016 to 2018.

The company also says Ishibashi more than doubled Pairs’ revenue in Japan since its acquisition in 2015.

Both executives will oversee other Match Group brands in their respective markets as part of their new responsibilities.

Match Group has been growing its footprint in the Asian market for some time. On its Q4 2018 earnings call in February, the company noted it already had teams in around half a dozen key countries throughout Asia focused on its marketing programs and developing the cultural insight it needed to succeed in those regions.

Ginsberg now says she would like to see a quarter of Match Group’s revenue coming from Asia within five years.

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Tinder hires Ravi Mehta to fill Chief Product Officer position

Tinder today announced it has hired Facebook vet Ravi Mehta as its new Chief Product Officer, as the company continues to shift Tinder’s focus to the younger demographic still enjoying the “single lifestyle.” Mehta’s background includes over 20 years in the industry, including time at Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Microsoft. Most recently, Mehta had served as Product Director for Youth Engagement at Facebook.

This role involved research into how Gen Z spends time online and helped Facebook identified product opportunities to serve this demographic. While there, Mehta was involved in Facebook’s launch of the short-form video app Lasso, which aims to be Facebook’s TikTok rival. He also worked on the launch of Facebook Polls and aided with his team’s M&A strategy.

Prior to Facebook, Mehta worked at TripAdvisor leading product development for the Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants verticals–and launched instant booking. He led user experience teams across a number of areas, including mobile, personalization, search & discovery, trip planning, maps, and user-generated content; and directed the international market development and localization teams.

His other experience includes time at Viximo (acquired by Tapjoy), AdvisorNow, Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Group.

At Tinder, Mehta fills the role vacated by Brian Norgard in November 2018.

Norgard had joined Tinder through an acquisition in 2014, where he originally served as head of revenue before being promoted to the chief product role in late 2016. At the time of his departure, Norgard said he wanted to get back to his entrepreneurial roots and invest in early stage companies.

Tinder had not announced an interim CPO following Norgard’s departure.

Mehta’s hiring comes at a time when Tinder parent Match Group is further diversifying its portfolio of dating apps.

With its full acquisition of relationship-focused Hinge, the company is now focusing Tinder more on a young, 20-something user base – that is, those who aren’t ready to settle down, but are rather enjoying being single and dating more casually. As part of this shift, Tinder now runs a lifestyle publication, Swipe Life, which publishes stories about dating styles, alongside others about travel, food, and other trends.

It has also invested more heavily in product features catering to a younger demographic, like Tinder U and its related features such as Spring Break mode and Rivals Week. And Tinder is now targeting activities often favored by young people, like music festivals and parties, with last year’s launch of Swipe Surge.

On Match’s latest earnings call, the company said it would expand Tinder U in 2019 to cover more schools in the U.S., launch the product internationally, and create more events and marketing around school events and the social calendar, as it did with Spring Break mode. It makes sense, then, that Tinder would want to find someone whose background involved products catering to Gen Z users.

“Tinder’s product innovation brought an entire new generation to the category and now millions of people across the globe are connecting, dating, and starting relationships. It has become a social phenomenon and the go-to app when you are single. As we enter the next chapter of product innovation and international growth, we are excited to have Ravi’s perspective and experience at Tinder,” said Tinder CEO Elie Seidman, in a statement about the hiring.

“Tinder is one of the rare products that’s had a fundamental impact on how people around the world meet and connect. And there’s so much more to do. I’m looking forward to joining Elie’s team and hitting the ground running,” said Mehta.

Mehta has an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

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7 of the most popular online dating sites in 2019

Knowing which dating site best suits your needs can be a minefield. 

SEE ALSO: The most popular dating sites in the UK, just in time for cuffing season

Dating is a competitive market. So to make the process easier for you, we’ve tracked down seven of the most popular dating sites, including those that are easy to use, those that have good customer service, and more.  


Recommends matches for you based on an algorithm • Let’s you know who has been looking at your profile

Expensive • Personality test has a few flaws

The Bottom Line

For those who consider themselves ‘elite’ and are looking for a serious, long-term relationship with someone from the same ilk.

1. Elite Singles

For those who consider themselves ‘elite’ and are looking for a serious, long-term relationship with someone from the same ilk.

The theme of Elite Singles is pretty self-explanatory, with the target demographic being successful, educated professionals (82% of members hold a degree), who boast deep pockets and are searching for a serious, long-term relationship with someone of the same ilk. Although you can sign up via the Elite Singles mobile app, we recommend that you sign up through a desktop to get more of a personalised experience, such as pop-ups explaining how best to use the site and tips on how to start a conversation with your matches. You’re also able to see your full personality profile on a desktop, a feature that is lacking in the app. Unlike most dating sites, Elite Singles asks you to fill out an extensive personality questionnaire (I’m talking 45-minutes-extensive) in order to match you to the most appropriate users. Observing the answers you give to the questionnaire, the site then uses this data to show you quality, data-driven matches.   

Easy to use • Large database of people • Prioritises discretion • Great value for price

Ethical concerns • No matching algorithms • Security breach in the past

The Bottom Line

The most well known adultery dating site which mainly attracts individuals looking for speedy, secretive hook-ups.

2. Ashley Madison

The most well known adultery dating site which mainly attracts individuals looking for speedy, secretive hook-ups.

55 million users have joined the infidelity website Ashley Madison since 2002, making it one of the world’s leading married-dating websites. The user base is generally married people looking to have an affair but that’s not to say that there isn’t single people on there too. Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes. Post signing-up, members have the ability to search and bookmark profiles. What’s unique about Ashley Madison is that users have a feedback rating on their profile from other users they have interacted with.  

Great value for price • One of the most reputable dating sites • Large database of users • Easy to use interface with an array of features

No advanced matching algorithm • Not all extras come with a paid membership

The Bottom Line

Adult Friend Finder has continually been one of the most popular dating sites since its existence because it successfully fulfills every kind of need.

3. Adult Friend Finder

Adult Friend Finder has continually been one of the most popular dating sites since its existence because it successfully fulfills every kind of need.

Adult Friend Finder has been around for over 20 years and attracts a huge user base. It is consistently growing in popularity even though new dating websites are launching every month. Members are typically single people looking for casual hookups, and also those who are already in relationships, whether it is open or committed. The site operates on a points system, making it feel like a ‘game’. Points enable you to ‘tip’ other members for their updates, images, videos or you can use them to watch videos and gain access to other areas of the site. 

Admins continuously working to provide a better experience • Advanced matching algorithm • Large database • Reputable

The Bottom Line

Match.com is at the forefront of the online dating industry that has a dedicated team who work around the clock to provide a better user-experience.

4. Match.com

Match.com is at the forefront of the online dating industry that has a dedicated team who work around the clock to provide a better user-experience.

Match.com is one of the most recognizable names in the online dating industry. It’s been around for 23 years and claims to be committed to finding a serious relationship for you. It consistently and actively listens to feedback to improve and optimize the user experience. Unlike other sites which bombard you with lengthy questionnaires and notifications, Match has a unique algorithm which takes into account what exactly you want. It also monitors your on-site habits, and then presents potential partners to the user based on this information. For example, if you put brunette as your preferred hair colour but then you begin to look at blondes, Match’s algorithm will pick this up and begin to add more blondes in your searches.  

Most advanced matching algorithm in the dating industry • Users can customise the interface • Caters to individuals who are detail-orientated

Advanced matching algorithm sometimes returns too few results • Expensive

The Bottom Line

eHarmony’s advanced matching algorith is unlike anything we’ve seen, with claims that the Compatibility Matching System results into more marriages than any other dating website.

5. eHarmony

eHarmony’s advanced matching algorith is unlike anything we’ve seen, with claims that the Compatibility Matching System results into more marriages than any other dating website.

With over 15 years of experience in online dating, eHarmony‘s unique selling point is perhaps their advanced matching algorithm. The site claims to lead to more marriages than other dating sites using its Compatibility Matching System. Registration is lengthy as it requires you to fill in an in-depth questionnaire, although this enables the site to get to know what exactly you’re looking for in order to begin sending you suggestions straight away.  

Gigantic user-base • Easy registration • Hotness voting system • Loads of matches

Free version isn’t great and blocks the majority of features • No matching algorithm • Quality of matches

The Bottom Line

XMatch has an enormous user-base which caters to individuals looking for sexual encounters of every kind.

6. XMatch

XMatch has an enormous user-base which caters to individuals looking for sexual encounters of every kind.

With over 75 million members, the sex-focused site XMatch adheres to your short-term needs, whether you’re looking for a no-strings attached one-night-stand or someone who shares a unique sex fetish. Registration is extremely easy and allows members to plunge into their sexual fantasies. Unfortunately, when you note down details (like gender, age, location) XMatch doesn’t really take this into account. While this means you’ll match more users, compatibility suffers. However, users have a compatibility score, so you’ll get some indication of how well you and another member match. 

Profiles have two 2000 word-essays: one about yourself and one about what you’re looking for in someone else

Extremely expensive • Basic initial questionnaire (which is almost pointless)

The Bottom Line

Guardian Soulmates is an upcoming dating site based in the UK dominated by Guardian readers.

7. Guardian Soulmates

Guardian Soulmates is an upcoming dating site based in the UK dominated by Guardian readers.

Guardian Soulmates is a UK-based dating site ever-growing in popularity since it was created, and is naturally dominated by Guardian readers. If you’re a Guardian reader yourself, you can bet that you’ll find someone on the same wavelength as you on this dating site. The questionnaire you’re prompted with when you first sign up is basic and doesn’t determine who you’ll match. The attraction comes when users see your profile, where you will have to fill in a 2000-word essay about yourself, and then another 2000-word essay about what you’re looking for in potential partners. 

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Tinder ditches its hidden desirability scores


Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tinder has revealed that it no longer relies on its top-secret “Elo” desirability score to create matches. Instead, it apparently now relies on a new algorithm that sounds very similar to the old one, with the most important parameter being how much you use the app. Despite saying “the case has been solved,” Tinder didn’t really describe exactly how the new system works, leaving jilted users to (once again) speculate on why they’re failing to score.

In 2016, Tinder CEO Sean Rad told Fast Co. that the Elo score — inspired by chess rankings — was based on “desirability.” Product VP Jonathan Badeen related it to Warcraft, saying “whenever you play somebody with a really high score, you end up gaining more points than if you played someone with a lower score.” In other words, if you liked a more desirable person, and they liked you back, your Elo ranking got a bump. Then, presumably, you would start to see more attractive matches.

A few years ago, the idea of an “Elo score” was a hot topic among users and media alike. And sometimes, it still is. Here’s the scoop: Elo is old news at Tinder. It’s an outdated measure and our cutting-edge technology no longer relies on it.

Unlike other dating sites, Tinder profiles are relatively sparse, so matches are largely based solely on the profile photo — attractiveness, in other words. As Tinder never revealed its secret algorithmic sauce, that led many users to wonder why they weren’t getting the types of matches they expected.

Now, the company said in a blog post, “our current system adjusts the potential matches you see each and every time your profile is Liked or Noped, and any changes to the order of your potential matches are reflected within 24 hours or so.” So in other words, it’s still based on who swipes right on you, but Tinder won’t say exactly how. It also added that its algorithms don’t store data about “whether you’re black, white magenta or blue,” nor how much money you make.

Despite the vague explanation, Tinder said “The case has been solved: Tinder matches you, using your recent activity, your preferences and your location.” In appears, then, that the changes are designed to boost engagement, given that Tinder said it rewards folks who use the app more. That, in turn, would help it boost in-app “Super Like” purchases and profile boosts — in other words, to increase revenue.

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AdultFriendFinder review: A porn-tastic hookup site for open-minded people

Disclosure

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

Warning: AdultFriendFinder is more about finding a hookup buddy than an actual friend.
Warning: AdultFriendFinder is more about finding a hookup buddy than an actual friend.
Image: pexels

Image: AdultFriendFinder

Everyone knows making friends as an adult is just as nerve-wracking as it was in middle school. AdultFriendFinder sounds like it should be the solution — but is it?

Moving to a new city or working at a new job where you don’t know anybody can seriously be depressing. What are you supposed to do? Go sit at the bar by yourself? And talk to strangers?

Then comes the lightbulb idea: You can make friends online! If online dating is so popular and successful, there’s no way that there aren’t a few legit sites where you can make adult friends in your area with similar interests. Hmm, AdultFriendFinder.com sounds familiar.

SEE ALSO: Best hookup sites and apps for when you’re feeling frisky

So you’re on your lunch break at work, type in the URL, and the next thing you know, you’re frantically closing the tab and hoping nobody walked behind you for that split second.

Image: adultfriendfinder

Our point: AdultFriendFinder is not what you think it is.

Friends with benefits

As you can see from the words blatantly plastered across the main page pictured above, AdultFriendFinder is where you can go to “join the world’s largest sex and swinger community.” (That photo is actually a video of a girl talking, so you may want to mute your computer before your click — or at least put on headphones.) 

AdultFriendFinder one of the most well-known sites for finding quick sexual encounters, regular hookups, and literally anything else even remotely related to sex. The unfiltered, rowdy-as-hell match feed, jumble of explicit photos, and stimulating calls-to-action offering all types of sex makes is heaven for anyone looking for a good time — and hell for someone who was genuinely trying to make platonic friends. 

On average, AdultFriendFinder attracts an average of 25 million visits per month — for reference, eharmony sees 4.1 million visits per month. So yeah. It’s big. The majority of traffic originates from the United States (54%), followed by visitors from the United Kingdom and Canada. The site ranks number 42 among all adult sites in the US (including porn sites) and number 713 worldwide, despite reports of data breaches as recently as 2016

Unfortunately, the numbers that most people want to know — the male to female ratio — are hard to find. (Even AskMen couldn’t find those stats). There’s speculation that this is because there are significantly more men than women on the site, and AdultFriendFinder would likely be worried about scaring off newcomers with the whole “sausage party” vibe. This isn’t officially confirmed, though, and there are clearly enough women to keep the site up and running.

This site is all about sex

If you’re 100% over being grilled with relationship questions on traditional dating sites like EliteSingles and OkCupid, AdultFriendFinder is your golden ticket to instant communication. Registering takes literally 30 seconds — they require nothing from you aside from an email address, a username, a password, and an introduction. Though they don’t require a bio or a picture, it’s probably best to add a few to up your chances for messages and flirtation, especially if you’re looking for something super specific, as you’re more likely to be contacted by people looking for the same thing.

This a real screenshot from AdultFriendFinder.

This a real screenshot from AdultFriendFinder.

Image: adultfriendfinder

I guess it’s comforting to know that some people on here care about what’s on the inside as well. 

After you register, you’ll see that there are a ton of options to completely personalize your account (way more than I expected for a hookup site, honestly). The more you fill out, the more attractive your profile will be to new viewers. There are the basic physical appearance questions about eye and hair color, and since I identified as a woman, cup size was an option. (If you identify as a man, I’m sure you can guess what question they ask.) 

There’s also a personality test that seemed pretty close to something you’d see on Match or eharmony, and I guess it’s comforting to know that some people on here care about what’s on the inside as well. 

One of the funniest forms was the “Purity Test,” featuring 100 hilariously-worded questions about how far you’re willing to go sexually. It felt like the sexy 20 questions game that you’d play with your middle school crush when neither of you know how to flirt, but I guess this information is pertinent when you’re on a site that’s all about sex.

There’s no real matching strategy other than the basic info on physical appearances, so don’t get your hopes up when it comes to finding a lasting connection or kindred soul — but hey, if you’re on the site for the same reasons most other people are, that stuff won’t really matter anyway. *Shrug*

Finding a match

Like a traditional dating site, AdultFriendFinder gives you a collage of potential matches at the top of your personal home page. (I had nearly 95,000 possible matches just from putting in my zip code.) These will be random right after you sign up, but you can opt to update your preferences to refine your results: Choose your preferred gender(s), age range, location and mile radius, race, sexual orientation, body type, and marital status. They’ll let you know who’s online when you are, which matches are closest to you, new people who liked or messaged you, and all of that good stuff.

Your personal feed will be pretty intense: You barely have to scroll before you see naked parts. Depending on whether you set your preferences to men, women, or both, you’ll see all of that stuff up close, personal, swinging around, in action — you name it, it’ll pop up. 

AdultFriendFinder is basically like a PornHub that you can interact with. We probably don’t have to say this, but AdultFriendFinder is NSFW and not safe to be on while kids are in the room. Some videos will be blurred out and read “Naughty video” until you upgrade to a Gold Membership, but trust me — I started out with the free version, and you still get to a see a lot.  

It’s like a PornHub that you can interact with.

The message section is set up similarly to a Gmail account, and you can mark things as read or important just as you would on a real email. How professional. You’ll also receive messages instantly, which is definitely a confidence boost even though you know they’re probably just looking for one thing. Some will be raunchy (I received messages from guys asking to meet up and get it on before I even uploaded my photos) but some are genuinely friendly. 

You can tell who took the time to look at your profile and who is sending the same thing to everyone, but it’s nice to see that there is a range. I’ve received messages just as aggressive on Tinder, so unless you’ve never been on a dating site ever in your life, you won’t be too shocked. 

Unlike more traditional dating sites, these people don’t need to talk and get to know you for months before meeting. If you’re tired of things moving too slowly or need a change of pace, it’s pretty awesome to know you can immediately make plans for each night of the week.

It’s actually not that bad, though

Once you get past the in-your-face sexplosion of naked profile pictures, questionable profile names (many involve the number 69), and explicit videos, there are actually an impressive number of resources to help make your experience as satisfying as possible. Some will cost money even outside of the paid subscription, which kinda sucks. 

Aside from the NSFW content, the website is extremely user friendly (although in need of a redesign). Every feature is advertised in big letters, notifications are displayed clearly with labels, and you don’t really have to click around to find anything. This makes it super accessible for users of all ages, even those who aren’t tech savvy and can’t even figure out Facebook. Everything’s a little jumbled, but you figure it out after messing around for a few minutes.

Here’s a quick list of some of the many things you can do:

  • Request friends

  • Direct messaging and emailing: You can do this without being friends

  • Flirt: It’s like a poke on Facebook to let someone know you’re interested if you’re too nervous to message first

  • Send virtual gifts

  • Play the “Hot or Not” game: The flirty version of MySpace’s Top 8

  • Watch videos of people in your feed — be aware of your surroundings for these

  • Start a blog

  • Watch live broadcasts: No, these are not news segments

  • Adult chat rooms: Topics vary greatly. You can talk to married couples, find other couples, talk to people around the world, or hit up the site’s “love doctors” to get help with a failing relationship

  • Join groups: These can get extremely specific, so you’re likely to find one in your niche interest.

  • Photo contests: June 2018 featured an LGBTQ one for Pride Month

  • Buy courses from the Sex Academy: Online instructional videos for anal sex, oral sex, how to meet women online, and more. (Note: These cost extra outside of the paid membership.)

AdultFriendFinder is like your friend at the bar who just wants you to get laid. 

As scary as it is to be bombarded with naked bodies, I give props to the creators for being so pro-sex and honestly, so helpful. It’s obvious that they want to help their users to have a good time. AdultFriendFinder is like your outgoing friend at the bar who just wants you to get laid and who can introduce you to tons of people with similar interests.

You can join topic-specific chat rooms and groups, or download online courses from the Sex Academy to learn new sex skills or tips on how to talk to people online. You can also watch videos and live broadcasts people have posted, which might be alarming at first — but AdultFriendFinder knows that watching videos of real people that you could possibly meet in real life is way more satisfying than porn.

Another bonus is that AdultFriendFinder is like the dating site version of New York City — AKA it never sleeps. You’ll find people who work the regular 9-5, people who work the night shift, and people in other time zones, so it’s nearly impossible to log on and not have a ton of people to talk to. AdultFriendFinder is like the booty call that’s always awake when you text them.

AskMen’s review (among others) gave AdultFriendFinder serious kudos:

“A full-fledged sexual haven in the online dating world, Adult Friend Finder continues to attract a growing number of members as well as improve over time as it adds new, sexually enticing features. The site accommodates users with all varieties of sexual intentions, making it ridiculously easy to meet others and interact online, engage in cyber sex, and arrange in-person casual hookups. With so many members, an abundance of unparalleled features, and a completely non-judgmental, sexually unrestrictive environment, Adult Friend Finder has been and continues to be one of the best online dating sites out there, most prominently in the casual hookup category.”

AdultFriendFinder is like the booty call that’s always awake when you text them.

This reddit thread is a great chance to see how people use the site IRL who aren’t writing a review or getting paid to hype it up. It actually seems like a lot of people use it for slightly more than a hookup and are looking for similar interests, intelligence, and a profile that doesn’t look like the main page of Redtube. The girl who created the thread even mentions that there are way less weirdos than you’d expect from a site that looks like this. Sure, there are a ton of profiles that will send you crude messages during business hours while you’re thinking “Aren’t you at work?” But there are a decent handful of sweet people who genuinely just want to have a conversation, meet up for dinner, or flirt with you without being gross. Friendly conversation without feeling violated is possible. And what’s nice is that the site is an invitation to be open with your intentions, so consent can be addressed freely.

Paid memberships are where things get interesting

As previously mentioned, you can do a lot on the site without paying a cent: You can message people, reply to emails, and visit most profiles and chat rooms. You know, all of the basic stuff. But with just a few clicks AdultFriendFinder can send you deep down the rabbit hole, and a lot of that juicier hidden content can only be unlocked with a paid membership (called the Gold membership) or by earning points.

Points are AdultFriendFinder’s non-monetary currency. If you’re a free member, you’ll have to earn points through on-site activity to unlock stuff that’s exclusive to paying members. It’s kind of like a game, with points acting like dollar bills at the strip club. You can “tip” updates, photos, or videos from a member that you like, buy “bling” (which is basically a badge that makes you look cooler), watch racy videos that are usually blurred out or access other exclusive site content, or “buy” a Gold membership for a month. The more points you have, the more you get out of the site.

Image: adultfriendfinder

But all of that stuff takes a really long time, and is honestly just a hassle. If you want access to all those features, just pay for a Gold membership and upgrade.

If you’re a guy looking for girls, we might suggest getting a Gold membership as the standard. While researching on Reddit, we found a few girls who said they won’t meet a guy unless he’s a Gold member. A Gold membership puts a little bit more credibility behind someone’s profile and makes the entire encounter a little less threatening. It’s easier to believe that someone’s a real person if they’re a paying, active member of the site, and it’s nice to know that they’re taking it slightly seriously. Plus, if you see a picture or profile that looks like it’s five years old, it really might be — there are a ton of non-active profiles from old members and escorts still lingering on the site. 

If you find yourself spending more quality time on the site than you expected, becoming a paid member is definitely something to consider. Once you’re paying, you basically become royalty on the site: Your profile will appear way higher in searches, you can use the most advanced searches, and you can read emails and message to your heart’s content (messages and emails are limited with a free account). 

A Gold membership can unlock everything that the site has to offer, including unlimited messaging, profiles with private photo albums, and video profiles that are only available for Gold members as well. A general rule is that increased involvement and payment on your end generally equals more success on the website, as your constant activity and heightened search-ability makes it way easier for others to find you. Plus, you’ll just get bored with the free features after a while.

Like every other dating site, prices for a Gold memberships get cheaper the longer your subscription is: Get one month for $32.39/month, three months for $21.58/month, or one year for $14.56/month. 

Good for: Open-minded people looking for a quick hookup

This is pretty obvious, but AdultFriendFinder is ace for people who want a quick hook up, people who are in a sexual rut, people who are tired of porn, and people who find sites like eharmony to be lame. Those long compatibility tests can be exhausting, and sometimes you just wanna skip the small talk and have sex. It’s gonna get kinky out there, and that’s great for those who are dying to blow off steam and are in need of someone who will respond well to a sexy message. It also might be a good place for people who are freshly out of a breakup and in need of attention.

Did we mention it’s also a huge confidence boost? People are so active on this site, it’s impossible not to feel adored. Just seeing the notifications of users wanting to talk to you will make your heart flutter, and you’ll start to loosen up. Even if you’re rejected a few times, you’ll learn which opening lines and flirty comments work and which don’t, making you a smoother operator. But since the site is aimed toward casual encounters and not serious relationships, the whole rejection thing isn’t nearly as prevalent. 

It may look like a billboard for a strip club on the side of a highway, but don’t judge a dating site by it’s cover.

AdultFriendFinder‘s pro-sex, judgment-free environment means it’s open to everyone and highly inclusive, no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. The variety of people on this thing is so massive that it’s nearly impossible to not to meet someone.

As with all dating sites, catfishing is a big buzzkill. Your chances of being pursued are way higher if you have a lot of pictures of the same person (AKA you), videos, and a genuine profile that lets people know they’re not dealing with something sketchy. Even if you’ve had bad luck with online dating in the past, AdultFriendFinder is the place to 100% be yourself. 

The site may look like a billboard for a strip club on the side of a highway, but don’t judge a dating site by it’s cover, y’all. If you’re willing to look past the questionable design choices, AdultFriendFinder can seriously expand your sexual horizons and introduce you to individuals you never would have met otherwise.

Bad for: Cynics and people looking for an actual friendship/relationship

You know those warnings that thrill rides at amusement parks are required to put up that tell people who get dizzy easily or have heart problems to not get on the ride? AdultFriendFinder could use something like that. This site is not for the faint of heart — if you’re a cynic, conservative by any means, get sketched out easily, or simply aren’t a fan of unsolicited dick pics, you’re probably going to hate it. If you appreciate a well-crafted, aesthetically pleasing website that feels safe — no matter how badly you want to have sex — then this dating site is probably not for you. Nothing is left to the imagination here, and it’s definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. You have got to be open minded.

AdultFriendFinder is not the place to be if you’re trying to make friends, unless “with benefits” is tacked onto the end. Every inch of the site screams “this website is used to have sex,” and you should really listen to that. You might get a date out of it, but don’t expect the person to introduce you to their parents. 

But this isn’t to say that meaningful connections or finding a genuine Adult Friend (get it?) is impossible. Reddit member SecretGirlIdentity, who claims to have been a Gold member of AdultFriendFinder for four years, responded with this after being asked if she’s ever met a guy she actually liked on AdultFriendFinder:

“Yes! The majority of the guys I’ve actually met IRL are guys that I’ve liked. I mentioned earlier that I’m still friends with a few of them, even though our having a more-than-friendship relationship didn’t work out. […] If you mean “liked” as in “liked-liked” (in highschool speak), yes to that, too. But, just like with people you meet in more traditional ways, the ones you like aren’t always the ones who like you back. :-(“

The downsides

The entire website looks like it’s one of those “Meet hot singles in your area” ads that pops up when you’re illegally streaming a movie. Seriously, it’s bad. Even though the website is totally legit, the pictures, word choice, and exclamation points everywhere scream “scam.” 

We’re not knocking a quick hookup or no-strings-attached relations — this isn’t about morals. Genitals are quite literally in your face from the moment you make an account, and that’s just not endearing. There are chiller ways to go about insinuating that this is a hookup website without feeling like you’re trapped in a sex dungeon with all of these people you don’t know. I suppose I can see the appeal if you’re really in the mood (or not used to the minimalistic setup of millennial dating apps), but it was a little much.

I really tried, but I could not get past the fact that the entire site looks like it’s about to invite five viruses to your computer. It looks shady as hell. We’re talking terrible graphics that look like they were made on Microsoft Paint and pictures of women who look like they’re from Pornhub in 2007.

The fact that it asks you to register for something every few seconds of scrolling is also a little overbearing. Yes, hot singles are actually in your area this time, but AdultFriendFinder’s web developers could do so much to up the legitimacy and make more people take it seriously. 

There’s also no smartphone app, and in 2018, that’s a red flag. It just shows that the website is a little outdated — or maybe I’m just biased and AdultFriendFinder is simply aimed toward a crowd that’s not obsessed with social media. Not that you’d want the person standing behind you in line or on the train to look over your shoulder and see this site, but still. You can open the site on your phone’s browser if you really need to, but overall it’s pretty inconvenient.

The alternatives

Surprisingly, AdultFriendFinder is one of the more tame hookup sites out there. While other hookup sites have names like FreeSnapMilfs.com, Fuckswipe.com, and Instabang.com, AdultFriendFinder will be the one you actually won’t mind showing up in your Google search history. Most have the same general idea, which is to find sexual partners, have cyber sex, etc, but with names like those, the authenticity is way too questionable. AdultFriendFinder is one of the biggest players in world of legitimate adult dating/hookup sites and boasts a way larger and more diverse audience than a lot of these newer sites. 

However, iHookup is one newer dating site that could be starting to slide in — it hasn’t stolen AdultFriendFinder’s thunder just yet, but it does have its advantages. Launched in 2011, iHookup’s first advantage is just that it’s more modern and looks cleaner. It also has a smartphone app, which is a huge leg up and would easily beat out AdultFriendFinder when it comes to attracting millennials. The title is much more explicit, but the main page encourages “casual dating based on physical attraction” rather than mentioning the words “horny” and “sex” multiple times. The audience isn’t nearly as large as AdultFriendFinder, though, and most people will take more options over an anesthetically pleasing app.

The final verdict

AdultFriendFinder is possibly the easiest most low pressure way to find a friends-with-benefits situation without insulting anyone. Everyone is pretty much there for the same reason, so you don’t have to worry about feelings getting involved or a couple not being on the same page. However, that freedom comes with a price, which is feeling like you’re one of those people who falls for a “Click here to chat with hot singles in your area” pop-up. 

Some people aren’t cut out for this straightforward, nothing-left-to-the-imagination setup with grammar mistakes all over the place. But anyone with an open mind could easily have the time of their life on AdultFriendFinder. It offers an impressive amount of ways to connect with people, explore your kinks, and blow off steam in a completely judgment-free zone. I’ve never seen a website with quite so many different ways to get busy and meet people who happen to be into the same niche thing as you. And honestly, it’s such a plus — nobody should feel bad for being a sexual god or goddess.

If you’re brave enough to jump into the action, you can register for AdultFriendFinder here. Good luck out there — and don’t try this at work. .

Image: adultfriendfinder

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