Zoosk Review – Is Zoosk for Real?

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At first, Zoosk seems like a nondescript matchmaking website. It doesn’t have a certain demographic like eHarmony or Elite Singles. It offers traditional dating, gay dating, and personality-based matching. But understanding a Zoosk review history, and how it grew from a Facebook app into its own dating service, will help you understand this company’s unique approach.

 

What is Zoosk like?

Zoosk first launched as a Facebook app in 2007. The concept involved taking advantage of easy Facebook integration. Based on a person’s Facebook profile, it’s easy to make a Zoosk account and skip the tedious personality questionnaire that most dating sites require.

 

Is Zoosk a legitimate dating site?

Originally created by two Iranian-American immigrants, Zoosk’s user base soon grew to 40 million users across 80 countries. Users exchange approximately three million messages every day, proving it’s an active app.

 

Pros

  • The easiest matchmaking app to get started with, since Zoosk only needs your Facebook data
  • Huge database of users since it’s literally taken from Facebook, a worldwide social network
  • Has a Facebook-like “Story Mode” that lets you speak to potential matches as well as Connections, both of which resemble a social network

Cons

  • You can’t send messages until you pay for a subscription
  • You immediately receive automated “messages” from local singles, which seems spammy
  • It’s fast-paced, it doesn’t feel as accurate as personality-based matchmaking

 

Zoosk - pros and cons

Things to consider before buying a membership

How is Zoosk when it comes to demographics? Young…and unlike other matchmaking sites, it’s easy to search for casual encounters or long-term relationship partners.

You can search for a date anywhere in the world since the app uses Facebook’s regional data to find nearby singles. Before buying a membership, remember to:

  • Have patience, since fake profiles do come and go – it’s so easy to use Zoosk, you have to expect some fakes!
  • Be willing to verify your account for greater quality matches
  • Have some good photos ready to upload and write some interesting quotes about yourself

 

Features and benefits

Zoosk - Features and benefits

 

Behavioral matchmaking algorithm

Is Zoosk any good at actual matchmaking? The designers say yes and call its technology “SmartPicks”. This proprietary (or “secret”) formula involves studying your online actions and then matching you up with other like-minded users.

For instance, the app pays attention to what you like, who you message, and other ice-breaking actions that show your interest. From these patterns, the system can predict other users who might also catch your eye.

I found the SmartPicks lacking in the beginning and mostly received the same half a dozen matches, one of which immediately sent me a message before I even finished making a profile. This is because the app doesn’t “know you” in the beginning, at least not until you invest some time using the service.

The more I searched and typed in profile information, the better quality matches I received. Zoosk didn’t appear to get much from just my Facebook information but did take my Zoosk data seriously.

This is a nice difference from other apps who rely only on your descriptions and questionnaire answers to build a profile. Zoosk simply studies what you do and then creates matches based on those actions. Actions speak louder than words, at least in this case.

The matchmaking algorithm is constantly improving based on your online behavior. Besides tracking your likes and messages, Zoosk also collects information on your hobbies, interests, and activities.

 

Zoosk - Behavioral matchmaking algorithm

 

Is Zoosk good for location-based dating?

If you want to see Zoosk’s nearby singles (based on your searchable location) then use “Boost” and promote your profile and photos. It costs 100 Zoosk coins, but if your profile is good it will increase your total views and matches.

I appreciated the option to save searches in different cities and come back to them later. This means it’s the perfect app for casual dating while traveling, although free apps like Tinder would provide comparable services. The fact that you can customize your ideal partner’s lifestyle, body shape, and even their religion or smoking habits, is an advantage for even the most discriminating of singles.

In case you’re in a big hurry, you can also choose the “Super Send” option, which is a mass flirt message to save on time. Instantly send an opening message to many singles in the area with just one click.

Of course, the neat thing is the Super Send does read like a personal message – as if you wrote it for just one person. That’s clever! This is the best way to get actual responses from people rather than spend hours filtering through the fakes.

Zoosk lets you send a like or smile for free. If someone sends you a like, you can send back an “auto-reply” message to see if they want to chat, eliminating a lot of wasted time in browsing.

You can get a smart conversation started with ice breaker questions or send “virtual gifts” for a laugh. These might include flowers, chocolates, or even random objects like beach balls.

 

Search and Saved Searches

Zoosk has improved its search feature, possibly because users complained about the lack of options in recent years. There is still no custom keyword search but you can search for singles in your city (or 3-100 miles outside) and change the acceptable age.

 

With an advanced feature, you can also filter your search according to:

  • Height
  • Relationship status (married is not an option, but “tell you later” is)
  • Children
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Body type
  • Smoking

 

You can save searches and re-select them later on. What I liked is that I didn’t have to re-enter all of my search preferences each time a new idea for a perfect date struck me. I could just save a search and then go back to it or edit it anytime I wanted.

 

Zoosk - Search and Saved Searches

 

Tinder-style “Carousel”

If you prefer the familiar “swipe” style of searching, rather than just receiving new matches, choose the Carousel feature. Click and X (no), Check (Yes), a “Maybe” button, or select a “Star” option to indicate a strong attraction. If you click X by accident, you can also make use of an “undo” button.

You can save and review the ones who said “Yes” to your profile on the “Matches” tab.

Before you can use Carousel, you do have to verify your identity. What I liked best about the Zoosk app, in review, is its “Maybe” feature, which is not available on most Tinder-style apps. Rather than make up my mind at that moment, I could postpone the Hot or Not question until I saw some of the other profiles.

This maybe option reduces accidental or regretful “Swipe Lefts” and prevents you from having to pay extra to “undo” a rejection.

 

Zoosk - Verification

 

Verification

Most competitive dating apps now require verification, though the process can range from simple to quite demanding. Zoosk falls in the middle since it offers a choice of:

  • App verification
  • Phone call
  • Or Twitter log-in

 

Zoosk prefers photo verification since all you have to do is snap some photos according to the company’s guidelines. These instructions will ask you to take a variety of shots, including a front “mugshot” style picture and a right and left side profile. You will then be asked to have the suggested video lines match up with the lines of your face.

This makes it easy for the system to auto-verify who you are. This process discourages fake users from signing up and also allows you the freedom to hurry up and search.

 

Zoosk - Make new connections

 

Make new connections

Zoosk’s “Connections” feature lets users add someone as a contact in a way similar to Facebook. Or you can simply respond to a like or smile and wait to be auto-connected. This creates a list of friends or “favorites” that you can keep track of and hold separately from your new matches.

I like this feature because I’ve noticed some casual acquaintances that I saved to favorites actually became matches later on after several friendly chats. There’s no need to rush into a date based on just one shallow conversation.

 

Zoosk - Insights

 

Insights

Ever wonder about your own dating patterns? With Insights, you can get feedback on your preferences and find out what kind of users seem to like you. You can even get details about the way you approach dating and why particular types of personalities are attracted to you.

These “Insights” may be helpful if you’ve never noticed any patterns in your relationship style before but want to start changing your dating life for the better.

 

Zoosk - Chat with members online

 

Chat with members online

Unless you go invisible, everyone sees everyone when they’re online. This is a quick way to start a conversation with another person who can answer you in real-time. It may be a better option for you then waiting several days just to get a message back.

You can also get a conversation started by looking over in the “Views” section and making small talk with someone who clicked on your profile. In fact, you can “slide” through and see everyone who clicked on your profile but hesitated to send a like.

View your latest activity from the “bell” icon which sends you live updates, just like you might see in a social network.

Zoosk - Security Measures

 

Security Measures

Is Zoosk safe? Like Facebook, Zoosk does collect and share private information, though the company claims to handle it safely. It lists Sift Science as a partner company that helps to collect and analyze data so that they can minimize fraud.

Since the verification process is medium-grade at best, Zoosk has taken action to address specific challenges – like military scams. Insignia (a service created by Zoosk) verifies the credentials of military personnel. Members claiming military service can upload a few documents and receive fast verification.

This gives your future matches, many of which may be fellow military, or at least very fond of military personnel, true peace of mind.

The standard block/report feature also makes browsing and chatting safe and easy, without having to worry about predators.

 

Zoosk - Get Coins for Extras

 

Get Coins for Extras

Coins cost approximately ten cents for 50 but users get discounts in bulk. Buy 180 for $19.95, 480 for $39.95, or 1800 for $99.95. Users can buy gifts, unlock more matches, pay to see who’s read their messages, or even go “invisible” while browsing profiles.

 

How much does Zoosk cost?

Even though you have to buy premium membership before chatting with others, you don’t get any extra features. In fact, certain tools dozens or even hundreds of extra coins, regardless of your membership fees.

You can also sign up for additional features besides membership, such as InstantCrush, which lets you have unlimited redos, just in case you change your mind about someone you’ve rejected. If you’re not finding much luck with new matches, this could be an option, but it costs $9.49 a month (or $8.25 a month for six months) in addition to membership.

 

Zoosk review of discount membership plans

 

Zoosk review of discount membership plans

 

Membership options allow you to “unlock” nearly all portions of the app/site. You can pay:

  • Monthly, $29.95
  • Every three months, $19.98
  • Every six months, $12.49

Subscriptions renew automatically so if you don’t want to keep chatting, remember to cancel the plan. Pay by Paypal or credit card and get instant access.

 

Social Proof

How are Zoosk ratings? I searched multiple websites to find a number of reviews, some sponsored, some positive, and some negative. Most of the negative reviews focused on Zoosk’s free membership, which doesn’t allow even a short conversation.

Other users criticized what they call “spam Zoosk messages and fake profiles” that only exist for tempting users to buy.

But most singles agreed, the app’s unusually high member count – no doubt benefiting from Facebook integration and topping 40 million – outshines other dating sites. Here are some reviews about Zoosk:

Zoosk - Reviews

Zoosk - Reviews2

Zoosk - Reviews3

 

Alternatives

What is Zoosk used for? Both casual and term relationships, meaning it’s not for all tastes. If you are looking for a dating app or site more relationship-oriented you might like these alternatives.

Match.com: Match dates back to 1995 – impressive! The service does require a more comprehensive sign up process and a questionnaire, however. This dating site also wants users to “rate” rejected matches so that the system can continue to improve its match quality.

 

Match offers free searches in the beginning, but like Zoosk, you must pay for full membership options. You can choose:

 

  • $23.99 a month for 12 months
  • $26.65 for six months
  • $31.99 for three months

 

Match.com is frequently called the top serious relationship dating site/app, though it does not have as many profiles as Zoosk. However, there’s no consensus on whether Zoosk’s high membership numbers are legitimate users. Check out Match.com for a brainier experience.

eHarmony: eHarmony has established a reputation for traditional matchmaking since 2000. It offers free browsing and previewing of your matches, as well as a detailed questionnaire to help you find an ideal partner. The site stresses long-term relationships, not casual hookups. You can get:

 

  • $29.90 a month for six months
  • $29.95 a month for three months
  • $59.95 month-to-month

 

Zoosk has more options when it comes to dating, including a suspiciously worded “I’ll tell you later” marital status selection, indicating users are free to break the rules of most dating sites.

But if you want to go classy, eHarmony has a far more sophisticated brand name.

Elite Singles: Elite Singles, founded in 2008, has the mission of matching up career professionals. Successful “elites” oftentimes have to date online because of busy schedules. Elite Singles has its own questionnaire, loosely based on the Five Factory Model, though some users claim it accomplishes the same basic task as Match.com’s questionnaire.

Elite Singles charges:

 

Light – $32.95 per month for three months

Comfort – $15.95 for 12 months

Classic – $17.95 for 6 months

 

Elite Singles caters to the successful career person and so might bring you more ambitious matches than Zoosk. Check it out and compare for yourself.

  • Zoosk is more flexible than eHarmony and has more profiles than all its competitors
  • It’s free to surf photos, unlike Elite Singles which requires paid membership to “un-blur” the photos
  • Its reputation for quality matches is not as high as Match.com, which has been in business longer and has a marriage-minded focus

 

Conclusion

Zoosk is one of the best apps for easy dating since you can discreetly log in using a Facebook account, verify by Twitter, and start chatting immediately. This is good news for someone traveling around the country and looking for casual fun but is not ideal for building a long-term relationship. The design increases low-quality matches, whether they’re spam accounts or other fakers who only want to browse.

The best reasons to use Zoosk include:

  • It’s easy and safe to start browsing, logging in with your Facebook account
  • You get a comfortable interface with multiple browsing styles like Carousel, SmartPicks, and Who’s Online
  • You can browse and flirt before you chat

Visit Zoosk today for a no-pressure trial and see how you like the more fast-paced dating approach.

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