On a technical level, Zoosk’s interface felt a bit snappier compared to the first time we tested it

We didn’t encounter as many crashes, either. Unfortunately, the more we tested, the more we experienced lag when switching between parts of the app, making our search for fast love painfully slow.

Interface and Profiles

Zoosk’s interface is pretty basic. You mostly swipe through profile photos, and review the basic personality details required by the signup process. Want to learn more? There’s a prompt to read someone’s story, which includes their personal bio and details on their perfect match and ideal dates. If you want to express interest in a fellow member, you can tap a smiley face (indicating friendship) or a heart icon (indicating…more than friendship). You can also write your own message or send one of Zoosk’s pre-written icebreakers.

You’ll still encounter profiles that couldn’t be bothered to fill out a name, “A Zoosk Member,” but many profiles are clearly real. For extra credibility, you can verify your profile using a photo, your phone number, or Twitter. This slaps a green check mark on your profile to prove you’re legit. You also won’t encounter quite as many ads. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll still see more ads while swiping through profiles compared to other dating apps, but compared to past versions of Zoosk it’s much less aggressive.

Zoosk sends you a daily email that highlights a person who may be a good match, which takes some of the work out of searching. The potential dates seemed like they were good fits, which demonstrated that Zoosk is at least paying attention to your wants and needs. Speaking of which, Zoosk uses an algorithm called “Behavioral Matchmaking” that claims to learn more about what you’re looking for in a match. This very well could have been the reason why the email recommendations seemed on point.

Premium Extras

Compared to eharmony and Match, Zoosk’s premium subscriptions are reasonably priced. Unfortunately, they don’t give you many additional features, the descriptions are not abundantly clear about what you actually get, and the service still doesn’t surpass the similarly affordable OkCupid, which lets you contact members for free. A one-month Zoosk subscription costs $, while a one-year subscription costs $ per month. The paid plan grants you the freedom to send messages, unlock who’s viewed your profile, access the Great Dates virtual dating functionality, and use SmartPicks. The SmartPicks feature offers a more guided search of profiles that closely match profiles that you’ve liked in the past, and removes profiles with info that matches profiles you’ve previously declined.

There are plenty of other ways to spend money on Zoosk. For example, you can also sign up for a monthly $9.99 Instant Crush membership. The service is poorly explained, but Instant Crush gives you unlimited Carousel “redos,” pushes your profile into other users’ Carousels, and sorts your sent messages to the top of the receiver’s inbox with a big, yellow star.

Zoosk Coins are another option. These let you Boost your profile, and they cost $ for 180 coins or $ for a big bag of 1,800. Boost raises your profile’s visibility, a feature offered by many other dating services, but this one lets you vary the amount of Boost and can top out at 100 coins (meaning your $20 purchase quickly disappears). Coins can also be used to browse anonymously (30 coins for 30 minutes) if you feel like creeping on other users. You can also give coins to other members who’ve viewed your profile, which just feels dirty.

One free feature you get is called Super Send. It’s more or less dating app spam-you can pick a Zoosk-prepared message or write one yourself, then send it to “a large group of people in your area and age range.” At that point, “interested people respond and you can start chatting,” but it seems more like dating via a shotgun blast. You are limited to just one per 15-hour period, but it’s tough to imagine why anyone would respond to this.


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