I was ready to do a dating site review that would strike a more familiar chord, that is, one of a site that more people (including myself) had heard of. So after careful consideration, I decided to start my tour of the big online dating sites with a Zoosk.com review. Right off the bat, the Zoosk dating site hit me with a big claim: they’re the largest online dating site in the world with literally “millions of singles” in over 60 countries. I was excited to dive in and see what this meant for the site’s matchmaking abilities, and also how the site itself measured up compared to others I’d reviewed.
The Zoosk.com homepage was bright, cheery and aesthetically pleasing. The graphics were modern and I loved that the woman featured on the page had on a whole sweater rather than, say, a tank top sans bra like some of the other dating sites around, without naming names. To the right of the page were several impressive media distribution icons including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Newsweek which I felt leant Zoosk some additional credibility. I liked the Facebook connect button, too, and was pretty taken aback by their claim that over 8 million singles log on through the Facebook application monthly. That’s more than the population of Switzerland, just so you know.
One thing I liked about Zoosk is that they immediately made me validate my email address and enter a captcha, really solidifying that they want real daters looking to meet people on their site rather than spammers. I figured that boded well for a reduced likelihood of me having to fend off offers from Russian brides or senior dating aficionados. Once I made it through the login phase, I went through a rather extensive profile section. The questions were separated into categories like Basics, About You, Likes, Testimonials, and Icebreakers, all of which I were relatively excited to answer. Anytime a dating service asks me detailed, sometimes off the wall questions about myself, I figure they’re at least going to try to use this information to better match me, resulting in a marginally better on line dating experience.
Some of the questions I was asked were very open ended such as “what would be your ideal first date?” or “why are you trying online dating?” Even more interesting were the icebreaker questions which included things like “What brand of toothbrush do you use?” or “What is your biggest pet peeve?” These really made me stop and think (which is somewhat unusual when it comes to dating online) and I could truly see how the questions would make good icebreakers. I, for one, would be far less sketched out by a guy opening a single chat with “Man, I hate when people smack their gum, too!” than “Wow, your neck looks hot in your picture.” Shudder. Be warned, however, that between each level of the profile lies a pop up, sometimes rewarding you with things like “gold coins” (really helpful for the Leprechaun singles out there) and sometimes asking you to download toolbars or connect dating functions, which are less fun. They were all easily skipped, however, which was nice.
After the Login:
It took me a while to figure out why my Zoosk.com review seemed so vaguely familiar and then it hit me: Zoosk.com reminds me of Facebook. A lot. The color scheme is dominantly blue and the tabs are organized much the same way (Search, Profile, Friends) and everywhere I looked, there was a Facebook connect button urging me to sign on through the social media giant. I did a little digging and found out that when Zoosk started just a few years ago, it wasn’t a standalone online dating service at all, rather, a Facebook application. All the pieces came together when I realized that its deep connections to social media are what have made Zoosk.com so strong , so fast. Essentially, Zoosk is a Facebook for dating.
The site itself is organized a bit differently than other dating sites. The homepage reads just like a Facebook news feed, displaying which members have recently updated functions of their profile such as their music preferences or photos. This made it really easy to see which members are the most active and it was much more interesting to read something different about each guy than just scrolling through a series of thumbnails.
I was pretty excited by the singles Zoosk threw at me. They were young, their pictures were clear and they generally looked like a pretty fun, datable bunch. I took some time to review my matches and click around a bit and found some fun features like “winking” which is similar to poking on Facebook and “add as friend” which is, you know, similar to add a friend…on Facebook. You could even give gifts! Fun applications like this are what keep me interested in new dating services, so major points for Zoosk.com.
So for all intents and purposes, Zoosk.com’s matchmaking services are free. You can view your matches and send emails to singles you like for no cost, just like with most other popular online dating sites. However, there are some (pretty cool) functions of Zoosk that you can’t access unless you pay. Zoosk.com offers a dating software they call Boost, which basically provides that your profile jumps to the top of the results other people see. Boost is not free and you pay for it by using those prevalent Zoosk gold coins, which you purchase using a credit card, Paypal, and the like. A “Boost” to 250 members costs you a couple hundred coins, and coins are a little less than ten cents each, so it’s truly a clever way to get you to spend money without feeling like you’re actually spending money. It’s sort of like Google AdSense, but for on line dating. It doesn’t cost much and it really is tempting as the placement you get for your pocket change is a pretty good value, making Zoosk.com one of the few not-entirely free dating services I’ve used that actually makes me want to spend money.
My Zoosk.com review found that the site is great for technologically savvy 20 and 30-somethings, which is exactly the demographic you’ll find me in. Zoosk is, in a word, fun. It already feels familiar as most of the other best online dating sites don’t have so much in common with Facebook, which pretty much everyone in my bracket knows how to use blindfolded. Some of the more notable things about Zoosk.com as a singles dating resource include:
- It’s pretty. Truly, the site is easy on the eyes and the mouse, and you won’t bore quickly viewing each inherently different profile.
- Zoosk.com is one of the few mostly free dating sites around that actually allows you to access most of the best features without paying.
- If you like Facebook, you’ll like Zoosk.com. It’s more or less the same set up, making it easy to transition from one site to another.
Zoosk.com has something no other site has. Though you may assume it’s eHarmony, Match.com or even JDate, Zoosk is the most popular online dating site on the planet, which has got to count for something. You’ll never tire of the fun features (gold coins! Neato!) or the endlessly distinct profiles, owed in part to the depth of the profiles all members fill out. Whatever the reason, if you’re not on Zoosk, you really can’t say you’re “into” dating websites. Just like people who aren’t on Facebook have gone from being “cool and rebellious” to “silly and pretentious,” if you’re not on Zoosk, you may as well not as exist on the on line dating scene. Not to be overly dramatic or anything.