Zoosk consistently ranks within the top 20 American dating apps on Google Play and App Store, with around 40 million users globally. But is it any good? Should you install the app or use the web version? We created a Zoosk account and did a test run to learn what makes this dating app so popular. Use our findings to decide if it’s the right dating site for you.
- Reasons to buy: SmartPick matches
- Reasons to avoid: Streams on mobile only
Website in 5 seconds
|The number of users:||Over 40 million members|
|Mobile app:||Apple App Store and Google Play|
|Matching & search filters:||Age and location are free, while height, body type, religion, education, ethnicity, children, and smoking require a premium subscription|
|Messaging on the site:||Live chat, messages, Super Send, icebreakers, Crushes, virtual gifts, etc.|
|Paid or free:||Signup and basic features are free, while advanced search, SmartPick, virtual gifts, profile boost, and other features require a premium subscription ($13 to $21.66 per month) or a purchase of coins (from $9.99 for 60 coins to $39.95 for 480 coins)|
Who is Zoosk for?
Zoosk is an online dating site and mobile app for singles seeking companionship, online and offline dating, casual or serious relationships, and even marriage. It’s a mainstream online dating app within the Spark Networks without religious, age, or location limitations. The app boasts an impressive dating pool of around 10 million active users monthly, spread across all age groups, from 18 to 65+.
Features and benefits
Zoosk app provides many features other dating sites don’t have, making it a standout in the industry. One unique tool is SmartPick matches generated based on profile details and behavioral matchmaking technology, accounting for user actions. So the more active you are on Zoosk, the better matches you’ll receive and the higher your chances of a successful relationship.
So what else does Zoosk offer? First, let’s go over the basic search and messaging tools.
Search filters help daters find potential matches among millions of users in the online dating world. With Zoosk, both basic and advanced filters work pretty well. Here’s what you need to know about them:
- Search settings are available in the Search tab found in the menu on the left. The list includes all free and advanced filters.
- Free filters include the age range and the distance from your location.
- Advanced filters include height and body type, ethnicity and religion, education, children, and smoking habits. They are only available with a paid subscription.
- Users can save search parameters to use again later, which can be useful if you have different relationship goals.
- Search results are demonstrated one at a time, so members must go through them more slowly than they would on a page with a grid.
- The Online Now tab shows Zoosk members who fit search parameters and are online at the time of the query.
In our experience, basic filters are more than enough for casual dating. However, if you’re seeking a serious relationship or have a very specific type, you may benefit from using advanced search filters. We tested both options and found they work well enough. As the auto-selected distance setting can be glitchy, we suggest you manually set it to a suitable number. Otherwise, you may get potential matches halfway across the country.
The times of a chat-only dating app are long gone, and Zoosk is moving forward with the times and the daters’ needs, introducing new and exciting communication tools, such as:
- Instant messages. You can send them straight from the search results page. The text box is usually under the photo and profile details with an envelope icon.
- Super send. Available in the top menu under the lightning bolt icon, the Super Send feature lets you simultaneously send likes or one of the default messages to hundreds of Zoosk users. Although you won’t get a response to every message, you’ll draw the attention of potential matches.
- Crushes. If you click on the star icon under a photo you like in the Carousel feature, you’re sending someone a Crush. This will highlight your picture in their Carousel and Inbox and let you undo any of your past passes. You can get five daily Crushes with a separate upgrade package.
- Zoosk Live. The streaming feature is only available via iOS and Android mobile apps. It lets members host public live streams or participate in virtual speed dating events before transitioning to private video chats.
After a month-long test, we think Crushes are not worth the extra expense, and Super Send rarely generates positive responses. So we stuck to live streams, which were free and quite engaging. Most ladies we contacted were happy to chat, though some of our messages were ignored, which was expected.
Although Zoosk doesn’t have the option to deliver real gifts, members can exchange virtual gifts. There are a few ways to do that:
- Scroll down to the bottom of the profile you see after a search, and you’ll find a few virtual gift options you can purchase for Zoosk coins.
- Join a live stream on your smartphone and attract the streamer’s attention by sending them virtual gifts.
- Purchase additional coins whenever you run out. They are sold in packages of 60, 180, and 480.
- Remember that streamers can redeem their virtual gifts and exchange them for money, so some users may become pushy and demand gifts.
We did purchase a coin package and sent out a couple of virtual gifts to streamers. However, we don’t believe it’s a crucial feature that can make or break your online dating experience. If you try it, start small and watch your expenses closely, as they tend to snowball.
Free and paid membership guide
Every new member gets a free Zoosk membership to see if it’s a good dating site suitable for their dating goals. Every dating platform user can:
- Create a dating profile. Zoosk platform is pretty strict about photo verification, and we couldn’t use most features until our picture was approved. However, it signifies decent security, so we weren’t too upset.
- Verify the account. Zoosk offers multiple ways to verify user accounts via phone or social media, reducing the risk of running into scammers. The process is easy and fast, so we suggest you secure a verified badge.
- Use basic search filters. Like most online dating industry services, Zoosk has the location and age-specific search filters available to everyone. And we found them to be enough for casual dating.
- Watch live streams. They are a recent addition to the Zoosk dating toolset, only available via mobile apps. The quality of the streams varies greatly, but experienced streamers make them entertaining.
- Contact the Zoosk customer service team. Although the help center is very detailed, we preferred to double-check that they canceled our subscription to avoid unpleasant surprises, and the support agents were helpful.
Premium Zoosk members enjoy additional features, some of which are critical, while others are mostly for show. Here’s a short list of what you may encounter after upgrading:
- Advanced search filters. As we’ve mentioned, upgraded search parameters are pretty detailed but only useful if you have a specific portrait of your perfect match in mind.
- Instant messages. The premium Zoosk subscription comes with unlimited messages, the core feature we use most. You can’t get around buying at least the shortest plan to get your partner’s contacts.
- SmartPick. It’s the best of the premium features as it employs behavioral matchmaking technology to track users’ actions and tailor profile recommendations accordingly. Most of the matches we got through SmartPick panned out, so it’s definitely worth the expense.
- Virtual gifts. Sending gifts to new acquaintances or live streamers requires additional expenses, and Zoosk coins are costly. So while you should try it to see how the feature works, we don’t believe they are critical for your dating success.
- Crushes upgrade. Useful in a Carousel feature, this upgrade will add around $10 to your monthly bill for little to no returns. However, we didn’t see much difference in the response rate between messages to our “Crushes” and other users, so we don’t think the upgrade is worth the expense.
We aren’t huge fans of Zoosk pricing and upsales, but we still suggest you try them, as they might be more useful to you than they were for us. Otherwise, we believe a straightforward subscription is enough to satisfy your online dating needs, whether you’re after casual hookups or a serious relationship.
Tip for using Zoosk to find a perfect relationship
After using Zoosk for a month, we believe the key to success is using the app frequently and focusing on the SmartPick matches. You can start by taking a short survey to finetune the platform’s recommendations. Then, scroll through the Carousel to like or pass on profiles. And the more info Zoosk gets from your actions, the better the matchmaking algorithm will work. Most of the chats we enjoyed came from the SmartPick feature, which seems to work as advertised.
Pros & cons
- SmartPick matches work better the more time you spend on Zoosk
- Live streams are available 24/7, as long as there are streaming Zoosk users online
- Flexible personal settings, including anonymous browsing and profile boosting
- Zoosk cost is somewhat convoluted, with extra expenses on coins and upgrades
- Messaging is limited to premium members only
Your safety on Zoosk
Zoosk tries to make online dating as safe as possible for its web and mobile app users. We noticed these security features in place:
- Photo verification for every new account
- Facebook, Twitter, or phone number verification
- Block and report options for suspected scammers or bullies
- Online dating safety tips and recommendations
Still, no dating app is free from fake profiles and fraudsters, so you should always follow the basic online safety rules, such as:
- Only sharing non-sensitive personal information with strangers
- Using Google Image search to check profile photos
- Focusing on users with detailed verified profiles
- Never send money or share financial details with people you meet online
Following these simple guidelines can save you from becoming a romance scam or blackmail victim. So remember to use common sense and stay safe on Zoosk.
5 ways to make your dating app profile stand out from the crowd
- Focus on your profile photo first. Zoosk provides a comprehensive guide with examples for choosing the best shot for your profile pic. Remember, you won’t be able to use most Zoosk features without a photo, and its verification can take some time.
- Fill out as many personal details as you’re comfortable with. For example, you can share your education, appearance details, relationship status, and more to make your profile more visible among search results.
- Verify your account. You can use photo verification via Facebook or Twitter or confirm your phone number. Either way, getting a verification badge will boost your chances of finding matches.
- Provide a few icebreakers. They will pop up in your profile and provide an insight into your life, helping interested users start conversations.
- Use profile boosters sparingly. You can send out “Crushes,” use Super Send, or boost your profile, but watch your coins balance carefully to avoid unexpected spending.
We spent over $100 testing all of Zoosk‘s premium features and upgrade packages. And while some of the features seem pointless (like Super Send), others were surprisingly good. SmartPick matched us with a dozen gorgeous ladies, half of whom were happy to go on real dates with us. Live streaming was also lovely (and lively), though we missed the option to join on a desktop. So if you’re after a fun and diverse online dating experience, Zoosk will provide both in spades.
Sources of information:
- similarweb.com [Top Free]
- similarweb.com [Zoosk Ranking]