If you’re new to online dating, figuring out which app would be best for you can be confusing. We made an easy cheat sheet for you with all of the most popular apps and how they differ. You can also take our Quiz here!
Here are the deets on The Four Most Popular Apps:
What can you see of someone’s profile without scrolling? First photo, age, and beginning of bio.
Number of photos: 9
Photo Format: Vertical photos are best. If you add square or horizontal photos, Tinder will crop them so they’re vertical.
Number of characters for bio: 500
Any question prompts to answer in addition to bio? No.
Bio style: Make these 500 characters count! Name a few quick preferences or fun facts, and make sure someone who matches with you has enough to go on to start a conversation.
Swiping or no swiping? Swiping.
How does matching work? If you both swipe right, you’ll match! You can’t see who has already swiped right on you in the free version, but if you upgrade to Tinder Gold you’ll be able to see a full list of everyone who has already liked your profile.
How does messaging work? Once you’ve matched, either you or your match can send a message to start the conversation.
What can you see of someone’s profile without scrolling? First photo, age, job, and education.
Number of photos: 6
Photo Format: Vertical and square look best, but you can use horizontal photos without cropping — though they will be much smaller, since they can only be the width of your phone. Your first photo must be vertical.
Number of characters for bio: 300
Any question prompts to answer in addition to bio? Yes. You can answer up to 3 Bumble prompts in addition to your bio.
Bio style: Since you only have 300 characters, keep it short, fun, and eye-catching!
Swiping or no swiping? Swiping.
How does matching work? If you both swipe right, you’ll match! Just like Tinder, you can’t see who’s already liked you in the free version, but can access that queue if you upgrade to Bumble Boost.
How does messaging work? For M/F users seeking the opposite sex, Bumble differs from Tinder because women must start the conversation (men can’t), and the match will expire after 24 hours if no conversation has been started. All users get one free “Extend” to use per day, where you can extend that window by an additional 24 hours (a handy way to indicate you’re particularly interested in someone and don’t want the match to expire). If you upgrade to Bumble Boost, you have the ability to re-match with expired matches, and you’ll have unlimited Extends.
What can you see of someone’s profile without scrolling? First photo and first Hinge prompt.
Number of photos: 6
Photo Format: Square photos are best. Like Tinder, you can use vertical or horizontal photos, but they’ll be cropped to a square.
Number of characters for bio: Hinge does not have a traditional bio section. Instead, your entire profile is your response to 3 Hinge prompts. You are allotted 150 characters per answer.
Any question prompts to answer in addition to bio? As mentioned, your whole profile is your response to 3 Hinge prompts — Hinge has a list of 60+ prompts to choose from.
Bio style: Since there’s no option to write a holistic bio, make sure that your answers to the 3 prompts paint a complete picture of you (for example: one to show some of your likes and dislikes, one to show your sense of humor, one to tell a great story). See the list of Hinge prompts below.
Swiping or no swiping? No swiping. Hinge’s version of a “swipe right” is to have you interact with one particular aspect of someone’s profile: you can Like or Comment on any one photo or any one Hinge prompt per profile.
How does matching work? When someone Likes or Comments on your profile, they’re put into a queue where you can see their whole profile and what they’ve liked or said about yours. The catch is that you can only see one person at a time, so you have to decide to match or dismiss before seeing the next person who’s liked you. You can see a grid of everyone who’s liked you by upgrading to Hinge Preferred.
How does messaging work? Once you’ve matched, either you or your match can send a message. The nice thing about the Comment ability on Hinge is that you can send a message even before you match, which takes the burden off of the person you’re hoping will match with you — all they have to do is click “Match” and respond to your message, without having to then come up with a conversation starter themselves.
Below is an updated list of the Hinge prompts:
- A Shower Thought I recently had
- A life goal of mine
- A random fact I love is
- A social cause I care about
- All I ask is that you
- An overshare
- Believe it or not, I
- Best travel story
- Biggest risk I’ve taken
- Change my mind about
- Dating me is like
- Do you agree or disagree that
- Don’t hate me if I
- Fact about me that surprises people
- First round is on me if
- Give me travel tips for
- I bet you can’t
- I geek out on
- I get along best with people who
- I go crazy for
- I know the best spot in town for
- I recently discovered that
- I take pride in
- I want someone who
- I won’t shut up about
- I’ll brag about you to my friends if
- I’m convinced that
- I’m overly competitive about
- I’m weirdly attracted to
- If loving this is wrong, I don’t want to be right
- I’ll fall for you if
- I’ll introduce you to my family if
- I’ll know I’ve found the one when
- I’ll know it’s time to delete Hinge when
- I’ll pick the topic if you start the conversation
- I’m a regular at
- I’m looking for
- I’m the type of texter who
- Let’s debate this topic
- Let’s make sure we’re on the same page about
- Most spontaneous thing I’ve done
- My Love Language is
- My biggest date fail
- My greatest strength
- My ideal date from home
- My mantra is
- My most controversial opinion is
- My most irrational fear
- My simple pleasures
- Never have I ever
- One thing I’ll never do again
- Something that’s non-negotiable for me is
- Teach me something about
- The award I should be nominated for
- The best way to ask me out is by
- The dorkiest thing about me is
- The hallmark of a good relationship is
- The key to my heart is
- The one thing I’d love to know about you is
- The one thing you should know about me is
- The secret to getting to know me is
- The way to win me over is
- This year, I really want to
- Together, we could
- Try to guess this about me
- Two truths and a lie
- Typical Sunday
- Unusual skills
- We’ll get along if
- Weirdest gift I have given or received
- We’re the same type of weird if
- What I order for the table
- What if I told you that
- Which is more important to you
- Worst idea I’ve ever had
- You should *not* go out with me if
- You should leave a comment if
- You’ll know I like you if
What can you see of someone’s profile without scrolling? Primary photo, age, location, and first Match prompt.
Number of photos: 26
Photo Format: All photo formats are accepted, but Match requires that your Primary Photo be a clear, smiling photo of just your head and shoulders, in order to highlight your face – no full-body shots, no hats or sunglasses, and no other people.
Number of characters for bio: 4000
Any question prompts to answer in addition to bio? Yes. You can answer up to 3 Match prompts in addition to your bio.
Bio style: You can keep your bio as pithy and quippy as on your other apps, or, since Match offers you 4000 characters, you can opt to go a bit deeper about yourself and what you’re looking for. Match even has a handy page of possible questions and topics to consider when writing your bio on their website’s FAQ page.
Swiping or no swiping? There’s no actual swiping right or left, but you can “Heart” or “X” someone’s profile to move onto the next person in the queue, just like swiping.
How does matching work? Like Hinge, you have a queue of everyone who has liked or commented on your profile, and you can review each person one at a time. Once you match with a person who’s liked you or someone you’ve liked matches with you, they’ll be moved to your “Matches” tab.How does messaging work? Also like Hinge, you don’t have to wait until you’ve matched to send a message. In fact, if you’ve liked someone’s profile, Match will put them into a queue so you can remember to follow up with a message later. And of course, once you’ve matched with someone, you’re free to message away.