The Friend Finder network is one of the largest dating and friendship communities in the world. It combines some of the best features of social networking and a dating service, making it a hub of activity for mingling and getting to know other people. A guest account, which includes limited emailing, is free though full access requires paid membership.
Those familiar with sites like eHarmony.com or Match.com will notice a different atmosphere on the Friendfinder sites. Friendfinder feels more like a cross between a social networking and a dating site. It also has a more adult theme and will appeal to those seeking casual dating as well.
Friendfinder offers a basic membership with the option to upgrade to Silver or Gold memberships for a fee. While free members can do searches and explore the site, they are limited to sending five messages per day, unless it happens to be a paying member who has paid for the privilege to receive emails from guests. Upgrades also have certain benefits not found in standard memberships, such as email alerts and enhanced profile and viewing options (free users can only see a small profile picture, they also can't watch introduction videos).
Getting in Contact
There are many different ways to interact with other members, some of which are available for free. The large number of options can be a little overwhelming at first. However the site layout does a good job of directing you to the most useful features. Quick links are available to things such as “local searches”, which automatically displays members near to you (for local U.S. Zip codes), as well as local discussion groups, where members living close to each other have their own chat room and can make friends in a relaxed way.
Friendfinder supports certified profiles. Those who opt to prove their identity by providing the relevant documents and photos will gain a certified badge to prove they are who they say they are.
The community pages tend to be quite a hub of activity, giving members plenty of chance to mingle and get to know one another. The online magazine offers dating advice, horoscopes and numbers of success stories. Members can also create their own free personal blogs where they can write an online diary. The owner of the blog has complete control over who can read posts. Access can be restricted to friends or members if desired.
Friendfinder is known for its more mature atmosphere, and is better geared for the person looking for a friendship or a dating prospect. Nevertheless, it does offer a great range of features and social activities for those up for meeting new people.
By Tara Miller
- Massive selection of features
- Users can optionally get themselves verified via the free Confirm ID service
- Users can fully customize their accounts, including settings, notifications, viewing options and setting email filters
- Free account holders have the ability to send messages
- Lively user-managed community areas such as local groups, chat and blogs keeps visitors engaged
- Layout can be bewildering at first due to large number of options and settings
- Adult content which may offend some
- Free users can't view profile photos