Match is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the online dating scene, and has continued to update their service to keep pace with changing technology. Through it's website and phone app Match has helped people find true love and was a forerunner in bringing online dating into the mainstream.
- Massive selection of members to choose from
- Extras can be purchased separately keeping the basic cost low
- Match.com is continually breaking new ground with technological innovations
Match are currently running the following promotions:
Match.com? Is it truly that big?
We all know Match.com is popular. Estimated to have at least twice as many registered users as its nearest rivals - eHarmony and Pof.com, Match.com's membership pool dwarfs many of their rivals. Even conservative estimates puts the number of active users in "the millions".
On the Match.com website, it states that they service 24 countries and territories, but statistics found online reveal that North American users make up for slightly more than half of the population.
No matter how you slice it, those are pretty impressive numbers.
But now comes the big question: Is Match.com a place where you should cast your rod and see what bites? Or are you better off fishing elsewhere?
The registration is a stream-lined process where you answer questions put to you by a virtual assistant called a "match dating coach".
There's almost nothing to type - you just click on each appropriate answer. To speed things up you can click "no preference", and it's then up to you to go back to your profile to filling anything that's missing.
Match won't let you proceed with the registration until you've uploaded a photo. Once that's done, you're in.
To get noticed in the world of online dating, you'll need a profile to show would-be dates, no two ways about it. The best step with Match.com (and other dating sites for that matter), is to create an appealing profile and add some decent photos (the option is there to import photos from a Facebook account) as soon as you join.
New members have their profiles highlighted for a certain period of time - you should take full advantage of this. You don't want any potential interests clicking your profile and finding it's empty.
If you have a completed profile, at least they'll have the opportunity to get to know you a little bit more before deciding whether to exchange emails - it gives you an edge because it shows that you've taken the time to write something thoughtful.
Match.com's personality profile can be split into two different parts: the first part is all about you and what you're like, while the second part goes into what you are looking for in a date or partner.
It's pretty standard stuff, mostly about your likes and dislikes, your principles and values, whether you expect your partner to make so-and-so income or have such-and-such education and whether such things are dealbreakers for you.
But there is the occasionally entertaining question such as asking you which title you'd choose for a particular book cover if you were given free-reign as the publisher, or what you'd do if you receive a nice fat bonus from your employer (Give it to charity? Go on a shopping spree?)
It should take around 15-20 minutes to write a complete and thorough profile. A well-written profile will always stand out from the rest, so do ensure that you put a little effort into it if you want to see good results.
The Look and Feel
So you've got a taste of the site - but now you're ready to get serious and do some browsing.
Match is continually upgrading their websites with new features, and enhancements which are there to enrich your experience and hopefully make dating more successful. If you like change this is great. For others, it can be an annoyance to have to keep learning their new layout.
The recent updates are designed to make things more streamlined and to remove some of the lesser-used features.
We'll go through these in turn.
Search Options, Options and Options...
Match.com's search tool offers an impressive number of ways for trawling through the millions of profiles listed there.
The main tab gives you the basic settings such as age, city, what they are looking for in a relationship, and their last activity on the site. For one thing this lets you select from more relevant profiles: those that have photos, and those where the person has recently been online.
The additional tabs are there if you want to refine your matches even further.
These include looks, personal life, work life, background, values.... the list is endless.
Keep in mind that these search choices will limit you to people who've entered those things into their profile. Likewise, your profile will only show up in specific searches if you put those things into your profile.
All in all there are quite a number of features for you to play around with, but we'll go only over a few of them here, and let you have the fun of discovering the rest!
The shuffle tab will show you photos of randomly selected people who match your basic preferences, including location and relationship type.
You can say yes or no (swipe right or left) and Match will get to know your preferences. Any you like will be added to your favorites list.
This screen is similar to shuffle but it shows you a whole page of photos. Again, these will be of people matching your basic preferences. Tip: People who've been online recently are listed higher up on the page. As with a complete profile, this works both ways.
Viewing a profile will tell you much more about the person and what they are looking for. A useful feature is that Match will compare your profile to theirs and tell you if you have things in common. Irritatingly, some of the profile details will be hidden until you upgrade.
They will also give you a number of daily matches, profiles chosen specifically because they best match your chosen criteria. With new users registering every day, that means you'll be getting matches from both established and new members
When you go through these daily matches, you'll have three choices: Yes, No, Maybe (all pretty self-explanatory). If you select "Yes" for a particular profile, you can choose to send them a message, or just do it at a later time.
You don't have to go through the daily profiles, but if you do, your choice will send each profile to the Yes, No or Maybe folder, thus making it easier for you to see and organize your communications to the profiles that you're interested in.
If you like what you see and read, you can start communicating via a "wink", a selectable option that lets the other party know that you're interested in getting to know them a bit more. However, like a lot of other dating sites, a paid subscription is needed to message other members.
Match.com straddles the fence - it's neither ridiculously expensive, nor dirt cheap. A minimum 3-month subscription will cost you $29.99 per month - add an extra $10 per month, and you'll get a bag of other goodies, which includes a highlighted profile and notifications of when the other party has read your email. An added bonus of the upgrade is that you can surf the site without the distraction of ads.
Be aware that, although the prices are stated as "per month" on the Match.com website, you will be billed an upfront lump-sum payment for the whole period.
Obviously subscribing allows you to send messages. In addition it lets you see who's interested in you.
Extras: You'll also be given the choice of a few optional extras.
- Incognito let's you surf around the site without leaving any footprints. You can snoop on people's profiles without appearing in their visit list.
- Boost makes your profile stand out in the crowd, and appear higher up in searches.
- Unlimited which is the most expensive package contains the works, giving you discount to Match events and allowing to you use the site without ads.
- Chemistry is their separate matchmaking service which is supposed to help you find deeper and more lasting relationships.
One consistent complaint against Match.com over the years has been against the company's automatic-renewal policy, billed on the website as "Continuous Service". The gist of it is this: unless you cancel your membership before the end of the membership period you signed up for, Match.com automatically renews your membership plan at the end of that period. This is "standard practice" on many dating sites nowadays.
In Match.com's defense, on the page where you choose your membership plans, they clearly state that this is a practice they engage in.
If you've decided to sign up for a paid membership plan, always take note of when your membership period ends, then set up reminders a few days or even weeks before that date. When you are sent a reminder to notify you that your subscription is soon coming to an end, you can make a decision then and there on whether you want to renew or not. If you don't, then just cancel your membership before the end of membership period - by doing so, you could be saving yourself a ton of problems and headaches.
The Digital Age
Match.com is taking full advantage of the mobile digital age - its matchMobile service is there for you for when you need to "Get your Matches on the go". matchMobile allows you to check your email, look up on who's been checking your profile, and search for potential matches, all on your smartphone. It also offers free apps that have been specifically designed for Android, BlackBerry and Palm.
To Sum Up: Is Match Worth the Money?
Match.com is well-known for being the dating website that has the most users. But that doesn't necessarily translate to more chances of finding a partner you'd want to spend the rest of your life with - you're just as likely to meet a lot more people who might look good on paper, but fail to generate any real chemistry when you meet in person.
Sure, they mention that approximately 250,000 people successfully find a partner through the site every year and that this figure is more than double that of the success of other dating sites. But a perusal of the profiles on the site seems to show that a lot of the other people on the site are having fun hooking up and enjoying casual relationships.
However, if you're looking to get back in the dating game (rusty, perhaps?) or you're still at that stage in life where you're all about meeting new people and getting to know them better and engage in a bit of casual dating before tying the knot, then Match.com, with its user-friendly site, smorgasbord of options and add-ons, and yes, high number of active users, could very well be the right dating website for you.
Are you ready to hook your bait, cast your rod and see what this rather large sea has in store for you?
- Size: Match.com is one of the biggest dating services around. Of course, like any other dating app, not all of the users are active, but even if you take away all the in-actives, that's still a pretty high number.
- A useful free account: Unlike some other high-profile sites, Match.com lets you browse other members' profiles. And you can do it for free. This can be a great incentive for those who want to fiddle about the site first before committing both time and money.
- Lots of extrasThe basic package is fairly inexpensive; there are tons of add-ons and options available that you can add to your subscription plan. Flexibility means that you can choose all, some or none of them.
- Messaging for Paid Memberships Only: This has been listed as a con, simply because it will be viewed as one by those who are just looking for a casual date or hookup. But, it's pretty bog standard in the dating world to require that users sign up for a paid membership in order to exchange emails.
- Continuous Billing Service Policy: Match.com's auto-renewal policy purports to be that way because they "don't want to interrupt your service and prematurely end your conversations". Sure, that sounds fine - but how many people remember to cancel their memberships at the end of their commitment period?