Metrodate is free dating and social site with activity groups for many major cities and towns. Groups are run by users for users, and members can search for details of upcoming events, nightspots and things to do in their area.
Originally a fee-based site, they redefined themselves in 2008 offering free membership to all. This includes the ability to access the entire set of features, including the ability to message and chat directly with other members.
What MetroDate offers
The site is very user-friendly, and offers its services in 13 different languages worldwide. A good range of tools are available and many are on the cutting edge of technology. Profiles can be supplemented with a gallery of photos, video messages, and voice recordings.
It's worth noting that profiles with voice recordings are given priority position in searches. Uploading adult material, such as videos and photos is permitted, however these must be placed into the “Adult Category”.
The groups and forums on MetroDate are arranged into cities and larger urban areas. The city guides offer useful facts and information pertaining to your local area (the location set in your profile). This includes events, local restaurants, and travel opportunities.
There's a message board that also acts as a classified ad section, where people post messages such as letting readers know they're new to the area.
Most of the notices and messages are posted and maintained by users themselves so those living in smaller towns or urban areas may find a lack of information for their specific area. To change to a different location, simply use the selector shown on the page.
Having the availability to cross-link all of their cities is helpful especially for those who are planning to travel or investigate an alternative area.
Profiles and Searching
You can browse through profiles before fully completing your own. However, after browsing I found many profiles weren't filled out with much detail. In many cases, the space to type a little about yourself was full of one liners and not much useful information. A little over half actually supplied a picture with their profile. It isn't stated if the profiles are monitored, but from the content of some, it looks like they are not.
Members who opted to take the compatibility questionnaire have their answers displayed on their profile. Although I couldn't find a way to screen for people who'd completed their questionnaire, it does appear that “other things being equal”, more complete profiles appear first in search results. Therefore, having a correctly completed profile is a key to success here.
The advanced search facility allows you to look for people matching your choices. This includes age, location, physical appearance, whether they have children or not, as well as their religion and level of education.
You can even specify what type of relationship the other person is seeking, from a serious relationship to an intimate encounter. There were requests for illicit affairs and romantic encounters, as well as long-term relationships. Use caution when surfing through the many profiles.
A direct lookup is also provided, should you already know the username of the person you're trying to find. Unless you specify otherwise, searches will cover an area of 65-miles around your city. It's also possible to find members close to a specific city. There doesn't appear to be a way of saving search settings, so these details must be entered each time you perform a search.
How popular is it?
MetroDate is reasonably popular, with around 48,000 people using it on a regular basis. The majority of users reside in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada though many other countries are well represented too.
MetroDate is a well designed site that doesn't cost anything to use. It's a good choice for people who've recently moved to a new area and are seeking to make new friends there and to keep abreast of local events, parties and interesting places to visit.
The main down-side is that those people who don't live in a major city may find their area underrepresented.
By Tara Miller