The FriendFinder network is one of the largest dating communities in the world. It combines social networking and dating, making it effective for mingling and getting to know other people. A guest account, which includes limited messaging, is free though full access requires paid membership.
This is the mainstream site for the Friendfinder company - a company that's better known for their raunchy adult hookup apps and websites.
Not surprisingly then, Friendfinder has a more mature theme than other websites you might have visited. It appeals to those seeking casual dating as well as relationships.
Creating Your Profile
The quick registration form takes a few moments to complete. It prompts you with the usual questions, and you'll need to have a contact email but that's about all. You won't need to add a photo at this stage.
Once you go inside, the first thing you should do is set your Cupid Preferences. Your Cupid Preferences confirm the age range of people you want to meet, their distance from you, their appearance, race and finally their relationships status. These criteria will decide who's shown to you when you do quick searches: "Who's online", "Members Near Me" and "New Matches".
Other sections on your profile allow you to describe to others your physical appearance, your personality type and details about your lifestyle work and hobbies. While none of these is compulsory, it's a good idea to add them if you want to get the best out of your experience.
Additional Questions is pretty easy to complete as you just choose each answer from a set of answers. These appear on your profile and they will give visitors some insight into your personality.
Finally you can add some photos, or snap your self on webcam. Those members who display photos are much more likely to get messages sent to them. And when you message people first, they're more likely to respond if you have a photo.
When you join Friendfinder you start with their basic, or Standard membership. Then there's the option to upgrade to Silver or Gold memberships for a fee.
As a free member you will be able to do searches and explore the site but you won't be able to view profiles in full and you won't be able to see all photos. In addition communication is severely restricted. You can only reply to paid up members if they've contacted you first. You can't initiate any conversation.
Upgrades also have other benefits not found in standard memberships such as enhanced profiles and viewing options. Free users can only see a small profile picture, they also can't watch introduction videos. The two subscriptions are Gold and Silver, with Gold being the most expensive and having the most privileges.
As a Gold member you appear first in searches, get unrestricted communication and can access the site's advanced searching and matchmaking tools. These allow you to better sift through the sea of profiles there.
Silver is a bit cheaper, but you'll appear lower down than Gold members when people search and so receive less responses. It unlocks messenger privileges and allows access to some of the uploaded videos.
Other paid extras are available including Highlighting to boost your profile, and to be notified when someone reads your message.
Both packages entitle you to 24/7 telephone help and support.
Getting in Contact
The large number of communication 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. You can opt to prove your identity by sending the relevant documents and photos. You'll then gain a certified badge to prove you are who you say you are.
The community pages tend to be busy and will give you a chance to mingle and get to know others. The online magazine offers dating advice, horoscopes and numbers of success stories. Gold 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. Non paying members can read blogs and post comments.
Friendfinder is known for its more mature atmosphere, and is better geared for the person looking for a casual dating prospect. Nevertheless, it does offer a great range of features and social activities for those up for meeting new people.
- 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
- Adult content which may offend some
- Free users can't view profile photos in full nor send messages