Best Apps For Hookups 2018

While you might think of your phone as nothing more than a communication device and a distraction during awkward silences, it’s actually a powerful tool for finding love. With the right apps, online dating will take on a new spin and modernize the journey toward love. Whether it’s finding singles at the local bar or looking for meaningful relationships, these are the 7 Best Apps For Hookups 2018

Best Hookup Apps 2021: 11 Best Dating Apps 2021

Best Apps For Hookups 2018

We analyzed over 13,000 online dating app reviews
We’ve used the AI powers and the powerful visualizations of Thematic, to analyze app reviews (13,000 of them, publicly available online) for the biggest dating apps; Tinder, Bumble, Happn, eHarmony and Badoo, in the biggest/most used markets: USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and here’s what we found.

Our sample findings:
Tinder has significantly more app crashes, although seems best at finding “the love of my life”
eHarmony has the least matches overall, especially in Canada
Australian women more often make the first move
Which dating app ranks the best?
Judging by the ratings for the online reviews in 2018, we’ve ranked the apps from 1-5 (1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest), and this is how they fared:

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Happn (3.8)
Badoo (3.8)
Tinder (2.9)
Bumble (2.5)
eHarmony (1.9)
So we have a joint first place, Happn and Badoo is where most of our reviewers like to hang out. Seemingly, eHarmony does not get a great score (ouch!).

Almost everyone has a dating profile these days?
In 2018, the number of online dating users in USA was a staggering 294m, with the number of users expected to rise to 331.3m by 2022. (Compare this to the US population which was 325m in 2017, and I’m guessing most people have more than one profile? That alone is cause for concern.)

Of course, the high dating profile numbers should be no surprise. Browsing profiles isn’t nearly as time-consuming (or intimidating) as mixing with people in a real social context. With real people… shiver.

And people are splashing the cash on finding a partner – big time. Revenue in the online dating segment amounts to US$1,380m in 2018, and is expected to grow to US$1,610m by 2022. In global comparison, USA spends the most on online dating overall (US$590m in 2018) according to Statista.

Which app is the worst for finding matches?
By using a dating app, are you guaranteed to “match” with someone? Um, no. Although some people seem to think so, especially when looking at the reviews of those who have purchased the paid services.

If we look at the themes* (a theme is a topic that can be expressed in various ways) of “not enough matches” in the data, across all apps and locations, we can see that eHarmony significantly loses out here. The result is the same for people who have given it 1 and 2 stars and for all other scores.

Here, our graph shows the results of the 1 and 2-star reviews, so we can see that this theme is something people are definitely not happy about.

Why is this so? If we look at some of the comments people have left for eHarmony, it seems their expectations do not live up to what the app delivers. Some comments are a bit too racy for me to replicate here, (although hilarious!) but as some users explained:

“I’m not too fussy but very few appropriate matches seem to be provided and in fact the added what ifs are a better match. Will not be renewing and would definitely NOT recommend. eHarmony for all its marketing appears to be a company that ‘talk the talk’ but can’t ‘walk the walk’”.

“I’m not satisfied with the number of matches. Although I have adjusted all my criteria, i.e. age, distance, smoker/ non-smoker, race, etc, the matches are not enough, and certainly not what I am looking for. I am really disappointed that I paid as much as I did to be a member.”

Where are most of the disgruntled and unmatched eHarmony users located?

It seems Canadians are the most unlucky to match, closely followed by those in Great Britain.

Across all apps and locations, the theme of “not enough matches” is fairly evenly spread, for the 1 and 2-star reviews, with Great Britain and Canada leading the way.

The US seems to be quite good at finding matches, as they are last on this list, so could this mean they are less picky?

App crashes ruining chances of finding love
Ever used an app and it keeps crashing constantly? Grrr, we’ve all been there and your patience wears thin to the point where you just give up. Seemingly, Tinder is the most frustrating app to use, as significantly more reviewers have mentioned “app crashes” in their 1 and 2-star reviews, than any of the other apps.

Comparing app crashes across apps

And if you’re in New Zealand, we’re guessing this happens to you – a LOT.

For some reason, kiwis experience more app crashes than people in other countries. Could this be because it’s a smaller market and Tinder has not invested enough into functionalities?

Comparing app crashes across country

This is true for the people who have given 1 and 2 stars, but also across all star ratings. Some of the reviewers say:

“The app crashes within seconds of being opened. I’ve deleted and downloaded [it]again three times yet it still does the same thing. I’m not even able to create an account.”

“Won’t load matches & keeps crashing whenever I try to open a message or press “like” on a profile. Restarted phone and deleted the app twice to download it again but it’s still doing the same thing! 😡😡”

“Not a fan at all! After about 2 clicks it crashes every time and I open the app again start swiping and it crashes again! Tempted to delete!”

Customer service not up to scratch
People are not fans of eHarmony’s customer service, and Tinder is a close second, possibly because of those app crashes, I’m guessing.

Comparing customer service across apps

User beware: fake profiles alert!
There seem to be quite a few fakes lurking around, with Bumble taking the lead amongst the fake profiles, and Badoo a close second.

Comparing fake profiles across apps

These fakes seem to be situated mostly in NZ and Australia, interestingly. Is there a stigma around online dating or are people mostly playing around on the apps for sheer entertainment?

Comparing fake profiles across country

Or, is this because of fear of possibly appearing too desperate (to appear with your real profile)? In 2015, the Pew Research Center found that 23% think those who date online are desperate (ouch). However, that number has gone down a good bit. In 2005, it was 29%, so people are becoming more open to the idea of finding love online.

Premium service not worth the money
Do people think spending money on dating apps is a good investment? If we look at how many people have mentioned “waste of money”, we can see that eHarmony is the “winner” (or rather, loser) in this category, and significantly so.

Comparing waste money across apps

As this is such a big difference to the other apps, I got my Sherlock Holmes-mode on and was keen to investigate further.

One angry customer review says:

“The app is terrible! And eHarmony does not work! It is not the be all and end-all of online dating!!! 3 years a complete utter waste of money & now they won’t let me cancel my subscription! DON’T BOTHER!!! Ask your friends to introduce to people instead!“

And another:

“This is the worst online dating app on the market hands down! I would give negative stars if i was able to. Way overpriced for what you receive. […] Save your money. eHarmony sort out your prices for the poor service that you’re currently providing.”

But it’s not all bad news, one happy camper who gave 5 stars says:

“I love it, it easy to use. The money is well worth it I have no complaints!”

We can see that overall, there are many more 1 and 2 stars (4870) reviews than 4 and 5 stars (1024), so when people mention “waste of money”, they are generally unhappy with the service.

Best hookup apps for couples

Staying safe while using hookup apps
The pandemic has also brought on a whole new meaning to having safe sex with strangers. Some dating apps have added vaccination status as a section to their profiles, so you can tell if someone’s going to be a safer hookup or not without having to waste time chatting with someone you won’t feel comfortable seeing IRL. Badge or not, if you have any hesitations being direct and asking people outright about their vaccination status and what they’re comfortable with is a good way to make an informed decision.

Taking precautions doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Over the past year, people have been learning how to be safe while exploring new desires and kinks.

What makes a good hookup app?
A good hookup doesn’t have to be a one and done situation. Sure, things can be kept as anonymous as taking a nameless person home from the bar, but there’s also nothing wrong with ensuring that the person getting to see you naked doesn’t have the world’s worst sense of humor. Plus, getting along well with a hookup, even if you’re not looking for anything serious or exclusive, can help if you are looking for a regular friends with benefits situation. Though many of these apps make it obvious that people are looking for that, people on more generalized dating apps can avoid a lot of messiness if a head’s up about intentions is given within the first few DMs. You’ll want an app that skips the 10-minute questionnaire about romance and future families and you’ll probably also want to avoid any that require an expensive subscriptions designed for long-term relationships. However, you should choose an app that has ample space to showcase what you’re looking for — and maybe turn a few people on with your sense of humor.

Photos are also a huge factor in good hookup apps. Some apps and dating sites hide people’s pics unless you have a paid subscription, and we don’t really love that — for physical attraction reasons and safety reasons. Apps that show the full view of someone’s profile are the way to go.

Whether you want to pay for a hookup app or not is totally up to you, but we will say Tinder and Hinge have great free versions of the app. You can likely find a hookup by the weekend without paying a cent.

Whether you’re looking for casual sex or are simply looking to exchange nudes, here are our picks for the best hookup apps right now:

Best For Casual Sex
Tinder on a smart phone.
Credit: Tinder / Apple
Free version: Yes
One month of Tinder Plus: $7.99
Six months of Tinder Plus: $23.99 ($4 per month)
One year of Tinder Plus: $31.99 ($2.67 per month)
One month of Tinder Gold: $24.99
Six months of Tinder Gold: $74.99 ($12.50 per month)
12 months of Tinder Gold: $99.99 ($8.33 per month)
Buying Options
See Details
Tinder may not want to advertise as such, but it doesn’t have the reputation as a hookup app for no reason. Yeah yeah, we know the amount of success stories of happy couples who met on Tinder is growing rapidly, but it’s way easier to find a date for the night than it is to find someone looking for a long term relationship. Using Tinder for the latter includes deciding if you want to interact with someone based on nothing but profile pictures and a quote from The Office, so yeah, you can see how getting laid would be the main goal of most users.

It’s fast, easy, and if there’s one app that even the shyest, most skeptical people will be on, it’s Tinder. Sure, you may get carpal tunnel from swiping so much, but I guess that also means that it’s nearly impossible to not find like-minded people who are also DTF.

Though it’s pretty much free for general use, Tinder does offer three upgrades: Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum. These include extras like the opportunity to undo a left swipe (bless), send “Super Likes” to people you’re really into, see who has swiped right on your profile, and in the case of Tinder Platinum, message users before they’ve even matched with you.

Best For Liberals And Leftists
OkCupid on smartphone.
Credit: Okcupid / Apple
Free version: Yes
One month of OkCupid Basic: $11.99 per month
Three months of OkCupid Basic: $23.97 ($7.99 per month)
Six months of OkCupid Basic: $35.94 ($5.99 per month)
One month of OkCupid Premium: $23.99 per month
Three months of OkCupid Premium: $47.97 ($15.99 per month)
Six months of OkCupid Premium: $71.94 ($11.99 per month)
Buying Options
See Details
Turned on by social awareness? Same. You’ve heard of OkCupid before, and you know it’s not solely for hooking up. But if your attraction to someone is partly dictated by whether you’d be on their side in a political Facebook fight, OkCupid can direct you to the sexy woke side of the internet.

This hip LGBTQ-friendly site has won the hearts of liberal millennial singles by dedicating a portion of its profile-building prompts to the current political climate: weed, guns, vaccinations, women’s rights, and more topics are covered. This, badges for voting and open pronoun and orientation options, all help to reel in an informed, respectful, and sex-positive crowd. Dry-humored graphics do a lot to alleviate pressure, too.

While you get the most out of the site with a paid plan, you can still use its search features without ever paying a dime. In other words, you literally search the keyword “hookup” — or any other common interests that might be important to you — and see what users have those words in their profile. In a website that can lean more relationship oriented, it’s an easy way to filter and find people looking for the same casual connection as you.


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