Best Dating Apps 2024 in the U.S.

Members 3,440,000
Gender proportion

45 %
55 %
  • Flexible dating app for short-term to long-term relationship seekers
  • One of the most popular and preferred dating apps in the world
  • The app claims that it has 40 million members
  • A good percentage of the member base is active in the site
  • A paid membership is required to access some essential contacting functions
  • The app offers a lot of unique, special features
  • It is available to download on major app stores

Members 200,000
Gender proportion

27 %
73 %
  • Dating site for singles to quickly find nearby matches and dates
  • There are new members daily
  • You can get live notifications if a member likes your profile and would want to chat
  • Suggested matches are not provided when you become a member
  • Direct messages are not free and will need you to purchase coins

Members 8,000,000
Gender proportion

37 %
63 %
  • Easy swipe feature to like a profile or not
  • Millions of members to checkout
  • Members of LGBTQ+ are welcome to register
  • Connect to other apps like Spotify, Snapchat, etc
  • Lack of security when it comes to the authenticity of a profile
  • Limited profile information available
  • Swipe decisions are based on photos in just a matter of seconds, making Tinder a bit superficial

Understanding Dating Apps

We often talk about how great it is to be single and all the fun that comes with it, but we don't always think about one tough part: feeling lonely. Sometimes, you don't notice it at first, but after spending an evening with friends or a busy day at work, returning to your space can suddenly feel lonely. Being single allows you to live life your way, pursue your career, and work on self-improvement.

Yet, there comes a time when you notice your friends are finding their partners or choosing dates over hanging out with you. It makes you think about how nice it would be to have someone special. Perhaps a romantic partner, a casual date for the weekend, or even someone for a fun, casual meet-up. It's time to consider using dating apps to find that connection.

Do you want…

  • A nice chat with a friend before you hit the bed
  • A fun night with someone
  • A chance to finally meet your soulmate
  • A hookup escapade

But you…

  • Only have limited time to use for dating
  • Are only available on the weekends
  • Want to date on your own pace
  • Don't know where to look for a hot date

Then online dating apps might just work for you!

Dating apps have revolutionized the way people find love and companionship in today's digital age. With the swipe of a finger, you can browse countless profiles of potential matches and connect with people who share your interests and values.

Dating apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, with millions of people around the world using them to find romantic partners, friends, or even just casual hookups. But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of dating apps. In this article, we'll explore the world of dating apps, their history, and their features and provide tips on how to make the most of your online dating experience.

Woman using her phone

Dating apps are so convenient these days that more and more people get hooked on joining them. About 40% of heterosexual and 65% of same-sex couples nowadays have met their matches through dating apps. This study was conducted by sociologists who quantified how couples meet and stay together by using a survey. The result shows how much-normalized dating apps profiles have been in the past years. It has become a popular way for people to meet a romantic partner in modern times.

On top of that, the best dating apps will greatly help in bringing you a relationship. By giving you endless options and choices, you can be sure to find someone who will fit you like two peas in a pod.

Which dating app is for you?

Getting a date is as easy as getting a pizza delivered to your doorstep thanks to dating apps. However, like the pizza, the if-they-are-delicious-part also only comes after tasting, so you better choose where you get your date and matches, wisely!

There are currently thousands of dating apps like Hinge, Facebook Dating, Bumble, and Happn available right now just waiting to be tried to find matches. Some are free dating apps, some are tailor-fit to a specific group's needs; there's an entire world of dating app out there that's just waiting to be tried. It’s easy to get lost in the endless list of dating apps available now, so the real question is, which one of these dating apps will suit your needs?

If you believe that the best things in life are free, you can try out these frontrunners in the Free Dating Apps Category.

According to statistics, these free dating apps are one of the biggest by audience size and profile share in the US. What are you waiting for, try them out now! If you're unsatisfied with the available options, you may want to read our article comparing Hinge vs Tinder to see if either of those apps could better fit you.

Which dating app best suits your personality? Take the test!

Get a personalized recommendation on which best dating apps will work for you by answering the quick test below:

History of Dating Apps

There was once a time when going on a date with a person you met online was a strange and unexplored concept by many. Today, however, the younger generation has led the transformation of how online dating is perceived.

The concept stemmed from the idea of matchmaking “social equivalents” created by a company based in Newark, New Jersey in the 1940s. The company tried to evaluate the social compatibility of two people by letting them answer a questionnaire. 

This concept of matching people based on their profiles revolutionized dating and with the internet at its peak many years later, online dating sites were introduced.

Dating apps are an offshoot of mobile dating which began to take shape in 2003.  A company called ProxiDating was one of the first to offer dating services using Bluetooth device, by connecting nearby users at a fixed distance. 

Early leaders in mobile dating also include, Webdate, and Lavalife in early 2004 when the internet is fastly becoming a popular commodity for households. However, what truly revolutionized the dating game on the mobile phone was the introduction of Tinder in 2012—a real game changer.

It became the fad together with the popularity of smartphones and when Tinder became available to everyone in 2012, it ushered in a new era in the romantic history of the world bringing swipe-happy singles closer together than ever before. Since then, a lot of tinder-copycats have entered the arena.

The dating apps market is estimated to be worth 2.1 billion dollars having Tinder as a top player gathering at least 750 million dollar-cut of the pie.

Now, the dating app industry continues to grow each year with more than 15% of US adults or around 50 million Americans saying in a survey that they have or continue to use dating apps in their pursuit of romance.

How do dating apps work?

Dating apps are essentially another form of social media. The ones with the greatest number of users are generally considered popular like Tinder, for an instance, which has the lion’s share of the younger user population in the age group 18 to 29. So, how do dating apps work?

  • Most dating apps match based on a"yes or no" functionality
  • Like Tinder, a "yes or no" functionality lets you quickly decide whether you like a person being shown or not
  • Some dating apps are location-based to match you with people nearby
Woman using dating app

There are dating apps that only exist for mobile phones, but many web-based dating sites have also extended their portfolio to mobile users by offering an app that comes with approximately the same functionality as the website.

Dating Apps Algorithm

Dating apps are powered by machine-learning algorithms (a really fancy term for a computer's to-do list) that match people based on their information. Most dating app algorithms match people through their location, which is only logical to make meetups possible.

Generally, most dating app algorithms these days are tasked to match user on the following factors initially:

  • Location
  • Closeness preference
  • Age preference
  • Characteristics
  • Attractiveness

Simply put, the algorithms learn what to do from the users. It is designed not just to gather data but to know about your preferences and actions. For example, it removes people you don’t like and show similar profiles you have liked before.

Dating Apps vs. Dating Sites

Most dating sites offer an app version of their site. These sites will sometimes have free app versions, while others include access to their app in your regular membership.

On the flip side, dating apps are mostly available for free because they make their money based on advertisements or in-app purchases like coins used for additional features.

Here are some of the advantages of using a dating app vs. a dating site:

  • Better accessibility through mobile phone
  • Allows sign in with social media account such as Facebook
  • Photo upload is easier
  • Voice and video function are more convenient to use
  • Find dates anywhere, anytime - on your daily commute or even while sitting in the bathtub

It is good to note, however, that dating sites have the ability to offer more functionalities since you can do a lot more with a desktop computer than a mobile phone.

Dating App / Hook Up Culture

People use dating apps for a variety of reasons. Some users look for a serious, romantic relationship, but you will also find people who like to keep it casual—those people who like to cut straight to the chase.

Online dating has made it easier for everybody to meet new people than ever before. This has led to people finding romantic partners, having serious relationships, and even marriage. But not every single person is trying to tie the knot.

Sometimes, people just want to get laid—and that is okay. Hooking up is nothing new. Having one-night stands is not a Millennial invention but has been around since time immemorial. 

Man and woman dating

The prevalence of dating apps made it easier for hookups to happen by giving it a more refined venue. Dating apps served as the fuel to the fire that is hookup culture and it’s burning like hell. For the uninitiated, hookup culture means:

  • Accepting and encouraging casual sex encounters
  • These activities include but are not limited to one-night stands
  • No emotional bonding or long-term commitment

Dating apps for singles looking to hookup exist because they cater to different needs, audiences, and purposes—all the more reason for you to carefully choose which dating app to join. 

Research about a particular dating app and know about its nature, the members, the price, and all the important details before jumping right into it.

Types / Kinds of dating apps

There are different types of dating apps that offer specific services for every need. This variety of options makes it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for.

One of the advantages of online dating is that they put you in control. You can have a look around different types of apps and then see which ones work for you. You can use the following as a guide:

Dating Apps for Dates, Fun, and maybe more

A lot of popular dating apps are used by members for general purposes such as finding a date, getting a hookup, or finding a serious relationship. It just depends on what you and your match want. Here are some options if you want to try out a more neutral dating app.

Dating Apps to Find Love

Ultimately, there are dating apps that can help you find something more serious and long-term. These were created in the first place to help you find "the one" like Hinge dating app.

  • Once
  • Bumble
  • Coffee Meets Bagel

Dating Apps for Hookups

Then there are the popular hookup dating apps. These types of apps are for people who are out and about, looking for a quick, no-strings-attached kind of fun. The extent of “wild” you get depends on the nature of the dating app you choose.

  • Feeld
  • C-Date
  • Pure

Dating Apps for Professionals

These dating apps cater to young (and young at heart) professionals who could be too busy in their careers at the moment to find a partner.

Gay Dating Apps

While there is no shortage of dating apps that cater to every audience and interest, some have been created particularly for the LQBTQ+ community specifically gay dating apps and lesbian dating apps. Traditionally, the community has been ignored or just added as an afterthought with the "Gay" option hidden deep in the settings.

  • Chappy (gay)
  • Wapa (lesbian)
  • Her (lesbian)
  • Grindr (gay)

Things to Consider when Deciding which App to Join

Most apps can be installed for free and that includes free registration. So it's a matter of very little time to just try out a few and find the one that works best for you. Here are some of the factors you should consider when deciding which app to join:

  • What kind of relationship are you looking for?

Before you even consider being on a dating app, you should first make sure you're aware of what you want. The key to being successful in finding your mate in this platform is to get on the right dating app that can give you your expected results.

  • What are the app’s limitations?

You need to check out the features of the app and everything it has to offer. Make sure that it gives you what you need and that it satisfies your requirement.

  • How easy or difficult is it to register?

Some dating apps are easy to join, while others require tons of requirement and verification before you can fully become a member. Check the terms and conditions, and how long it will take to finish setting up your profile.

  • How safe is the dating site? Will your privacy be protected?

This is one of the major checks that you should do. Safety should be your number one priority when joining dating sites. Make sure that the dating app has security features that will protect you against all forms of harm possible.

  • What’s the dating app community’s orientation?

Doing this check will let you know immediately if you will find a suitable mate among the membership population. You will find out about this on reliable review sites that test out the apps and recommend whether they are worth your time or not.

Are dating apps worth it?

Is banking your dream of true love on an online dating app worth it? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide:


  • Large dating pool
  • Increases in privacy
  • Anonymity
  • Quickly connecting with lots of potential dates
  • Convenient to use
  • Faster communication
  • Get dates in your area
  • Find non-binding adventures


  • People with bad intentions
  • It’s easy to get deceived
  • Having so many options can get overwhelming
  • There can be fake profiles

Tips: What to Remember when Joining Dating Apps

  • Be transparent

You should be ready to create a real representation of yourself and avoid getting caught in the pitfalls of creating a fake account. Doing this spoils the whole point of joining a dating app, which is to find someone whom you can meet and have a connection to in real life.

  • Watch out for fake accounts

The internet, in general, can be a scary place, and dating apps are no exception. Some people do this for some reasons. You should be aware that scammers and harassers lurk on dating apps too. 

  • Just be yourself

It may sound like a cliché, but the only way you will ever find a genuine date is by being yourself. Everyone wants to look nice on their profile pictures, but only by being you can you find someone who truly complements your personality.

Final Words: Just imagine the possibilities!

Online dating is what you make it. It can be terrible, or it can be good. Prepare to be disappointed, but don’t be discouraged. Swipe until you find the “one”—and enjoy every moment the experience may bring you.

It’s about time that you have fun, meet new people, and try things you haven’t done before. Through dating apps, you will find and build relationships that can last for a lifetime, or just a short, fun, while.

It makes it so much easier if you know which the top dating apps are, and how you can use them to your advantage.

You are the people of the 21st century so the possibilities are endless right at your fingertips. Are you ready to try out your luck in the dating app arena? You can check out our recommendations to help you decide! Author Chris Pleines
Chris Pleines
Founder of Dating Scout and Author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies"
Chris founded Dating Scout 15 years ago, and today he is one of the leading Online Dating Experts. He is the author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies" and the author of the Internet's largest online dating study analyzing 20 Million Profile Pictures with artificial intelligence. Chris Pleines holds a master degree in media science and appeared in numerous television interviews and publications to give expert advice as well as tips about online dating.