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Only message fish who have been active within the last few days, best preferably the past 24 hours. This will greatly increase your chances of getting a response. On POF, your username is front and center.
Want to chat and message with fellow singles, ASAP? Plenty of Fish—or as it's commonly known, POF—bills itself as the dating app where the most conversations take place.
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The company is serious about getting you talking to people and claims a billion messages are sent on its platform every month. What's the secret to all of that message activity? POF is one of the few dating apps that allow you to contact any fellow users without matching or subscribing. That makes it one of the most immediately usable dating apps.
While it's not as feature-rich or easy-to-use as our Editors' Choice, Match, it's a viable alternative for singles on a budget who are looking for love. Founded inPOF is one of the more mature dating services and predates the smartphone app era. It has successfully transitioned into the modern age, with both an iOS app and Android appbut it still has a desktop version if you prefer to go old-school. As mentioned, POF is here to get you talking to folks.
When you in, a Who's Chatting Now counter shows you the tens of thousands of conversations happening at that moment, although what qualifies as chatting isn't defined. Rather than ease you in one question at a time, POF hits you up with a parade of questions on a single screen, which makes the up process a bit less user-friendly than those of competing apps like Match and eharmonywhich have a more streamlined, if exhaustive, process.
Our other Editors' Choice, Tinder, is geared more toward the hookup scene, so it prioritizes photos during -up.
Since the two apps share the same parent company, the use of the same tools isn't surprising. You then face a barrage of dating preference questions similar to the ones other apps ask you, but a few interesting ones stood out in our testing.
For example, POF asks if you drive a car and how ambitious you are. That status doesn't, however, preclude you from having to answer a question about who you want to date. Other questions include your income and information about your parents and siblings. After adding a brief description of yourself and a few interests, along with a photo, you can start looking for matches.
One appreciated safety feature is POF's warning to not give away too much personal information, such as your name, phoneor address on your profile. There's no option to link your Spotify and Instagram s, nor a way to provide any other evidence of your existence outside of POF. POF's interface used to be a bit simplistic and fairly dated. Fortunately, recent redes have done away with that My First Dating Site vibe, especially on mobile.
Unlike other apps though, POF puts messaging front and center, prioritizing your inbox and a list of users who POF deems more likely to respond to messages. Including the Will Respond profiles is a nice way to highlight members who are most likely to give you the time of day. This is pretty generous.
As with any free dating app, though, you run the chance of encountering casual users who want to dabble without committing to a paying plan. If you find yourself receiving too much spam, you can disable messaging on your profile.
The search function operates with your standard filter options—age, intent, ethnicity, and body type—plus the ability to search by the length of your potential match's longest relationship. Then you're not for me!
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There's a Nearby function for when you just need to chat with someone within 0. If your search nets someone you would like to reach out to, the process is quick and painless. Profiles show the person's photo, age, and screen name at the top—plus whether they're currently online.
To help you start the conversation, the screen also shows a list of things the user enjoys. POF prompts you to mention something specific about their profile, likely in an effort to keep the "lol u up jk" messages to a minimum.
You also have the option to send the message as Priority, which floats you to the top of the receiver's inbox. Of course, that will cost you extra more on that in a minute. Individual profiles feel more or less like spreheets—tons of data, with nothing particularly highlighted or featured.
The Meet Me function works like Tinderwith the option to swipe left or right to quickly scan through profiles an option most apps have now. Plenty of Fish trumpets its of conversations for one main reason—messaging anyone is free on the app. That doesn't mean POF is not going to ask for your money, though. If someone likes you, the app prompts you to upgrade your to see who it is.
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Upgraded s also get access to a list of the newest users who respond more to messages, or so POF says plus you can unlock the extended profile of all users, which basically gives answers to a few extra questions and preferences. With the upgraded plan, you can also see if you've messaged someone before—which is helpful if you spend extensive time on the app, take advantage of its generous messaging limits, or don't want to accidentally and awkwardly re-engage with someone you forgot you ly wrote off.
You also get receipts when your messages have been read, and, with some super-sneaky tracking, you can even see when someone views your profile and when a particular person was last online. You can also use Tokens to make your message a priority, which, as mentioned, pushes it to the top of the receiver's inbox.
It's the dating app version of jumping the line at the club. The COVID pandemic has most of us either locked down or doing our best to stay away from other people to stop the spread of the disease.
To compensate, dating apps have offered their own virtual dating options to replace physical interactions. Beyond using video to build intimate interpersonal relationships, multiple people watching these streams builds a neat little POF community. You can even play streaming games or watch dating advice lectures on, say, dating during a quarantine. Other dating apps with built-in video chat include Bumble and eharmony.
However, out of those only Match offers video chatting. Hinge lets you set up a video chat on a different app. Meanwhile, Facebook Dating takes advantage of fellow Facebook services such as Messenger and the experimental Tuned app for quarantined couples.
Interface and profiles
Considering that most dating apps put some kind of limitation on how you message other users, POF offers a huge value by removing basically all barriers for this feature. It's not as full-featured as our Editors' Choice dating app, Match, but it's a good way to get your feet wet in the dating pool without spending a ton of money. And even if you do choose to subscribe, the fees are lower than those of its competitors.
Its prompts to start meaningful conversations with other members makes Plenty of Fish feel like less of a meat market than apps like Tinder, which are based more on photos and less on conversations. Good 3. Bottom Line Plenty of Fish is the dating app for singles who don't want to dip too far into their wallets to make a connection.
Pros Very few messaging limits Simple onboarding Lots of prompts to send quality messages Live streaming Cons Free messaging could mean more spam users Can't link outside s like Instagram or Spotify Want to chat and message with fellow singles, ASAP? More Inside PCMag. He's ly written for Kotaku, The A. Club, Cards Against Humanity, and Apps. In his spare time, he also writes dumb screenplays that occasionally become dumb movies.