Online dating can feel impersonal, and too many options can be a burden rather than a blessing. After a tiring day at work, preparing and feeding the kids dinner, lots of laundry loads, and one or two (or perhaps dozens) of disappointing first dates, online dating might have lost its charm for you. Not to worry! There’s Zoosk, a traditional online dating website with a modern twist.
Zoosk was one of the first dating apps Facebook allowed to integrate with its platform and uses your social media to quickly and accurately build you a unique personal profile — as well as match you with compatible dates.
Because it pulls from your social media profiles, it saves you the time and stress of building a dating profile from scratch. Zoosk is perfect for a single mom on the go who has no time to waste.
Zoosk uses its behavioral technology to predict the kind of people you’ll want to interact with by using your social media habits as a guide.
For example, if Zoosk’s algorithm finds you consistently like dog lovers, or those who live within a 20-mile radius, Zoosk will “learn” that about you, and make relevant connections — opposed to putting all the pressure on you to guess with a swipe left or swipe right.
How does Zoosk work?
Zoosk automatically pulls information from your social media profiles into one page for other users to view. Everything but the photos you choose, and the bio you pen, Zoosk curates for you from your social media platforms.
That means you spend less time answering questions about your age and where you’re from and more time spent figuring out what’s important to you in a match.
You can always choose to omit specific personal information, too. Don’t want to include your income or industry? Not a problem on Zoosk.
To provide you with the best matches, Zoosk uses what it calls SmartPick to evaluate how compatible you are with other Zoosk members. SmartPick uses Behavioral Matchmaking technology and works by recording the profiles you like and those you don’t. Your vote, which you indicate by clicking a heart or an X on a profile, remains private from a potential match unless you both like each other. When you do, you both match and can begin sending messages and chatting (as long as you’re both paid subscribers). Zoosk does offer subscribers an option to upgrade to Premium Messaging. With Premium Messaging, members can reply to your messages without subscribing, allowing seven times more people to respond to your messages.
Because Zoosk keeps track of your preferences, the matches Zoosk compiles for you should theoretically become more accurate, the more you use it. So it pays to use the site frequently to achieve the best results.
How much does Zoosk cost?
If you chose to upgrade from the free version, Zoosk offers a one-month subscription for $29.95 per month and a three-month subscription for one payment of $59.95.
There’s also a six-month trial for a one-time payment of $74.95. With each subscription, you receive the same perks, but for more extended periods.
Does Zoosk offer a free plan?
You can use Zoosk for free, but without paying for the platform, you cannot message or chat with your matches.
Zoosk does, however, offer a unique coins perk for all members (free or paying). Zoosk coins, like their memberships, come in packages. A package 180 coins cost $19.95, while 480 coins cost $39.95 and 1,800 coins come at a steep $99.95 price tag. Coins buy you the ability to boost your profile on the Zoosk website, send a virtual gift, and unlock Carousel Matches — a speed-dating feature that incentivizes members to quickly decide whether to connect.
Who are Zoosk members?
With more than 40 million members from over 80 countries, the odds of finding someone you like are in your favor. The platform is also available in more than 25 different languages. Members are 48 percent male and 52 percent female, with an average age of 24 and 27 respectively, indicating neither gender has a greater chance of success than the other.
To use Zoosk, you must be looking for monogamy only. Zoosk doesn’t qualify open relationships, polyamorous relationships, or anything other than long-term, two-person interactions.
What are the benefits of Zoosk?
One of the best parts about Zoosk is its super-easy setup.
Compared to its competitors, Zoosk’s profile setup is simple. Upon landing on Zoosk’s homepage, you see a fill-in template asking you to input your gender, what you’re looking for in a mate, birthday, email address, and password choice.
Then, tell Zoosk where you live, give them an outline of what you look like, and your education level, and then you’re off to verify your account.
No open / polyamorous relationships
Zero judgement here. But if you are open only to monogamous relationships, Zoosk may appeal to you, since there is no way to actively identify yourself as poly or in an open relationship. If this resonates with you, eHarmony is equally appealing to those seeking a monogamous relationship — especially if you are looking for something serious.
Check out our Elite Singles review.
No lengthy questionnaires
Unlike some other websites, you don’t sign up for Zoosk with the intention of answering what can seem like thousands of questions. Zoosk uses what they call Behavioral Matching to learn what it is you like and then applies those metrics to find matches for you, essentially taking the hard work out of finding someone to love. For example, if you like men with beards but dislike men who own a cat, Zoosk will learn your preferences, increasing your chances of finding someone you’re interested in meeting.
If you’ve been watching too many Lifetime movies about a flirty digital message that turns into a real-life nightmare, Zoosk helps put those fears to rest.
Because Zoosk uses your social media as a starting point, it’s harder (though never impossible) to invent a persona, thus making it unlikely to be catfished. Zoosk also offers options to verify your identity via a photo, phone number, or with your personal Twitter account.
Access to a broad range of people
Zoosk is available to anyone between the ages of 20 to 93. With almost a 75-year span, it’s near impossible not to find someone with whom you might enjoy spending time. But besides the overall quantity of singles, what’s most important is the ability you have to sort through them. Zoosk allows you to cast as wide a net as you want while taking advantage of the site’s technology to refine your matches based on such factors as location height, and religion
What are Zoosk's negative points?
Pay to play dating
If you want to use Zoosk, you’ll have to pay for it. Unlike many of websites and apps available today to help you find your match, there aren’t many benefits to remaining a free member on the platform as you won’t be able to access much more than your account details, which completely defeats the purpose of joining a dating website in the first place.
Active users have complained of coming across bots on Zoosk’s platform. While the site goes out of its way to make sure members are real, there are unverified users. On Consumer Affairs, Zoosk holds a one out of five-star rating, mostly for the amount of spam on the website.
Depending on your preferences, if you are seeking open, poly or other outside-of-traditional two-person relationships, this is not your site.
Is Zoosk open to the LGBTQ community?
Zoosk is LGBTQ friendly. To my knowledge, Zoosk has never been the subject of a scandal regarding inclusion on the website, and for me, that’s an essential factor in deciding whether to recommend a dating site to my readers. Where Zoosk falls short for me is in its definition of a “normal” relationship.
Have you used Zoosk? What was your experience? Share in the comments!
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.