Zoosk is a traditional online dating site with modern chat, messenger, app and more, with all kinds of members for a wide variety of dating and relationships.
Zoosk claims to be the most popular dating site in the world, with 40 million users. The site has many cons, however, and singles can do better by checking out any of the other quality dating sites and apps. Here are some of the basics you need to know about Zoosk:
|Zoosk pros||Zoosk cons|
|Huge number of users means greater dating pool||General dating site means it will be harder to match if you are picky|
|Free version||F BBB rated. Plenty of negative reviews for Zoosk, too — but that is true for all online dating apps|
|Coins system gamifies dating||You don’t get much information in the free version, so plan to pay|
|No open / poly relationship section — this is another one that could be a pro or con||Gamification may not be your thing — this is a pro and a con|
Is Zoosk a good dating site?
Quick answer: Zoosk is a quality site with competitive fees, owned by Spark Networks. However, Zoosk attracts a broad swath of daters, and it can be easy to get lost among the masses of daters.
For serious relationships, our recommendation is eharmony, which is solely focused on helping professional singles find serious relationships and/or marriage.
Or, read our eharmony review.
|Method||Lengthy personality test and dating preference profile||Algorithm learns your type, and suggests matches accordingly|
|Connection||Serious, long-term, committed relationships||All types: Casual, hookup, serious, marriage|
|Typical user||Average age 30+||Typically aged 25-35|
|June 2021 Price||With 25% code WSM25:|
Free basic account: $0
|Free basic account: $0|
|Security||SSL-encrypted site, each member verified by a human.Each profile is vetted to prove members are who they say they are — including not being married.||SSL-encrypted|
|Apps?||iOs and Android||iOs and Android|
|Cool features||Free, deep personality report. No need to endlessly scroll, as eharmony chooses matches for you.Video dating.Easy to cancel.||“Coins” system, for an additional fee, for confirmation of message receipts, gift other members and boost your profile in searches|
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.
- How does Zoosk work?
- How much does Zoosk cost?
- Does Zoosk offer a free plan?
- Pros and cons of Zoosk
- Zoosk reviews
How does Zoosk work?
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.
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 each month?
As of June 2021, 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, which is about $19.98 per month.
There’s also a six-month trial for a one-time payment of $74.95 ($12.49 per month) and a 12-month membership for a one-time payment of $149.88 (also $12.49 per month). With each Zoosk subscription, you receive the same perks, but for more extended periods.
- 1-month membership – $29.95
- 3-month membership – $19.98/month
- 6-month membership – $12.49/month
- 12-month membership – $12.49/month
Does Zoosk offer a free plan? Can you chat on Zoosk without paying?
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). 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.
Zoosk coins, like their memberships, come in packages:
- 180 coins cost $19.95
- 480 coins cost $39.95
- 1,800 coins cost $99.95
Feeling unsure about dating again after divorce, or a long dry spell? Read: 9 reasons dating is better as a single mom
And watch my advice on how men don’t care whether your body is imperfect:
Pros of Zoosk
Zoosk is super-easy to setup, with a great messenger
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.
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
Cons of Zoosk
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 recently moved from a 1/5-star rating, to a 3.5-star as of June 2021.
Depending on your preferences, if you are seeking open, poly or other outside-of-traditional two-person relationships, this is not your site.
If you are looking for a friend with benefits, read about how to find a lover here.
On the other hand, poly and open relationship-seeking people can certainly join the site and seek matches, which can cause confusion and frustration for the monogamous.
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.
Who’s on Zoosk? What age group are 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.
Is Zoosk just a hookup site?
Zoosk is the largest dating app in the world, so it makes sense that the dating opportunities are the most varied there which can be a great thing — after all, single people who are ultimately looking for a serious relationship or marriage, can also enjoy the dating process, as well as casual hookups.
To get a sense of what happens on Zoosk in your area, ask other single friends what their experience is — or try for yourself with the free version. Typically, every city has its own dating culture that varies by dating app.
That said, if serious dating for a committed partnership is your only goal, head to eharmony.
Zoosk has mixed online reviews. On Yelp, the Zoosk reviews are mostly negative — but also dating to 2013. On Reddit, there is a more recent review thread on Zoosk.
PC Magazine also gave Zoosk a negative review, mainly citing dated technology and poor user experience. DatingScout, which makes its income from affiliate partnerships, gave Zoosk a mixed, but mostly positive review.
Common complaints for Zoosk include many dead accounts, spammy, misleading emails and marketing, low quality of members and high prices. Here are a few recent complaints on Better Business Bureau, which gives the parent company a big fat F:
eharmony vs. Zoosk review—which is better for single parents?
Short answer: eharmony is the leading site for those seeking serious, long-term, committed relationships. Zoosk has a great selection for a wider variety of dating types—casual dating, hookups, as well as serious, committed partnerships.
Two of the most popular dating sites are eharmony and Zoosk, both of which claim tens of millions of users worldwide—including in the United States.
Add these to dozens of other dating apps for both single parents and the general population, which is right for you?
Both eharmony and Zoosk are quality dating sites that rely on computer algorithms to best connect you with the type of romance that you are seeking and both are used by tens of millions of people around the world, including most in the United States.
Allow me to answer this question with more questions:
Q: Are single parents humans?
Q: Is eharmony a good dating site?
A: eharmony is a quality dating site for those seeking quality, serious relationships. If this is you—whether you have children or not!—eharmony is a good option.
eharmony focuses exclusively on helping singles find serious, long-term relationships with compatible partners.
While Zoosk is very straight-forward to set up and start matching, schedule about 20 minutes to get started with eharmony, as the site relies on an extensive questionnaire to help connect you with compatible partners.
eharmony requires all users complete a lengthy online survey of more than 150 questions that helps the algorithm understand your values, passions, hobbies, dating and relationship goals, and personality.
Expect to answer questions like:
- How important is attractiveness?
- Are you easily angered?
- Do you enjoy social events?
No need to scroll through endless profiles. Complete the test, select a membership level (including a free level) and eharmony will send daily matches by email. You can engage via the chat function, or video dating.
The site also assigns a human to verify that each member is indeed who he or she says they are—virtually eliminating catfishing, spam, and other sleazy behavior.
eharmony then sends you daily emails with 5-7 matches of potential dates, based on how each person answered the survey questions. You can then examine these matches’ profiles to help you decide whether you would like to communicate further.
eharmony has an A Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating.
eharmony is free for the basic level. With basic membership, for no cost you can:
- View your personality test results
- Receive partner suggestions
- Send smiles and likes
- Upload photos.
eharmony’s dating cost is competitive with other dating sites. There are three membership levels to choose from. eharmony has a free option, as well as a 3-month free guarantee — if you are not satisfied with your first three paid months, eharmony will give you 3 months for free.
- Free basic account: $0
- 3-month membership: $44.96/mo << MOST POPULAR
- 6-month membership: $17.96/mo
- 12-month membership: $14.96/mo
Learn more about eharmony, and see if the dating site is a fit for you >>
EliteSingles vs. Zoosk review—which is better for single parents?
EliteSingles is solely focused on pairing singles with serious dating partners, including for marriage. If this is what you are looking for, Elite Singles beats Zoosk. However, not all single moms and dads are ready or interested in a committed partnership, in which case Zoosk is a more casual dating option — and a good one!
However, when it comes to searching for a long-term relationship, we suggest EliteSingles’ competitor, eharmony, which is more established with better name recognition and a much larger dating pool.
Read the complete review of EliteSingles.