Tinder users are swiping left to their favorite pastime.
The company unveiled Tinder Plus last week, which, in addition to features Rewind (which lets you take back your last swipe) and Passport (which helps you hook up around the world), comes with a price. In the United States, users under 30 must pay $9.99 for Tinder Plus. But if you’re over 30, the price is $19.99. Nice age discrimination there, Tinder. Since when does looking for love stop at 30?
So if you’re like me, thinking “screw Tinder, I can find love by swiping somewhere else,” here are three free dating apps that get it right. All of the apps below, which I’ve tried, allow users to set a gender preference to men, women, or seeking both.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Developed by three sisters, Coffee Meets Bagel brings one potential match a day valid for 24 hours to your app’s inbox. Claiming to be “the only dating app that women love,” users can like or pass. If it’s a match they can start a conversation, and if not, wait for the next day’s match.
The one-to-one matching system of Coffee Meets Bagel sets it apart from other dating applications. How can you get lost in the shuffle if you have another user’s attention for a whole day?
For those who do not have a swipe addiction and find themselves constantly busy, Coffee Meets Bagel is great. Others who want a larger sample size may to try something else.
The next love of your life or love of the night may be right in front of you—that’s Happn’s philosophy, at least. Based on real-time geolocation, Happn curates a grid of people who have been in the same place at the same time as you.
“How many times have we seen a handsome stranger and regretted not being able to talk to him/her?” asks Marie Cosnard, Happn’s head of media relations. “For example, you are sitting in a restaurant and you’re love-struck by a guy passing by on his bike. Even if you had jumped up and ran out of the restaurant—he’s already gone and you’ve missed your chance. Now if you both have Happn, you’ll be able to find each other again.”
If you see someone you like, you can click the heart button. If you’ve both liked each other, it’s a match. To take it one step further, Happn has a “charm” feature, which is the equivalent to Facebook’s poke—a nudge to the potential match. While women can unlimitedly use the charm function, men must pay to send charms.
“The experience starts in real life. The app works passively: You can have it in your pocket and it will still register your Happn encounters for you to look at later,” Cosnard says.
Similar to Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge provides a user with a group of potential matches with 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections. Hinge was developed based on accountability and visibility. After matching with someone, the full name of the match is displayed in the app’s dashboard. The app also lists the work, education, and age listed on that person’s Facebook page.
“Unlike apps that show you random strangers nearby, Hinge shows you only people in your extended social circles. The types of people you could meet serendipitously through friends at a dinner party or wedding, but haven’t had the chance yet,” says Jean-Marie McGrath, Hinge’s community liaison.
Unlike Tinder, the amount of potential matches is not unlimited. Hinge curates 20 potential matches a day. According to McGrath, 99 percent of Hinge users are college educated and 90 percent are between the ages of 23 and 36.
Tinder is owned by IAC, The Daily Beast’s parent company.