While there are no hard stats on how many Australians are using dating apps, it’d be safe to say that given the estimate was 4.5 million back in 2017, the current number would be quite high. The past two years of lockdowns and restrictions have given many single people more time to focus on their love lives, and, for others still, increased their sense of loneliness.
If you’re part of either or both of those groups and wondering which of the many dating apps to focus your efforts on, particularly if you’re in your 30s or 40s, we’re here to help. Ahead, we share the best dating apps in Australia to use right now — whether you’re wanting to find a long-lasting relationship, or simply a one-night-only fling. Also, note that this list is far from being comprehensive — these are only the highlights.
Any round-up on dating apps wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Tinder. The original dating app, Tinder lets users anonymously swipe left (no) or right (yes) on profiles, with users only notified if it’s a match (both users swiping right). With the app letting you create a profile that’s as minimal as one photo and no bio, Tinder is more susceptible to catfishing, and has a reputation of being more for hook-ups than real relationships.
The app has an option for paid subscriptions Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold, with various extras including additional ‘likes’ per day, super likes, rewinds, boosts and top picks.
Bumble’s tag line is ‘make the first move’ because, for hetero matches, it requires that the woman send the first message within 24 hours, otherwise the match disappears. Once she does, the man then also has 24 hours before the chat disappears. Men get one free match-extend per day, and whoever they pick gets notified of it. In a same-sex match, though, either party can start the chat. Bumble is known for its high-tech algorithm, seemingly designed to keep the user on the app longer.
Bumble Boost lets you backtrack, gives you unlimited swipes and gives your profile a spotlight position (shows you to more users) once a week. Meanwhile, Bumble Premium gives you all the perks of Boost, but also lets you access advanced filters, shows you who’s already liked you and lets you swipe in travel mode, which is handy if you’re about to visit or move to a certain city and want to start chatting to matches in advance.
With a tag line of ‘the app designed to be deleted’, Hinge is more geared for users wanting to find relationships. For users’ profiles, the app asks that you load six photos and answer three question or comment prompts, like ‘Something that’s non-negotiable for me’, ‘Unusual skills’ or ‘I want someone who’. Profiles can also show education, current job, religion, height, suburb you’re living in and whether or not you have and/or want kids. Recently, Hinge also added functionality for voice notes to be added to profiles.
Unlike Tinder and Bumble, however, Hinge isn’t anonymous in letting you swipe right (yes) on someone without them knowing unless they’ve swiped right, too. With Hinge, users can like someone and write them a message, even if the other person hasn’t said yes to them.
Hinge preferred members unlock extra filters like height and view on politics, and have unlimited likes.
While Happn used to work in that you had to physically cross paths – ‘happn-ed upon, if you will – with someone for them to come up as potential match (yes, creepy – it even shows you where exactly you crossed paths and how many times you had), these days, it also shows you nearby users you might eventually cross paths with. If you’ve liked someone and want to make sure they see you, you can use FlashNotes to send them a message they’ll get next time they’re in the app.
Happn Premium lets you use the app without ads, see who’s already liked you and rewind on a profile if you’ve accidentally swiped no.
Grindr works a lot like Tinder, but is designed mainly for gay, bi, trans and queer people. Though it does have a reputation as being mainly for hook-ups, like with Tinder, you can still find a real relationship on it, if that’s what you’re looking for. Once you’ve created a profile, you can browse users sorted by distance.
Grindr Unlimited lets you unsend messages and see when someone’s typing to you, as well as gives you unlimited swipe rights on profiles you like. It now also lets you send expiring photos and automatically translates text.
The most exclusive of dating apps, Raya is designed for ‘creative’ types, which includes actors, influencers, sports stars and anyone else who has the ‘cool’ you’d need to get a) an invite to the app and then b) approval by the app’s team. Channing Tatum, Demi Lovato and Drew Barrymore are just a few of the many celebrities who’ve been spotted on Raya.
Raya isn’t location-based — it shows you potential matches around the world – and requires you pay a subscription fee. Though, if you’ve managed to get yourself accepted into it, you’d hardly balk at its minimal charge.