Plenty of Fish is a free online dating and matchmaking service for singles that claims to have 3 million daily active members. There are many competitors that offer the same service, both paid and non-paid. Upon logging in, there are many functions available, but before these functions can be used, it is necessary to register with the site and setup an account.
The register screen is a standard form to fill out, including user name, password and email address. The form also asks the user to choose a gender, their ethnicity, birthday and country. The site is protected from bots by having to fill in a capcha.
The first challenge I encountered was choosing a username that wasn’t already taken. Since there are so many users, this is not an easy task. I chose something with letters and numbers, without trying to sound too pretentious.
Finally, I was able to get in.
The layout is simple and easy to use. At the top of the screen there is your inbox, a meet me link, a search option, an online link showing how many users are on line (there were 410972 when I logged in), favorites, ultra match, chemistry and upgrade.
The inbox shows a list of other Plenty of Fish members, and clicking on the thumbnail picture takes you right to their profile. The “meet me” link randomizes matches and shows you to someone asking if you want to meet her (or him, depending on what you chose for your preference. You can select yes, no, or maybe.
The search function brings up customizable search criteria drop down boxes allowing you to search for your ideal partner by gender, age, ethnicity, etc. You can also filter your search to display only profiles with pictures.
The ultra-match searches for the most compatible matches. The list is sorted by compatibility to the best matches show up first. This works by comparing your profile to other profiles and picking the closest matching pair.
To be successful on Plenty of Fish, you need to complete your profile. You can select eye color, income level, education, etc. You can fill in as many or as few of the fields as you want. Filling in more of the fields is beneficial to match you with someone with the same likes and dislikes.
There is also a questionnaire that you fill out including a description of yourself, what your ideal date would be, and your interests. You can update your photo, profile themes and more.
There is a huge selection of women to choose from. You can send them email if you are interested after checking out their profiles. The women didn’t seem as attractive as other dating websites which means they are most certainly real people. You don’t see any airbrushing here, some of them didn’t even wear makeup. This is the real deal.
You can also send virtual gifts to people on the site if you have enough goldfish credits. To get goldfish credits you can sign up for a premium membership. The costs are one year for $85.47, six months for $53.55 or three months for $12.39 per month.
When you buy a premium membership you have access to have you profile show up first when someone clicks on the “meet me” option, access to the “ultra match” you have the ability to see if your emails were read or deleted by the party you are interested in, not have to worry about advertisements, you can see the date and time that someone viewed your profile, etc.
You don’t need to upgrade your profile to have the same chances of meeting someone, even though Plenty of Fish claims that the upgrade more than doubles your chances of meetings someone. I can’t see how.
I have been on other dating websites, free and paid. I like some of the features that Plenty of Fish has, but I feel that the site tries to do too much. There are too many distractions that take away from the experience of trying to meet someone new. You can find another PlentyofFish review here.
I also do not like the fact that you need to pay for a subscription to get all the features. Other dating sites that claim to be free are just that, free with all access. There doesn’t seem to be enough value to go from a free account to having a subscription.
Plenty of Fish has been around since 2001 and they have come a long way since then. If they wish to stay viable and compete with sites like okcupid, match.com, EHarmony, etc. The focus needs to be on the fish in the virtual sea, not the money in your virtual pocket.
Final rating: 3.5/5