In the world of online dating, there are few sites that could be considered as veterans, but FriendFinder is definitely one of them. Since its foundation in 1996, the dating site relentlessly helped singles all around the world to develop bonds, share their thoughts and fall in love. The site is an ideal place for romantic individuals who really wish to shine by sharing their ideas and pictures, as users are given the means to blog, create magazine articles or even upload intro videos of themselves. FriendFinder openly welcomes everyone who is seeking a date in close vicinity, as setting up an account is completely free. This is hindered by the premium content, which can be accessed with two kinds of payment plans.
FriendFinder is the flagship of the FriendFinder Network, an armada of dating sites, all specializing in different relationships. While the network has a dedicated page for elders, spiritualists, Asians and other groups, FriendFinder is considered to be the overall platform where the most diverse group of members can be found. As for the website itself, FriendFinder has a somewhat old-fashioned website that prefers functionality over clear and simplified design. The crowded look of the website is further emphasized by all the pictures, info, menu and groups crowded together, making it hard to see through everything at first.
Starting a relationship is never easy, unless you start by setting up your account at FriendFinder. The process only takes five easy steps, like providing a username, password, location, while the preferences can be chosen from a list, or simply just skipped. The system then sends a verification email to the given address, which is the last step in the registration. After entering the site for the first time, fresh users might want to upload a photo, or even an introduction video. The page is generally divided into three parts. On the left side of the page are the main menu options, such as the flirts, messages friend, etc. On the right side, however, are the newest posts and group activities displayed, while the middle is the territory of people of interest, popular profiles and search results.
There are several ways users can look for promising date partners. The most basic indicators the search engine takes into account are the age, the location and gender, but you can sort the profiles by popularity, freshness or online activity. Other characteristics, like hair color, race, body type or marital status, can also be used to further refine the results, but only for those who upgraded into a premium account. Unfortunately, “only for premium members” is FriendFinder’s recurring phrase, as they lock away many features from users with a free account. After finding a promising date-to-be, you can inspect the target’s profile and the system even shows how well your preferences are matched. You should also see your love interest’s profile picture, but be aware that accessing the rest of the gallery or even the videos is impossible, unless you are a premium member of course.
Regardless of the account status, users can partake in many social activities to gain more attention. You can comment under posts, start blog posts to share what crossed your mind, join groups or partake in a forum thread, labelled as “magazine” . As for direct communication, whether it is “flirting” or a simple email message, it’s the private toy of premium members. It should be mentioned that free users are able to reply to messages they get, but they can’t start a conversation. This might be a minor setback, but bear in mind that FriendFinder ranks people according to their account status, and Gold or Silver members are ranked much higher in your feed. This means that the chance of someone digging to the bottom of the list to find your free account is rather slim.
Nowadays, searching for your perfect mate isn’t something you do in a dark room. Many people prefer to do this kind of activity while sitting on a bus or having lunch. FriendFinder is catering to mobile singles by presenting them two ways to take their favorite dating site wherever they go. The first option is their smartphone-optimized website. This version provides the same experience compared to the regular site, but it’s easily adjusting to any kind of mobile screen, ensuring that your love-finding activities remain uncomplicated.
In case the constant sweeping and refreshing is putting you to the edge, try a much more manageable version by downloading the free All FriendFinder app from the Apple App Store. This handy app is designed to satisfy the needs of smartphone users by providing a touch-control interface that allows you to browse and set search conditions with ease. The layout is simplified too, so no one will get lost within the unnecessary options.
As in the case with many other dating services, FriendFinder is only free at the beginning. “Pay to Love” could be the site’s motto, as your actions with a free account are very limited. These restrictions come in play very early, which could alienate fresh relationship-seekers. For those, who are determined enough to donate a monthly amount on the altar of love, FriendFinder offers two payment methods. The Silver plan is the least expensive one, but it only offers partial access to blogs and pictures, but Silver members are now free to contact anyone they feel like. The Gold plan gives users full access to others’ picture gallery and all group functions become available. Gold member are also ranked higher among the search results. The Silver plan costs for $22.95 for one month only, while the longest – half a year – commitment comes at $10.95 per month. The Gold Plan charges users $34.95 for just one month, but opting for an extended period can reduce the fee to $11.95 per month. It should be noted that as an international service, FriendFinder increases its prices for foreign countries according to their VAT respectively.
As a part of an extensive dating service network, FriendFinder has a much expanded help section, including more than 100 pre-made FAQ answers with helpful screenshots for every topic imaginable. This involves billing, your personal account, communication and even the case of online abuse. The customer service itself can be contacted via an online help form. Other departments of the FriendFinder Network can be reached by calling them over the phone.
FriendFinder is a decent candidate in the online dating word with ample room to showcase your creativity and persona. The site offers a chance in love for everyone in the world, even outside the borders of the US. The matchmaking system uses many variables, and users can provide funny trivia’s too, like their Chinese Zodiac sign. People can send flirts to others, write blogs, share videos of themselves or partake in forum conversation. Sadly, all of these community features are locked until people upgrade their account. The Silver and Gold payment plans also work against casual users, as the Silver plan is still restricted, forcing people to go with the more expensive Gold plan if they want total freedom.
- International service
- Large user base
- Blogs, forums, groups
- Two levels of premium plans
- Crowded layout