Spark.com is a prominent online dating website that grants people all around the world a chance to establish a love relationship. Being the leader of the Spark Network, Spark.com has a battle-tested matchmaking service that is used by an active user base. Taking your first steps is free, which means that you can create a profile and use it for browsing purposes. You can update said profile with personal information and seek for attracting singles in more than one way. Spark.com has many interesting features, such as the e-cards, or the “Secret Admirer” option that discretely checks whether two people are interested in each other. Spark.com doesn’t render too well on smartphone and tablet browsers, but the company’s increasing focus on mobile dating has resulted in a fun iOS app that is expected to be available for Android soon, too.
Spark.com is the so-called flagship of a larger dating site network known as Spark Network. The alliance is the home of other renowned matchmaking services, such as JDateBlackSingles. While these sites are for a more specific group of singles, Spark.com is available for a widespread international audience.
The registration process is fast and uncomplicated with Spark.com. You only need to complete a couple of steps; you’re asked basic information including your email, username, password, location etc. Luckily, the in-depth details are kept for later, so it won’t take up your time at the start. After you verified your registration through the activation email, you might want to head to your profile, and finish up the customization by filling out the missing sections. This is also helped by the fact that all new profiles must be verified by the admin team, and until it happens you are referred with a number, instead of your chosen nick. While you wait, you might want to upload multiple photos as well, because a good lineup of pictures instantly grabs your partner’s attention. Spark.com also deserves a nod for their expanded “In My Own Words” section, where you can answer 21 questions by yourself. For people who are good with words, this is a great opportunity to round up some extra attention.
Spark.com has a standard, but dependable matchmaking system. You can see other people’s profile without limitations, and start a simple or detailed search for singles. The system lets you know if someone else is interested in you, and you can access the frequently updated list of profiles that match your preferences. The appropriate partners can be listed in several ways; you can sort them by age, activity, distance or popularity. In case you found someone appealing, but you are too afraid to commence communication without knowing that the attraction is mutual, Spark.com lends you a hand with its unique feature, called Secret Admirer. While checking someone out virtually, you can ask the system to find out anonymously whether or not you like each other. It will let you know if the result is satisfying. A list of random people can be accessed in the similarly titled menu as well, with the options Yes, No or Maybe to answer the likelihood.
After you’re done with your search for your soulmate, you can finally speed things up by starting a conversation. For freemium members, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you aren’t able to send emails on your own, as it’s the privilege of the premium members. But the good news is that you can still reply to any received message. So for free users it’s a matter of making sure your profile catches the eye of everyone. Just like emails, live messages are for paying users only. But don’t let down, you can still send e-cards. Just like with postcards, Spark has an image for every occasion, from pickup lines to celebration or friendship starting. After choosing a suiting one, make sure you write a compelling message on it!
One-sided mobile support describes Spark’s offering best when it comes to smartphones. First of all, the website Spark.com itself is not mobile-friendly. This leads to a frustrating navigation when you want to use your fingers on your small touch-screen, not to mention that the webpage isn’t sized to fit your screen either, so be prepared for a lot of side to side sweeping if you want to access your account from a smart device. Only Apple users are compensated for this missing feature, as the company developed an app for iOS systems only.
Luckily, this version provides all the necessary features required for a convenient mobile use. It also adds innovative ways to spice up the search for dates, like presenting you with two profiles simultaneously, and you get to choose the one you like the most. They also borrowed ideas from Tinder, as only mutual liking allows you to start chatting. Android users are currently left in the cold, but looking at Spark’s increasingly big focus on mobile dating it’s to be expected there will be an equally nice to use Android app in the not too distant future as well.
Unlike other dating sites, that present you with countless payment plans when you wish to upgrade your account, Spark.com presents you only the month-to-month plan. In hand, this guarantees that you won’t waste unused months of pre-paid service after finding your soulmate. On the other hand, you miss the discount provided by the long-term commitments. The monthly fee for subscribing to Spark.com is a hefty $25.99, and for doing so you unlock the ability to send others email messages and live chat messages. The payment can be processed via credit card or with a check.
As mentioned before, Spark.com is part of a larger dating site network, which means that they all share an accumulated knowledge when it comes to problem solving. In case you find a problem, or your account has been deleted, you can reach the help desk either by shooting them an email or calling them over the phone. This second option is quite rare in the dating world, because you don’t often get a chance to speak in person with a member of the customer service. Alternatively, you can look up the FAQ section as well.
Spark.com's service can be described as dependable, but lack lusting. You’ll find all the necessary features required to succeed at finding a partner; the profile menu is extensive, and you are given plenty of ways to write about yourself. The matchmaking is done in numerous ways, including simple and deep searches, and boasts a system that checks the chemistry between you and a potential match. Lovers are able to send e-cards and messages to each other, and can even start live chatting. The biggest flaws of Spark.com are the unintuitive design and the lack of smartphone support for Android. Still, the site promotes free registration, and you don’t lose anything with a trial.
- Uncomplicated registration
- “Secret Admirer” matchmaking
- Restricted communication
- Bland design
- Too many inactive profiles