Chances are, if you ask ten people in the UK to name an online dating site then at least nine will say “Match”. With a huge marketing budget and recent move into offline events, Match are to dating what Apple is to technology. But does all this mean it's the best place to find a date? Our review team decided to give it a try...
Match deserve a lot of credit for making online dating the acceptable, and possibly even leading, way to find dates in modern society. Their parent company, IAC Group, are nothing short of a dating behemoth, owing the likes of Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, Chemstry and others. But make no mistake, their flagship brand is still Match.com. With a history of twenty years and a member base of over 75 million users spread across forty countries, Match.com is where most online daters start. In all likelihood, you've already seen one of their TV ads, read about them in a newspaper or have a friend that found love on Match. They claim that one in 6 marriages begin online and their list of success stories is certainly formidable.
Signing up to the site isn't the quick process it can be on other sites. Match is looking for members that are truly invested in finding dates online, not just having a quick browse without putting in effort. The registration process Match UK takes around ten minutes, but it uses a clever system of asking you questions (multiple choice, mostly) to gather information on you, instead of just leaving you with a blank box to fill in about yourself. It's a good idea, as you're far more likely to be asked on dates (or have date invitations accepted) if you've got lots of information on your dating profile. The process may take a few minutes longer than other sites, but this could be one of the reasons Match are a few times more likely to help you find a relationship online.
Once you're inside, there is a great deal of helpful information in the form of expert blogs and articles to guide you on the internet dating process, whether you're still to arrange your first online date or you've been looking for a relationship online for years. They're also quick to push their 'Match Nights' offer, a fairly new addition to the site, that allows you to attend local dating events with other singles in your area and get speaking to them in an 'offline dating' environment. As a Match user these events are free and it's a nice addition to the overall membership package, providing you live fairly close to a big city.
As for the main online dating site itself, whether you're using Match on your laptop, PC, phone or tablet device, everything is set up in an easy to use manner. There is some clutter, but that's mainly down to the plethora of features they offer to online daters, such as the ability to search profiles anonymously (Invisible Mode), 'Boost' option to give your profile a higher ranking in searches and even a personality test to help you match with other single users based on compatibility. Be warned though, most forms of searching and communication do require an upgrade on Match. In fact, the only feature our review team could find that didn't require a subscription or micropayment was their 'Hot or Not' feature, which is essentially a way to flick through lots of profile pictures quickly and indicate which you fancy.
There's no doubt that Match has earned its place at the top table of an industry that grows and evolves year on year. In our opinion, you do have a great chance of finding romance on Match, not so much because of its features, but because of the huge number of users all over the United Kingdom. We would like to see Match push the envelope some more and lead the way in terms of innovation, but perhaps they believe that if it's not broken, why fix it? Still, it does feel a little too conventional at times (there's no ability to identify your gender as anything other than male or female, for example) and in order to stay at the top, Match will need to make sure they don't become outdated, if you pardon the pun!
Overall, our review team believe that if you're thinking of trying online dating or have never tried Match, then it is a great site for any single person in the UK to be part of.
Remember folks, online dating is ultimately about finding people you're compatible with. The more people you get speaking to the better and we always recommend that you hold at least three online dating memberships at any given time to provide the best chance of receiving replies and date invitations. Dating, like anything important, takes time and effort but the rewards are clear. Enjoy!