Zoosk is the lesser known, less taunted cousin of massive dating sites like eHarmony and Match.com. So what does a site like Zoosk.com offer that the others don’t? I set out to find the answer to this question and do my very own Zoosk review, and here’s what I found.
When I first logged onto Zoosk I was greeted by an affable looking, sweater wearing woman of indiscernible age or ethnicity. She was practically begging me to “sign up,” which meant entering in my email address and password and (apparently) agreeing to the terms of service, whatever they were. As I did this, I noticed the familiar blue of Facebook hovering just above my mouse – turns out Zoosk.com has a Facebook link up that allows you to login straight from your Facebook page. Social media and online dating: the original match made in heaven.
So I signed up “for FREE” so I could continue poking around. Well, Zoosk was laying it on pretty heavy and definitely wanted to make sure I received its affiliate emails as I was then prompted to complete an email verification process. Between this and the general stress of looking for love online, I was already exhausted. Being hip is hard.
After I took a short nap, I logged back on – surprise! A pop up told me I had two “coins” to use on the site just for logging in! I found out later the coins are used to buy “gifts” on the site – flowers, clothes, and the like meant to impress potential mates and spark flirting. After I closed out that pop up, another appeared me to invite me to download Zoosk Chat, the site’s own Instant Messaging feature. I declined, but overall, my Zoosk review found that the site is more technologically integrated and driven than some of the others out there, a plus for those who like to use all the benefits their internet connection has to offer.
A little research led me to some press releases about Zoosk’s foray into both social and mobile media. Have you ever been standing in line at the grocery store and thought “Hey, I sure wish I was checking out hot singles in my area right now”? Well, Zoosk has an app for that! With available iPhone, Bebo, and MySpace, Zoosk Mobile is paving the way in digital dating. Users of the feature are offered premium options like digital roses to give out and a link to view others who have “favorited” their profile. These perks and the convenience of mobile are perhaps what have led over 30 million people to subscribe to the service. Myself? I still use a flip phone, so I won’t be partaking in the mobile features, but hey, it’s nice to know they’re there if I ever enter the 21st century.
I didn’t spend a lot of energy making my profile unique. I was actually semi of interested in what kind of matches Zoosk.com would show me without my own details and specifics. The singles in my area loaded and…well, I was rather disappointed, to be honest. Similar to sites like Match.com and JDate.com, the profiles were displayed linearly, showing only a small thumbnail, their distance away from my location, age, astrological sign, and (oddly) height. Clearly, Zoosk is geared more toward volume than scientific matching, and they expect you to take the time to filter through their sometimes unwieldy results. My communication options included wink, message, gift, and add friend. Now, if these options don’t remind you of Facebook then I don’t know what to tell you. I suppose you haven’t been online since 1998.
Once I got around to my profile, the first thing I noticed was how sparse it was. I had to go through the “basics” which included the usual suspects: name, age, height, religion, ethnicity. I then was presented with three ominously empty text boxes in which I was to type “my story”, “my perfect match”, and “my ideal first date.” Talk about pressure. Zoosk, I could have used some more guidance here. I was then prompted to enter photos – again, some guidance would have been nice, even an example? – and then the kicker: the “Likes” page. Please enter your likes, it asked; music, movies and books. Zoosk wanted me to just skip the hassle and directly connect to Facebook to fill in these gaps, making it even more apparent that Zoosk is pretty codependent on the social giant – a sort of Nicole Richie/Paris Hilton relationship. Oddly disconcerting, the constant Facebook reminders made me wonder if Mark Zuckerberg is using Zoosk as his own personal singles bar…
The last two sections were pretty fun. The first invited my friends to write testimonials for me – a neat touch and certainly nice to beef up my profile. I could send them an email through “approved” providers like Gmail, all of which left me wondering how many affiliate connections Zoosk is nurturing at once. The Icebreakers page was enjoyable to go through as it featured questions ranging from “What’s Your Fighting Style?” to “What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?” Helpful for matching, sure, but I would bet these questions are used more for banter on the site than anything else.
As a whole, Zoosk.com seems to be a fun, casual place to meet people in my area. I have less confidence in its ability to actually match me meaningfully than I do with other sites, but it certainly offers what others don’t in terms of sheer numbers. The interface was easy to use, but at times even too simple, seeming a bit cartoonish in its design.
Like any of the major dating sites, the cost of membership on Zoosk goes down as your membership length goes up, ranging from around $12 per month up to $30. Additional costs include gifts and coins, all of which enhance the overall site experience.
I don’t think I’ll be finding love on Zoosk anytime soon, but really, who ever knows? I definitely saw some attractive guys and some hilarious fodder for girl’s night while I was digging around. The profile questions, while not deep, were fun and engaging enough to make me excited to log back on and see what was new. I like that Zoosk’s on the cutting edge of mobile and the online dating tech scene – it makes me feel like I won’t miss out on a thing, even when I’m away from my computer. Because I needed one more reason to be obnoxiously glued to my laptop. Thanks, Zoosk.