The online dating market has exploded in recent years. And while Tinder was once thought of as being the number one dating app, it's now got lots of rivals – including Happn.
When Happn was first launched, it was described as “the new Tinder.” The thing is, the world didn't need a new Tinder. Instead, daters just needed a competitive choice between different apps so that they could find the one that's right for them and their needs.
I signed up to both Happn and Tinder to see how they compare. In this Happn versus Tinder review guide, I'll be taking an in-depth look at each app – including its pros, cons, and features – to help you decide which one to sign up to.
Ready? Let's start.
Comparison: Happn Vs Tinder
|Male to Female Ratio||The user base is approximately made up of 60% men and 40% women.||There are approximately 2 men for every woman.|
|Casual (1) to Serious (10) Rating||7. Happn is aimed at people who want to meet up ASAP (and who may even be located in the same bar as you right now), so it's definitely worth using if you're looking for a hookup. However, lots of people also use it just to make new friends in the city.||5 - Tinder was once known for being just a hookup app. These days, people still use it for hookups, but you'll also find lots of bios that strictly say "no hookups."|
|Types of Women||Generally, Happn attracts outgoing, confident women who enjoy meeting new people and who aren't afraid to meet up on the same day.||Tinder attracts girl-next-door types, and you'll find that many women who use the app are into the gym, cocktails, and traveling.|
|Cost||Free to send and receive messages, but the upgrade package costs $25 per month.||Free to send and receive messages
|Premium Features||Happn is a tad sparse on eye-catching features, but the premium package lets you make yourself invisible for as long as you want. For a location-based app such as this, it's super useful.||You can upgrade your account to either Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus to enjoy additional perks, or buy one-off extras such as Boosts and Super Likes.|
|Biggest Plus||You can literally meet up with people you've already crossed paths with (but never spoke to).||More active daily users than any other dating app.|
|Biggest Minus||You can't search for people outside your 250 meter radius.||It's not easy to find high-quality matches unless you upgrade your account.|
|Review||Happn review||Tinder review|
Who's Tinder For?
Those looking for a hookup – Looking for something casual? Lots of other Tinder users are, too.
City dwellers – Live in a city? An app like Tinder, which millions of people use, makes it possible to land dates in busy cities.
Serious daters – As well as hookups, Tinder also caters to the needs of people searching for something more meaningful.
Young people – Tinder is used by a variety of people, but its main user base is aged between 20 and 35.
Busy people – Tinder is super simple to use and get to grips with, and there's no need to fill out any lengthy personality tests, and you don't even need to fill out a bio or search through profiles.
Who's Tinder Not For?
Those looking to find their soulmate – You could totally meet your soulmate on Tinder, but the app isn't marketed for this purpose.
Those who hate time wasters – There's no denying that some people who use Tinder are looking for a self-esteem boost. If you have zero tolerance for this sort of thing, it might be best to avoid it.
Country bumpkins – Tinder is massively popular but it's not always suitable in less-crowded areas where its user base is way down.
Who's Happn For?
LGBTQ+ community – Happn lets you set your gender preference and is LGBTQ+ friendly.
City dwellers – Like Tinder, Happn's core demographic is city-based.
Those looking to simply meet new people – It doesn't matter whether you're looking for a hookup or something serious, Happn works at helping you meet someone new.
Outgoing people – Due to its concept (Happn connects you with people you've crossed paths with in real life), Happn is better suited to people who get out and about.
Those looking for sex – Happn's whole concept is based on meeting up with people who are located very close to you. As such, it's totally possible to use for hookups.
Who's Happn Not For?
Those who want a free dating app – It's almost impossible to get the most out of Happn without upgrading your account.
Those who want flexibility in a dating app – Happn is squarely aimed at connecting you with people within your close proximity who you may have already met. As such, it's not really for people who don't mind traveling a few miles to meet someone.
Those who want something serious – Happn is great for meeting new people, but it's not the best for meeting someone who wants a committed relationship.
Tinder: Everything You Need To Know
Tinder was the world's first-ever “swipe app.” It was launched in 2012, and back then, it was primarily known for being a hookup dating app. Its concept was new but super simple: You'd sign up and create an account, and instead of searching for other members, profiles were queued up for you. You then had to swipe left or right on them.
If you scored a match, the two of you could then chat. There was no need to fill out a lengthy profile, and people loved how easy the app was to use. Its user base exploded, but pretty soon, Tinder developed a reputation for being only a hookup app. As the years passed, however, it started to attract people who were also looking for something serious.
Today, Tinder continues to be one of the world's most popular dating apps. Its user base tops 50,000,000 people worldwide, and it's popular with millennials, as well as Generation Z. Nothing about the app has really changed over the years: It's still free to send and receive messages, and there's still no search function.
And while Tinder is free to send and receive messages, you can upgrade your account to get more out of it, including better visibility and (hopefully) more matches. You can also use Tinder to land local dates and meet people from all around the world.
Happn: Everything You Need To Know
Happn was created in 2014 as a direct rival to Tinder. It's another swipe app that has the same basic concept as Tinder: That is, you can't send messages to someone until you mutually like each other. There's no search function either. Instead, you just swipe left or right on profiles.
Where Happn has always differed, however, is that it's a location-based dating app where matches are based on the people you've met in real life. Intrigued? The idea is that the app matches you with people who have hung around the same places as you, such as bars and galleries. You may have already met before, and the app wants to help you break the ice.
Happn, then, is a lot more focused on helping you arrange quick-fire local dates. For instance, you can only match with someone within a 250-meter radius of yourself, and, provided the two of you like the look of each other, you can then arrange to meet up there and then.
Happn's user base is solid but not spectacular. It averages around 100,000 daily active users, but its entire selling point is entirely down to the fact that it tracks the number of locations you've visited. It's free to sign up, but you need to upgrade your account to send and receive messages.
Happn Versus Tinder: The User Base
Tinder is easily one of the most-used apps in the world. At the time of writing, it boasts as many as 57,000,000 users. Millions of new users download it each month, meanwhile, while its member ratio is heavily in favor of males, around 37% of its active users are females.
Tinder is especially popular with younger adults aged between 20 and 35. A large percentage of its users come from the USA, with many living in urban settings – especially cities.
Happn, on the other hand, has around 6,000,000 users at the time of writing. Around a million of these are active weekly users, but Happn's male-to-female ratio is much more balanced than Tinder (it's around equal).
Like Tinder, Happn's age range is generally 23-35-year-olds, and a greater percentage of users come from English-speaking countries. Many users are city-based, but Happn caters to all age groups.
Happn vs Tinder: Profiles
Tinder is famous for its “less is more” approach when it comes to profiles. You'll typically find that most users add a few pics but only one or two lines about themselves. They'll state one or two interests, maybe they'll insert something witty, and perhaps they'll add an emoji.
Essentially, no one goes in-depth on Tinder, but instead, they try to catch someone's eye with their pics and their sense of style and humor.
Happn is largely the same, but users tend to fill out even less info. Instead, most Happn users simply add a few pics and wait for matches. However, the app lets you see your mutual interests, and it also shows their exact location (unless they've made themselves invisible).
Either way, Happn and Tinder's profiles are generally very similar.
Happn Versus Tinder: Premium Features
Tinder is completely free to match with other users and send and receive messages. You can also pay for extra features for a one-time fee, such as “Boosts” (which make your profile more visible for 30 minutes) and Super Likes (which ensure that you're always noticed each time you “like” someone).
Tinder also offers a few upgrade packages, which you can pay month-to-month. These are known as Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus, and they give you limited access to the features mentioned above while also letting you see who's already liked you and change your location. For many, upgrading helps them get more quality matches.
You can read our comprehensive analysis of Tinder Gold vs Tinder Plus vs Tinder Platinum.
Happn, on the other hand, is only free to sign up to and send “likes.” To send and receive messages, you have to upgrade your account. You can pay month-to-month, or you can save money by locking yourself into an annual payment.
Once you've upgraded, you can then send as many “hellos” as you want each day, as well as send and receive messages. These “hellos” are also available to free members, but free members get just 10 per day. They act as an icebreaker that gets a conversation started.
Other premium features that Happn offers include the ability to send voice messages to people and a game called Crush Time. This game involves four members who (according to the app) you've crossed paths with this month. One of them has already liked you, and it's up to you to guess who it is. If you get it right, Happn then lets you send them an opening message.
It's a fun game and helps to make Happn a more social app than Tinder. The “I'm Up For …” feature works similarly, as it lets you update your status so that people within your radius can see what you're planning to do for the next six hours. Would they like to join you?
Happn Versus Tinder: Final Verdict
There's no doubt that Tinder is the superior dating app when it comes to its user base and flexibility. Happn, on the other hand, is mainly used to connect you with people you've previously met (perhaps without even realizing it) and who are located nearby.
Both are solid dating apps with pros and cons and, despite their differences, serve similar purposes. But if you're looking to date and see what happens and need an app that's got millions of potential matches, Tinder is our recommendation. On the other hand, if you just want to meet up with local people for a chat, a gig, or a drink, and maybe wanna find that “one that got away,” Happn is worth a shot.