POF and Match.com are two of the world’s most popular online dating sites. They both have millions of active users, and they’re both used by people who are looking to date and meet new people – as well as potentially develop a serious relationship with someone (and perhaps even get married).
Naturally, POF and Match have their unique differences to stand out from each other. For instance, you can send and receive messages for free on POF, but you need to upgrade your account to do this on Match.
So which dating site is right for you?
I signed up to both sites and tested them out. I used both the free and premium versions and wrote this POF vs Match review guide to help you make a better decision about what to do next. I’ll be comparing their features, their pricing plans, and examining who they’re ideal for – and who they’re not ideal for.
Who’s POF For?
Those looking for a relationship – POF is used by millions of people who want something serious, and there are many instances of people meeting their life partner on this app.
Those looking for new friends – If you’re new to a town or city and just want a new friend, POF can provide this.
Singles who are “just looking” – Not sure what you want? That’s totally cool. There are so many people who use POF, including people just looking to see what’s out there. Unlike some dating apps, there’s no pressure on anyone.
People operating on a budget – POF is free to send and receive messages, making it ideal for those who want to date on a budget.
Singles who want a hookup – POF is pretty much for anyone and everyone, including those who just want a casual sex encounter.
Who’s POF Not For?
Those who want to get married – Yes, you can use POF to find your soulmate. But since it isn’t aimed at those who want to get married, you might end up wasting your time wading through millions of profiles.
Those who hate fake profiles – POF is one of the worst dating sites when it comes to fake profiles. If you hate fake profiles, it might be best to avoid this one.
Anyone who hasn’t got time to waste – Due to its nature, it can take a while to find success on POF. If you’ve not got time to waste (or time for time wasters), POF might not be for you.
Who’s Match For?
Singles who want to settle down and get married – If your main plan is to settle down and get married, Match is marketed at your demographic.
Divorcees and widows – There’s often a stigma attached to divorcees and widows who use dating apps, but since Match is aimed at mature adults who want to settle down, divorcees and widows have a good success rate here.
People who have room in their budget – To send and receive messages, you must be a premium member on Match.
Singles who take dating seriously – Online dating isn’t easy, and many apps are full of people who simply don’t take it seriously. Match users, however, do.
Mature adults – Match is used by younger adults too, but its prime user base is mature adults aged 26+.
Who’s Match Not For?
Those looking for a hookup – Match is strictly for those looking for something serious.
Singles who want a free dating app – There’s practically nothing you can do on Match as a free member.
People who want instant success – Many users lock themselves into a 6 or 12-month contract at Match because they know success at online dating takes time. If you expect instant online dating success, Match might not be the site for you.
POF: Everything You Need To Know
POF – otherwise known as Plenty of Fish – was launched in 2003. Back then, it was largely a free dating app, and today many of its functions can still be accessed for free.
Not much has changed over the years in terms of its user base, too. POF was always seen as a dating app for anyone and everyone – those looking for something serious, those looking to meet new people, and those looking for a hookup. Because it’s free, all types of people continue to sign up for the app.
Free members can send and receive messages while upgrading to a premium account lets you see who’s liked you, as well as whether or not someone has read your message.
Naturally, being a free app means that POF has attracted a huge number of fake profiles. It continues to attract fakes, although its customer service team works extra hard to delete them as soon as possible.
However, this is still a serious dating app that only lets people create an account after completing a personality test. This test – which runs for over 100 questions – is designed to improve the quality of the matches you receive.
Match: Everything You Need To Know
Match is one of the oldest online dating sites around. It was established in 1995 and has since grown a reputation for being one of the world's most trustworthy, reliable, and secure dating sites. Today, it has over 8 million paying members.
Its user base is primarily made up of those who are looking for something serious. Indeed, Match comes with a guarantee whereby users are given an extra six months worth of membership for free if they don’t find a suitable match within the first six months. Moreover, because there isn’t much you can do as a free member, many users have to take Match seriously.
Where Match has always stood out from many competitors is with its matchmaking service. To complete your registration, you need to fill out a personality questionnaire, and Match uses your answers to provide you with suggested profiles for the remainder of your membership.
You can also search through profiles via an advanced search function, but you can’t see who’s viewed or “liked” you or sent you a message unless you upgrade your account.
POF vs Match: The User Base
POF has a very large user base, primarily because of POF’s popularity and the fact that it’s free to send and receive messages. There are currently over 150,000,000 singles who have signed up to POF, while the number of active members stands at around 4,000,000.
Age-wise, POF’s users generally fall into the 25-35 bracket, and there are well over 3,000,000 daily logins. The US makes up most of POF’s user base, although the UK and Australia aren’t too far behind. 11 languages are generally spoken daily between members.
Match, on the other hand, boasts 20,000,000 free members and 8,000,000+ paying members. Over 50% of them are based in the US, with the rest mainly in Europe. The user base is largely made up of singles, and a significant portion is either separate or divorced.
Age-wise, Match’s user base is dominated by the 35-45- age groups, which suggests that, indeed, many users are either separated or divorced, while a number of them have children. Males outnumber females slightly by about 55% to 45%,
POF vs Match: The Profiles
POF’s profiles are a bit of a mix ’n’ match. Some users take POF very seriously and fill their profiles out so that they’re quite detailed, and some users are just looking to see what’s out there – and who maybe just add a line or two, as well as a few interests to their profile.
However, because POF makes it mandatory for every user to upload some photos and add something (including a POF headline) to their profile, it’s possible to know a little something about every member you come across on here.
Match’s users, on the other hand, are divided between free members and paying members. All members must add basic details to their profile – including their age, location and job status – but paying members add more details.
There are, in fact, 8,000,000 paying members on Match around the world. These are largely aged between 25 and 40, and they can all take advantage of the profile builder to put together a detailed, informative profile. Unlike POF, Match’s paying members are largely all looking for a serious, committed relationship.
The free members, meanwhile, are often just looking to browse and see what’s out there. Some will upgrade their account, but many will simply look for an alternative, more affordable dating site.
POF vs Match: Premium Features
Both POF and Match have premium features that can make it easier for people to find dates. However, Match has more than POF, which POF instead offers members more free features.
As a paying member of POF, you get to see who’s viewed your profile, and you also get to see if someone has read your message yet or not. You also get access to the “Priority Message” feature, which automatically puts your messages at the top of someone’s inbox. It’s a useful feature on a site like POF, where users often receive hundreds of messages.
You can also purchase tokens and send virtual gifts.
Over on Match, even sending and receiving messages is a premium feature. You can only see who’s viewed you when you’re a paying member, too. Other premium features include Real Talk, which provides you with several icebreakers to help you start a conversation with a new match, as well as Boost, a key feature that makes your profile more visible in the search results for 60 minutes.
You can also match with people who Match itself hasn’t recommended and have a voice call with another member. All in all, Match’s premium features are more in-depth than POF’s, but POF lets you do more as a free member.
In terms of the costs, upgrading on POF will cost around $15 per month for the cheapest plan, while Match’s prices start from $15 per month if you lock yourself into a 6-month contract.
POF vs Match: Final Verdict
POF and Match are evenly matched when it comes to their user base, which means your decision will likely come down to what you’re looking for and whether you’re prepared to pay extra for a premium account.
It’s possible to find success on POF as a free member, but the trade-off is fake profiles and a variety of people looking for different things. On the other hand, Match is more expensive, but it’s used by serious daters who know exactly what they’re looking for, and it also comes with more high-quality features.
Therefore, if you know exactly what you’re looking for, Match is the clear winner here.
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