POF is a dating site for both no-strings-attached dating and finding true love. Highlights of the site include:
- 55,000 new members each day and 23 million unique visitors each month (mostly mobile)
- Free to use with paid memberships for extra features
- Responsible for 1 million relationships each year
If you’ve ever compared dating to fishing and finding a good catch, PlentyOfFish might be one of the best online dating sites for you. This is one of the top online dating sites for both one-time flings and long-term relationships. Read our full PlentyOfFish review to see if this is the dating site you’re looking for.
PlentyOfFish jumped into the online dating waters in 2003 when founder Markus Frind launched what was basically a hook-up site. Though it’s still a place to do casual dating, in recent years “POF,” as it’s known, has repositioned itself as a cross between Tinder and Match and is recommended as a top site by dating coaches.
PlentyOfFish is a place both for no-strings-attached dating and finding true love. Their motto could be “Sign up for a fling and find the real thing.” According to the company, about 30% of members are dating someone within a month of sign-up, and the site is responsible for 1 million new relationships each year.
Millions of Users
Those kinds of results help explain its incredible growth. There are a lot of fish in this sea. Consider the numbers: more than 100 million worldwide users and an average of 55,000 new additions daily. Also, there are 23 million unique visitors every month, mostly via the mobile app. Only the mighty Match has more monthly traffic. On average, a date happens because of POF every two minutes. Those numbers are a positive PlentyOfFish review all by themselves.
Pop Culture Popularity
Like Match and Tinder, PlentyOfFish has entered the pop culture conversation. The site has appeared in several music videos, including Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me.” So not only does it have tens of millions of users, but PlentyOfFish has also enjoyed plenty of product placement.
POF is one of the best online dating sites, so it makes sense that it has a lot of pros to it. Here are some of the amazing things about this site to keep in mind as you read our PlentyOfFish review:
- Big pond: The aptly-named site has more than 100 million worldwide users.
- Ego boost: When you sign up for POF, you can expect to get dozens of matches in the first 24 hours — that’s a real confidence boost.
- Free membership: PlentyOfFish offers a lot of value and functionality at no cost. You can search for and message members for free, and you can take several interactive assessments to learn more about yourself. That said, premium membership options start at $12 per month.
- Relationship focused: Several years back, the site began focusing more on helping people find relationships, removing features such as “intimate encounters.” This has helped improve user experience and improved PlentyOfFish reviews.
- Relationship needs assessment: This is a free, fun interactive questionnaire that reveals your relationship needs and shows you how understanding those needs can make you a better dater.
- Spark feature: One of the coolest, most popular features is Spark, which lets you highlight a compelling part of someone’s profile — say, a photo or a quote — and use it as an ice-breaker with that person. The company reports that Spark alone has increased conversations by 15%, and many PlentyOfFish reviews mention loving this feature.
- Zero tolerance: A warning bluntly states that anyone who sends inappropriate content will have their account deleted. This helps keep POF a safe place to find dates.
However, PlentyOfFish reviews also point out some cons. Here are some things to be aware of that might this site less ideal for you:
- Hit-and-miss quality: Some call PlentyOfFish “the Walmart of online dating.” Because POF is free and open to all, the quality of members will be more hit-and-miss than on paid sites. It can be time-consuming to find high-quality dating options amid all the people you’re just not attracted to.
- Occasional scams: There are higher reports of false accounts and scams on PlentyOfFish than on many other online dating sites. To its credit, the company has taken steps to remove any scam accounts they find.
- Site experience: A below-average desktop design hurts the user experience on that platform. However, recent improvements to the app have improved mobile navigation.
Registration and Chemistry Test
By design, the sign-up process is more comprehensive than on most free dating sites, taking a minimum of 30 minutes. After entering your basic information (name, age, gender, location, ethnicity, etc.), you’re required to take the Chemistry Test.
This questionnaire is comprised of about 75 questions that cover areas such as sexuality, how you express affection, your relationship readiness, your self-confidence and even your taste in movies. You’re asked to agree or disagree with statements such as “Most of my ex-partners would take me back” and “I thrive in romantic relationships where I receive a great deal of admiration and praise.”
There are a lot of questions, but because it’s multiple choice, you can plow through your answers fairly quickly. The algorithm will hand-pick your matches, based in part on a statistical model that comes from thousands of successful couples who’ve taken the same test.
Next, if you skip the other optional assessments, you’ll write a good headline that captures your who you are, add a few photos and fill in the “About Me” and “First Date Idea” sections.
If this sign-up sounds more time-consuming than on many dating sites, that’s because it is — and that’s a good thing. The time investment helps to screen out daters who are dabbling or “just looking.” Anyone who’s not serious about finding a great partner — whether they want something casual or a long-term commitment — won’t want to follow so many steps.
A cool feature in the sign-up process? POF will help you fill out your profile based on what you stated in your dating goals. So, if in your sign-up questionnaire you wrote “Looking for casual dating, not a long-term commitment”, you’ll likely be matched with others seeking a similar outcome.
Relationship Needs Assessment
An optional but recommended feature is the Relationship Needs Assessment. It’s another multiple-choice survey, this one asking you 50 questions to help you better understand the kind of dater you are and what will make you happy in your love life.
The assessment covers nine areas: interdependence, self-efficacy, communication, sexuality, preferred expressions of affection, intimacy, relationship readiness, conflict resolution, and attitudes about love. It’s a smart, engaging way to uncover your wants and needs, and it can serve you well in your next relationship. This feature alone can enhance your experience and gains positive PlentyOfFish reviews.
In addition to the needs assessment questionnaire, there are other surveys you can take, such as a sex test. By taking these optional quizzes, you feed more valuable data into the POF algorithm, which will help with the quality of your matches. Plus, the questionnaires are interactive and fun, and they provide true insight. You’ll learn more about your psychology, your confidence level, your openness and your sexual interests, among other aspects of your personality.
As for connecting with other members, POF gives you lots of options. You can search using filters such as city, income, ethnicity, education and income. You can also choose more nuanced criteria like “openness/people dependent.”
There’s a cool, carousel-like feature called Meet Me. Inspired by Tinder’s swiping system, Meet Me shows you members and allows you to instantly say yes or no. If there’s love (or at least lust) at first sight and someone says “yes” to your photo, you’ll be notified. But just a heads up: You have to be a paid member to see who’s interested in you.
In addition to browsing for matches and searching for your next date, you can use Ultra Match. This matching system generates the top 50 daters who are most compatible with you according to the algorithm. Company founder Markus Frind has said that the relationships sparked by PlentyOfFish tend to arise from those first 50 spots.
Free and Paid Memberships
When it comes to giving you the most features and functionality at no cost, PlentyOfFish has no peer. It’s free to register, browse, view profiles and matches and send and receive messages. But you can upgrade to a paid membership.
The benefits of paid access include an ad-free experience, viewing extended profiles and being able to see if someone read your message. Most importantly, a paid membership gets you priority placement on the Meet Me feature and in search results, making it easier to be seen by more members.
Website and App Usability
Although the website is still on the clunky side (too many ads hurt the browsing experience), the PlentyOfFish app gets high marks. In fact, Consumer Reports ranked it the fourth best online dating app after OkCupid, Tinder and Grindr. It’s sleek, modern and much easier to use than the website. It’s no surprise that 85% of POF users access the site using their smartphones. The app is where it’s at and what gets more positive PlentyOfFish reviews.
A helpful feature on the app is the ability to use your smartphone’s mic to record a voice message to send to another user. On most online dating sites, you never hear the other person’s voice until you either hop on the phone or you meet them in person. The voice-message option gives you a better sense of who you’re messaging, and it makes it easier to decide if you’ll meet up for the first date.
PlentyOfFish Review Conclusion
After our PlentyOfFish review, we think this is a great option. If you decide to try PlentyOfFish, think of it as a blind date: with modest expectations, you might be surprised and have an amazing time on a unique date. And if not, hey — you didn’t spend a dime.
POF is a cheap date. Perhaps no other site offers so much — millions of potential matches, several compelling questionnaires, a slick, easy-to-use mobile app — for free. And if you want to upgrade, the paid features are worth it, especially being able to see extended profile information and receiving prominent placement when you turn up in others’ search results.
The world’s biggest free dating website is a great deal, boasting advanced search tools that let you hone in on nuanced personality traits so that you can find like-minded daters. With no required fees, a track record of results, and millions of happy members, PlentyOfFish is a big fish in a big pond.