Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction to FriendFinder
- 2 Signing Up for FriendFinder
- 3 Members and Messaging
- 4 Key Features and Special Features
- 5 Design and Usability
- 6 Membership Options
- 7 Safety and Security
- 8 Pros and Cons of FriendFinder
- 9 Who Is FriendFinder Good For?
- 10 Overall FriendFinder.com Rating
Introduction to FriendFinder
Another giant in the online dating world is FriendFinder. Founded in 1998, FriendFinder has been around for more than two decades. The site is based in the US, and this is where it operates. Members are primarily from the US and the UK. However, there are members from China, the Philippines, France, and Italy, making it a truly international dating service.
FriendFinder's website is available in multiple languages, proving that it is a multi-national site. The default language is English, but it is easily set to other languages.
FriendFinder also operates TSDates, Passion.com, and Alt.com. Given its background, the company is pretty renowned, and it is well-known for developing dating sites that offer a safe environment for its members. In addition, it is a fun and entertaining site that people can trust. The platform is available and easily accessed worldwide, making it one of the leaders in global online dating agencies.
Signing Up for FriendFinder
The registration process of FriendFinder is relatively easy when you compare it to other online dating sites. If you have a solid internet connection, the whole registration process won't even take five minutes. When registering, FriendFinder does not ask many questions.
Instead, new members are only required to provide a few essential facts like name, gender, location, contact information, and current marital status. The data that members provide while registering themselves will show in their profiles.
To register, new members must have a valid email address. Registering without it isn't possible. Once you have completed your registration process, FriendFinder will send a verification email to your provided email address. This is to verify that the email really belongs to you, and it is an effort by the FriendFinder team to stop fake profiles and scammers from using this online dating site.
While registering, you are required to give yourself a user name, which will be unique to you. This can be quite challenging since there are so many members on the site that finding a unique user name that is still available is tricky. Members are encouraged to be creative, but with so many usernames already claimed, creativity can only bring you so far before you start adding numbers to existing usernames.
After you have completed the verification process, your profile will be ready for viewing. The profile section begins with a short self-introduction. Since there is no limit to how many words members can write in their self-introduction, they are encouraged to write as much about themselves as possible.
Creativity is once again encouraged as it will be the first thing interested people will look at after your profile photo. An interesting and funny self-introduction can be the final push someone needs to send you that wink or flirt.
Members and Messaging
A compatibility chart appears when you visit a match's profile. It is pretty helpful as it gives you an overview of how much you fit into each other's preferences. A list of your basic preferences is included in the chart.
The basic preferences included in the chart are:
- what you are looking for in possible matches
- your age
- your current location
Additional preferences can also be included, and they are:
- your body type
- your sexual orientation
- your current marital status
Adjusting your preference for the compatibility chart is easy and can be changed in your Cupid References. Profile photos and videos can only be viewed if you have a premium membership. Standard memberships only allow for previewing and thumbnails.
Searching and finding other members is very straightforward. After logging in, you will find a search option at the top of the page. You can add people that appeal to you to your hotlist. Your hotlist can only be edited by you, and it is permanent. Members that you add to your hotlist will stay there for as long as they are on FriendFinders.
If someone catches your eye, you can send winks or flirts to them. It is the easiest way to show your interest and how people start communicating most often on FriendFinder. A notification will let them know that they have received a wink or a flirt. Sending or receiving winks or flirts is free. For many members, these fun and flirty tools are enough to keep the excitement of online dating alive, and they never upgrade to paid memberships.
To send private messages to other members, you need to upgrade your membership. Members with free memberships still have the option of sending winks or flirts, but they don't have the opportunity for private messaging. Members with free memberships can, however, join forums, groups, and chat rooms on FriendFinder.
Members interested in someone are advised to visit the person's profile first and then proceed by sending a private message by clicking on the ‘send a message' button on the person's profile. Once the person responds, you can start communicating as much as you like. If the person replies to your message, you will see a pop-up on your message box. To view the message, simply click on the pop-up. You are now one step closer to finding everlasting love.
Key Features and Special Features
FriendFinder has a long list of excellent features that are very helpful in members' quests for love. In fact, the agency has received a lot of praise over the years, with members applauding their adaptability to changing times.
These features include:
1. Instant messaging
Instant messaging features make it possible for you to message someone with the click of a finger. These messages will be received as private messages. The team at FriendFinder recommends communicating with the use of private messages because it offers more privacy. It is also safer to use private messages as members aren't exposed to so many people at once as they would be while chatting in a chatroom or an interest group.
Any person can write blogs on FriendFinder, irrespective of whether you have a paid or free membership. However, paid memberships offer the benefit of uploading photos and videos, while free memberships only allow written content.
3. Forums AKA Interest Groups
FriendFinder has a great feature, called an interest group. It is similar to a forum, and it gives members a safe space to discuss specific topics. The platform has hundreds of interest groups, making sure that there is something that will interest everyone.
4. The Hot or Not feature
Modern apps like Tinder have the same feature: swiping left or right, indicating your interest. A swipe to the left would mean no interest, whereas a swipe to the right means hot, hot, hot, baby. The hot or not feature has been a hot topic of controversy over the last few years on several matchmaking websites, including FriendFinder.
Many members love the quick and easy way it allows them to go through profiles, while other members feel it is a degrading function that leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. Whether people like it or not, it is one of the most utilized functions on the platform.
5. Live Webcam Chat feature
The site has a live webcam chat feature that is mostly about adult entertainment. People are allowed to perform live and watch the performances live, too. The feature also includes a live chat service.
Design and Usability
At first glance, the layout and design of FriendFinder may seem vast and overwhelming. The restricted structure of the website might make it difficult for new members to navigate their way around. In addition, the site has a user interface that is old and unimpressive. This creates a positive and a negative impression simultaneously.
It is positive in that it takes very little time to load, but the overall look of the site is unappealing on the negative side.
An improvement in its design will most definitely be more attractive to FriendFinder's members, especially since the outdated look will instantly make younger people lose interest.
However, seeing that most members are older than 40 years of age, this doesn't seem to be a big issue for FriendFinder. Furthermore, as a dating tool, it is very user-friendly, and that is the most important part. Members care more about the site's ability to match them to potential new matches than the dated look of the site.
Members have a choice of three memberships: free, silver, or gold. The silver membership costs about $29 USD per month, whereas the gold membership sets you back $23 USD per month. That isn't an unreasonable amount compared to some other dating sites, but is it worth paying if you can have a free membership? To answer this question, we need to weigh the membership features.
Members with free memberships get the following features:
- They can join interest groups and chat rooms
- Free members can create blogs
- They can create a magazine
- Send flirts or winks to other members
- They may upload photos and videos to their profiles
- Can view profiles of other members
- Search for other members
Now that we know what free features non-paying members enjoy, let's look at what features premium members get, starting with the silver membership. The silver membership offers the following benefits:
- Unlimited viewing and contacting of members
- Able to contact new members
- Full access to live and recorded video introductions
- Limited access to blogs, groups, and magazine features
- Fantastic phone support around the clock
One important factor that needs mentioning is that silver members show up after gold members when match searches are done. Now we can look at just how much a gold membership will benefit the person looking for love.
The gold membership includes the following benefits:
- Appearing at the top of searches
- Make the first move by contacting new members
- FULL access to members' live and recorded video introductions
- FULL access to blogs, interest groups, and magazine features
- Viewing photos of members in an extra-large size
- Access to the following IDs of members in your network: ICQ, AIM, YIM & MSN
Whether it is worthwhile for someone to pay for a silver or gold membership depends on the person buying the membership. Lots of people who are hungry for love will pay the gold membership fee with a smile on their face and hope in their hearts. On the other hand, several people are happy sending flirts and winks at no cost.
Safety and Security
FriendFinder is a safe site to use. People's information is kept secret, and no one has access to it. Moderators monitor interest groups to ensure a comfortable and safe environment. In the rare case where someone solicits money from others, that member is immediately banned from the site.
There is relief in knowing that once a member is banned, the member will remain banned forever. The banned party is allowed to appeal, but in most cases, the account is permanently deleted. If a member is having difficulty with another member because of harassment, the harrassed party should contact customer care.
They will deal with it if screenshots of the interaction can be provided. If someone is found behaving in an unethical way, moderators will block that person and the account won't be accessible.
Although FriendFinder takes a no-nonsense approach to maintain a safe and secure website, members are always encouraged to be safe and behave reasonably.
Members should never share personal information with members. For example, FriendFinder asks its members never to share their exact location or banking details. These rules are worth living by, not just on FriendFinder, but as a general principle when interacting on the internet.
Members have the option of blocking a member who they might suspect to be a scammer or a nuisance. There is a block option in your profile settings, and it is pretty easy to block someone you don't want to contact anymore. That means that you can avoid interactions with people without having the “it's not you, it's me” conversation. That makes life a lot easier for the members of FriendFinder.
Pros and Cons of FriendFinder
There are many pros, and just a few cons, to consider when deciding whether to use Friend Finder.
- Regardless of age or gender, anyone can join FriendFinder
- Excellent community interaction and conversation
- Ideal for people who are looking for dating partners and friendships
- Open-minded and friendly members, for the most part
- About 1,000 people online daily – plenty of opportunities
- Membership searches before registration
- A mobile app is available that is very user-friendly
- Interacting with other members is limited to paid memberships
- Male members highly outnumber female members
- The app is only available for iPhone users
Who Is FriendFinder Good For?
Most members on FriendFinder hope to find a temporary fling or friendship. The odds of finding a long-term relationship aren't high. Most members are looking for online companionship and someone to talk to, and since there are people from all over the world, it is interesting to interact with other members. Around 68% of the platform's members are males, and most members are aged between 24 and 44 years of age, with most being closer to 40.
Therefore, FriendFinder is excellent for looking for friendships or casual relationships with people aged between 24 and 44. Unfortunately, although it isn't impossible to find true love on FriendFinder, the odds are slimmer than with other dating sites.
Overall FriendFinder.com Rating
Members enjoy the fact that moderators monitor the site well, making them feel safe. Most members trust the site entirely. Many members commented on the block functions stating that they really appreciate being able to block someone they wish to no longer contact. Although we can't deny that FriendFinder has stiff competition from other dating sites, most members regard it as one of the best.
The site receives criticism from several members based on the silver and gold memberships since most members feel free and a gold membership should be the only two choices. However, there are members who appreciate the fact that FriendFinder gives members a financial option of how much they want to spend. By having three memberships to choose from, FriendFinder caters to those who want to spend big, little, and none.
In that sense, everyone wins. Members also really enjoy the features that the site provides, with many thinking the site has better features than a lot of other online dating sites. Members also commented on the dated appearance of the web design but liked the fact that it is easy to navigate and very user-friendly.
Members gave very positive feedback regarding customer support. Having phone support available 24/7 is a great benefit appreciated by most members. Members also commented on how friendly the support staff is at FriendFinder. This just shows how vital support staff is in the overall experience.
Members have rated FriendFinder based on five different categories that perfectly sum up the platform's overall experience. These were the results:
- Quality of Matches 8/10
- Site Features 8/10
- Usability 9/10
- Customer Support 9/10
- Membership Cost 8/10
FriendFinder had an overall rating of 8.5/10. That is pretty good, especially considering how many other dating sites compete for those same successful ratings. Members have found a life-long friend in FriendFinder.