Editor’s Note: These 5 apps were Chloe’s choices in 2015 when this article was first featured, as a follow-up to her 2013 review. Over the last two years, we’ve seen a few new additions, most notably Find Femmes and Compatible Partners. So If you’ve tried either of those, leave your experience in the comments! Is it time for a 2017 dating app review?
HER (formerly Dattch)
HER is a fresh, ultra flexible app aimed exclusively at lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and queer women. HER’s modern hybrid of dating and social networking is a refreshing break from the pressure to hook-up or fuck off that embodies some competitors. Setting up my HER profile took less than five minutes; I just signed in with Facebook, selected a couple pictures from my various social media feeds and filled out my stats. I like that Facebook is required to sign up for HER because it helps keep out pathetic men who get off by pretending to be lesbians on the internet. Your profile on HER can be as simple or as in-depth as you want it to be: just add a textbox like you would a picture and write away. While this freedom is endearing, a few simple prompts a la OkCupid might be helpful. Then again, HER’s minimalist profile reflects the modern trend in online dating towards less chatty profiles that encourage users to interact rather than creep.
On the “Meet” tab, I browsed the profiles of fetching young lesbians in my immediate vicinity. I like that instead of clicking on a profile to see more than one picture, HER shows you a collage of images to quickly convey who you’re looking at. “Feed,” my favorite part of HER, is similar to my Facebook feed in that it is all lesbians posting links, events, thoughts, etc. via status. HER introduces itself as “the app that will introduce you to every lesbian you ever wanted to meet. Finally, you can start dating a lesbian that hasn’t slept with any of your friends. Your weekend just got gayer because now you know where to go to.” HER knows all the right things to say.
Hinge is yet another mobile matchmaking app trying to make it big by being like Tinder, only slightly different. So what sets Hinge apart? It’s got a great gimmick. Unlike any other dating app, Hinge only matches you with friends of (Facebook) friends. This sort of social network expansion has great possibility for lesbians whose hot friends of friends always seem to be just out of reach. Hinge, like Tinder and Bumble, allows me to “prefer” women. Unlike Tinder and Bumble, Hinge only showed me women. Perhaps this is because Hinge’s results aren’t warped by the pressure to provide endless options. Hinge provides users with a small batch every day, along with each match’s job, pictures, and connection to you.
One aspect of Hinge I loved and found super simple and helpful was profile customization. Users can pick “tags” for their favorite date spots and activities along with religion and race. This lets Hinge users quickly cobble together a taste profile. I like being able to see what I have in common with someone before striking up a conversation. Hinge’s friends of friends model supposedly encourage good behavior because of social accountability, and I did find Hinge users to be more polite and well-spoken than Tinder or OkCupid dwellers.
I’m a big fan of Hinge’s latest innovation, a gloriously simple tweak that weeds cheaters out of the matchmaking app pool. Hinge now syncs relationship status from users Facebook pages. Meaning those ratchet couples creeping for threesomes can now be instantly spotted and dismissed along with the dishonest and unfaithful. Bye, Felicias!
Bumble’s big feminist twist—only girls can send the first message—is rendered irrelevant by lesbianism. Lesbianism: where girls always have to send the first message. Feminists be copying. Once you’ve made a match on Bumble, the pressure is on to move quick or miss out. If no one says something within the first 24 hours, the connection disappears forever! Making the first move has always been a massive pain in our gay asses, and a ticking clock might be just what queer girls need to swallow their shyness and just say “Hey!”
My pleasant if unremarkable experience with Bumble was slightly marred when I read this ludicrous passage in Vanity Fair’s fawning interview of Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe.
“Users swipe left (or ‘no’) and right (or ‘yes’) on profiles of potential partners. If there is a match, both users are notified. But on Bumble—unlike Tinder or OkCupid—only the women can begin a conversation… Perhaps still more impressive: the ratio of women to men using the app, which is just about even—uncommon for this sector. The company also plans to make incorporating LGBTQ. communities a priority, though it has yet to introduce any particularly innovative features to that end.” What a strikingly perfect summary of Silicon Valley and corporate America’s treatment of the freshly legalized gay community. You are so important to us that we haven’t thought of you, but we will, eventually, maybe when we’re bored or running errands or the cable’s out. Until then, know that we are absolutely friendly and all about you not in our actions or product but in our occasional empty words. LOVE IS LOVE!