VerdictIs FriendFinder worth checking out? We would say – definitely yes! FriendFinder is a unique combination of a social network and dating site which brings out the best from both niches. It allows its members to find people with similar worldviews, exchange ideas and write comments on topics of shared interest. It encourages users to give someone the status of a friend with benefits, and enjoy sex without commitment for as long as both parties choose to do so. Overall, we would give this site an excellent 4/5 grade, with a slightly lower rating for the possibility of making contact. As is customary with many dating sites, FriendFinder restricts free members from sending e-mails and messages, this feature is available to members with membership only.
FriendFinder: dating and social networking brought together
Established in 1996, FriendFinder is an integral part of FriendFinder Network which also operates Alt.com, TSDates, and Passion.com. On top of being a top-notch dating service, FriendFinder functions as a regular social network that caters to a population looking for anything from friendship to love and marriage. As a social community, it welcomes people with varied interests and preferences and offers a diversity of relationship types unlikely to be found on regular dating sites.
The site is available in multiple languages including English, German, French and Spanish and has over 2 million active members from all around the world. Most of them are not looking to find a long-term romantic partner on this site but rather to create an extensive network of friends, some of them with “benefits.” Engaging in casual sex and not committing to anyone particular is the motto endorsed by the majority of FriendFinder’s members.
Who joins FriendFinder?
The site has a strong preponderance of male users (68% vs. 32%). Most members are in their 30s and 40s. In spite of having a large membership, the percentage of fake profiles is tiny. This is probably due to the site’s strict security policy and authenticity verification they perform before approving new members. Member photos are strikingly natural, as they are usually taken by the individuals themselves or their friends and they are not professionally edited. People are not made up to look flawless. Instead, they are shown as normal persons with some beautiful features and some imperfections as well. A typical member is easy-going and unprejudiced which makes him/her open to new experiences, sexual and otherwise.
How to sign up for this service
Registering as a new user is quick and uncomplicated. You’re only required to enter basic information such as gender, sexual orientation, and marital status as you sign in, but you can add more personal info later on. There are no personality tests to complete, but it’s advisable to write a short introduction about yourself that will appear on your profile. For practical purposes, you will get prompted to specify your location, date of birth, and e-mail address to be used in the verification process.
FriendFinder doesn’t create a link to any of your other social media profiles, nor does it allow uploading photos directly from Facebook or Instagram. It operates separately but provides a comprehensive service which satisfies most of your social networking needs.
Creating a username on FriendFinder can prove to be challenging since it could take a while until you find a name that’s not already taken. Finding a unique alias in a community of 2 million people requires patience and resourcefulness.
Contact options on FriendFinder
For standard members, the possibilities of establishing contact are quite limited. You can send winks or flirts, join chat rooms, write blogs, but sending messages or e-mails is off limits. You can still search for matches using basic filters and let someone know you like them by “winking” or “flirting” at them. Though, they will have to be a paying member to initiate actual communication with you in case they like you back. Another thing available to free members is adding people to hotlist and posting comments on forums on various topics.
How to make your profile attractive to other users
- Make an effort to write an interesting introduction. Although the site imposes no character limit for this, it’s best to keep it short and effective. Come up with a few lines that will highlight your strong points and help other users understand who you are.
- Add a video greeting to your profile. You can record it directly from within your profile page or upload a preexistent file.
- Start a personal blog. With a standard account you can only write basic blogs, but if you upgrade your membership to Silver or Gold, you’ll be able to complement them with photos.
- Write occasional updates to your status that will appear both on your profile and in the activity feed.
- Broadcast live videos from time to time. These often involve some nudity and are a form of adult entertainment.
Please note that all profiles are subject to verification by the FriendFinder team and that it can take up to 48 hours for a profile to get approved. Until this happens, a new member cannot join group chats but can browse through lists of users (this option is available for non-members) and see if there are interesting members nearby.
Is it possible to update a profile after the initial setup?
Yes. Three sections of the profile that are subject to later revision by the user are:
- Basic profile with info like name, age, gender, date of birth, place of residence, etc.
- Personal info including education, line of work, and whether you’re married or not.
- Physical appearance – height, weight, body type, your color of eyes, hair, the presence of body art and piercing.
Additional cool features of FriendFinder
- Instant messaging: talking and exchanging messages with people using any of the websites operated by the FriendFinder Network in real time.
- Publishing magazine articles, posting stories, commentaries and other entertaining pieces of writing.
- Joining interest groups: similar to forums, they center around a topic of shared interest. As a member, you can create your own groups or join existing ones and give your opinion on a particular subject.
- Hot or Not feature: the newest addition to the site’s functions. Users are presented with photos of other users and invited to click on “Hot” if they like them and wish to meet them or “Not” if they don’t.
FriendFinder mobile app
Currently, the mobile application is only downloadable from AppStore for iOS users. It’s a unique app named AllFriendFinder which allows mutual communication between users of different FriendFinder Network sites. When logging in you enter [email protected] and use the password you created on the corresponding website. The idea to bring members using various dating platforms together is fantastic, but the app itself is far from perfect. It has an overwhelming number of problems and malfunctions which sometimes make using it a frustrating experience. Nevertheless, the application’s design is pretty simple and easy to use, and once all the technical glitches get resolved, it will make an excellent addition to the site’s desktop version.
FriendFinder website design
Just as the mobile app is plagued with technical issues, the desktop version has its fair share of layout problems. Apart from not being particularly esthetically pleasing, its design is confusing and hard to get the hang of. The site takes quite a bit of getting used to. New members are frequently left wondering where the basic features are and spending too much time looking for things they need. On the plus side, a site with an old-fashioned but still operational design such as this one takes less time to load which suits users with less powerful computers.
Limitations for Standard members
Standard membership only gives you access to some of the site’s functions. If you click on a feature you’re not permitted to use on a free membership, the site will redirect you to a page with an order form for premium membership. This can be frustrating, but remember – you don’t have to upgrade your member status if you don’t want to. There are still plenty of cool features you can use as a non-paying member.
Another way to access restricted features is by getting points for actively using the site. Each action you take as a Standard member gains you a certain number of points. For example, uploading a photo is worth 20 points, while writing a blog article can get you even more. A comprehensive list of actions that can earn you points is available by clicking on the “You have (number) points” link on your profile page. You can trade the points you have collected for access to some premium features otherwise unavailable to Standard users.
One of the things you can spend your accumulated points on is to become a Featured Member. This means that your profile appears first in searches and is shown on the top left side of the screen. To exchange points for Featured Member status, just click on the link presented in the Featured Members section.
Premium memberships: advantages and pricing
Upon becoming a premium member, you can send an unlimited number of e-mails and messages to all members, view full-sized photos and watch videos uploaded by other members. You can have your profile highlighted to stand out from the rest and gain access to all chat rooms, blogs, and forums.
As far as the prices go, FriendFinder is moderately expensive. They offer various membership plans to suit everyone’s financial situation. The cheapest way is to pay for six months in advance, which reduces the site’s monthly fee by more than 50%. Silver membership on a six-month membership plan will only cost you 10.95 USD a month, while Gold membership amounts to 15.93 USD a month. The fees go up to 22.95 USD and 34.95 USD a month for Silver and Gold memberships respectively when paying every month. Both debit and credit cards are acceptable methods of payment.
Final word: is FriendFinder worth checking out?
We would say – definitely yes! FriendFinder is a unique combination of a social network and dating site which brings out the best from both niches. It allows its members to find people with similar worldviews, exchange ideas and write comments on topics of shared interest. It encourages users to give someone the status of a friend with benefits, and enjoy sex without commitment for as long as both parties choose to do so. It doesn’t create a link to any other social media since it functions as a social network itself and has no need to connect with another online community. The exceptions are other sites operated by FriendFinder Network, whose members can contact each other via a mobile app that creates a bridge between them.
Overall, we would give this site an excellent 4/5 grade, with a slightly lower rating for the possibility of making contact. As is customary with many dating sites, FriendFinder restricts free members from sending e-mails and messages, but this feature is readily available to premium members. The possibility to use acquired points instead of money for unlocking privileges ordinarily accessible only to Silver or Gold members is a welcomed addition to the site’s offer. It encourages users to make active contributions to the site’s forums, chat rooms and magazines, as well as to complete their profiles by adding photographs and video material. That way everyone can potentially gain access to premium features without having to spend any money on them. No one can accuse this site of being a rip-off or advertising its services as free and later charging for every single feature. Everything is accessible if you make an effort to contribute to FriendFinder’s large community of open-minded, easy-going individuals looking for fun.