Zoosk gives you free access to other user accounts and photos on a website or a free smartphone app. According to the site, Zoosk uses an innovative matchmaking algorithm to deliver the best matches for its 35 million users. This algorithm not only pairs you with people you're likely to get along with but also gives you a Dating Insights report, which is an in-depth analysis of your dating profile and users who are interested in you.
To set up your dating profile you fill out basic information about your body type, race, education and whether you have kids. Once you upload a photo and verify your email you are given a brief site tour before you can start looking for matches. You can also add up to six photos of yourself and answer questions about the type of mate you’re looking for, which can really round out your profile. This whole process only took our reviewers about three minutes, so while it’s not very thorough and doesn’t ask specifically what you’re looking for in a mate, it is easy and fast.
There is no option to match with both men and women during setup, but bisexual users can reach out to customer service to set up a free second account.
The Zoosk app has a section for verifying your photos. This is reassuring since it helps lower the likelihood of bots or scammers on the site. To verify your identity, you simply take a photo of yourself with your phone. Once you’re approved, a little green badge appears on your profile to let other people know you are indeed a real person.
To view other potential matches, Zoosk has a “carousel” of other user profiles. Similar to Tinder, you either like them or pass to get to the next user, though there are additional options on the carousel, including saying “maybe” or clicking on a star that sends that person a “crush” to let them know you’re interested. While using the carousel is free, messaging any potential matches requires the purchase of coins you can use to access various Zoosk features. For example, you can only scroll through the carousel for so long before coins are required to keep going. Coins can also be used to boost your profile so it’s more visible to other users.
Once you get the hang of the carousel, Zoosk lets you know which users you’ve liked who also like you. For our tests, we set up three accounts, and because matches only happen when two users mutually like each other, we liked the first 30 accounts on the carousel for each account. On average we got two matches in 24 hours, with the woman seeking man account getting the most while the man seeking woman account and woman seeking woman account brought the average down. While we couldn't actually read them without paying, our accounts got an average of five messages each. These numbers are all low compared to other sites we tested like Elite Singles, which had an average of 17 matches in 24 hours.
The Dating Insights feature is unique and gives you valuable information you can use to increase the quality of your matches or even just learn a little about yourself. As you use the site to find matches, Zoosk gathers information based on your behavior, who you're interacting with and who is looking at your profile. The data is then broken down into who likes you, who you like and your dating style.
Deleting your account is easy to do, and blocking anybody who is inappropriate is also easy to do from the messaging section on the app and website. While this service is modern-looking and easy to use, the limited matches we got and lack of free messaging didn’t wow us in comparison with the other options available.