Having reviewed many dating apps, I can confidently say that some are better than others. POF definitively falls into the category of better dating sites. However, it may take you a while to get used to this dating service as it's feature heavy. So, let's look at these different features and how you can make the most of using POF.
POF at a glance
POF is an online dating site and app for people looking for anything from casual dating to long-term relationships. That said, it's definitively geared more towards people looking to find love. Their matchmaking algorithm is a lot more complicated than Tinder’s, for example.
To use POF, you have to fill in a fair amount of details about yourself, which tends to keep the less serious people away. And still, POF has over 90 million members, with over 3.5 million sign-ins daily, according to DatingScout.
There are more men than women using the site, and most members are in the 25-44 age bracket, but there are plenty of members in ALL age brackets.
POF offers free online dating—the premium membership costs, but you don't need to upgrade to be able to use the site. In addition, you can message other members as a free member, which is more than you can do on most sites.
As the site is free to use, you have nothing to lose, apart from the fifteen minutes it takes to sign up! Getting used to all the features takes a bit of time, but the site has so many members that it's worth checking out. Plus, the profiles are more detailed than many sites, and various ways to interact with members make POF well worth joining.
POF is feature heavy. Here are some of the main features:
- Create a detailed profile with up to 16 photos
- Take various personality tests to get better matches—they use something called a Chemistry Predictor
- UltraMatch—shows your top matches
- Top Prospects—shows everyone you’ve interacted with on POF in the past 30 days and predicts which ones are your top prospects
- Nearby—shows nearby members
- Live streaming
- A question game twice a week that can help you find matches in a fun way—it’s called C’ued Up
- Forums where you can post about various topics
- Free membership to Shine—the wellness app to help improve your wellness while dating
- Meet Me—you swipe right and left on people based on their profile picture, but it’s only members that have said they’re game for a meetup
- In Meet Me, you also find Today's Catch—you can use tokens to buy yourself a place as Today's Catch, basically meaning your profile gets highlighted
- Direct messages and voice notes
- Priority Messages—as a premium member, you can send a message that ends up on top of someone’s inbox
In short, POF is brilliant where features are concerned—both for their innovative ways of matching people and the various ways you can talk to members. You won't suffer from swipe fatigue here.
At first, the features might seem a bit overwhelming, especially on the desktop version. Take your time. Get to know the platform. Have fun.
Oh, and there are some things you can only do on the desktop version, so do log in there, too.
Signing up is easy on the app, as it walks you through all the questions you have to answer. They also prompt you to give your phone number so they can verify you.
The only thing you need plenty of when signing up is time. The Plenty of Fish dating style is intricate. This means you are matched based on more than the members you interact with, how well-liked you are, and how near you are to someone. That also means you must answer a lot of questions when signing up.
And it doesn't stop there. To use the Chemistry Predictor, you must answer even more questions. Thankfully, you don't have to do all the personality tests in one go or at all if you don't want to. For example, you might prefer meeting members through a game of Cue’d Up that lets you answer some fun questions twice a week and rate members based on their answers.
It’s time-consuming if you decide to take all the different personality tests for the Chemistry Predictor.
The thing is, if you put in the time, it pays off. People will get to see more of who you are. And it's more fun to browse profiles when you have something more than someone's pictures, interests, and location to go on.
Not only is it interesting to browse profiles, but the detailed profiles also give you something to write about when messaging people.
Similar dating sites, where you take personality tests, include eHarmony and Elite Singles, though POF is much more lively. It feels fresher.
As a free member, you can browse other members and partake in most of the activities on the site. You can even do the personality test and get appropriately matched. However, you won't be able to see extended profiles as a basic member. You can also only upload eight profile photos, whereas premium members can upload 16. In addition, your profile won't be topping the results in searches by other members, nor can you send "super yeses," like super likes or priority messages.
In short, if you want to see complete profiles, send super yeses, upload more photos, and show up at the top of searches and inboxes, you either have to get a premium membership or buy tokens that allow you to boost your profile for a short while.
As of February 2023, a premium membership starts at £9.99.
You only need to verify your phone number when signing up. That keeps bots out, but not necessarily scammers and people creating fake profiles. Don’t be alarmed, though—POF has another way of verifying their members.
You have to go to Manage Account and click on verify, and then off you go—POF will record a selfie video of you then and there and compare it to your pics. This prevents fake profiles - unless someone uses a friend to pose for them! However, it doesn't check someone's ID.
You can use Garbo to check out your matches in the US, and POF talks about this on their blog. Garbo is an online background check that allows you to see if someone has had previous convictions and so forth. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for them to launch their UK version.
The Match Group owns POF. They own some of the world's best dating sites, including Match.com and are generally very well-regarded.
If you like, you can only interact with people who have had their photos verified.
In addition to this, it’s important to remember the following if staying safe:
- Never hand out your credit card or banking details, including leaving your handbag with someone when on a date
- Only hand out your home or work address after you get to know someone properly in real life - give it at least three dates
- When you meet someone for the first couple of times, ensure you meet in public and that someone knows where you've gone off to
- If your social media accounts or phone number will give away where you live or work, wait to share them
- Meet or at least do a video call as soon as possible to see that the person you’ve matched with looks like their photos
- Never give someone money if you've only ever spoken to them online -chances are it's a scam
Remember that with social media, if you have an account that can't be traced to where you are, it can be good to swap details as you'll get to know them through a different forum. However, don't swap social accounts if yours gives away too much.
Their live-streaming service is connected not just to POF.com but to Badoo, Zoosk, OkCupid, and several other platforms, as MeetMe and Skout run the service. This is a plus in that you meet more people and potentially a minus in that your profile appears in more places. You can turn the Live function on and off, however, so you don't have to use it.
Downsides (and some pluses, too)
At first, POF can be overwhelming. It's a dating platform with many features, which, by the end of the day, is in its favour, but you won't necessarily know how to use them all at first glance. So take your time to get to know the site.
The mobile app is easier to use than the website, as the website can be a tad overwhelming when navigating it. So do get the app if you can. It’s available on both Android and iOS.
When signing up, you have to answer specific questions. In theory, this is great—it helps them match you with the right members. However, it also means they know your income bracket and postcode. So it gets a tad personal.
There have been rumours about fake profiles, but you need to give your phone number to verify. Meaning you won’t find any bots on the site.
In addition to this, the sign-up process is detailed, so time wasters are less likely to sign up to a platform like this than Tinder. Also, they do scan messages to ensure there are no "dick picks" or pornographic pictures and scammers. In fact, they have a hilarious gallery dedicated to their anti-dick pics policy.
POF is one of the world’s most popular dating apps. Whether you're an 18-year-old or a 70-year-old, you’re bound to find the design and execution charming.
In addition, POF asks you to take a pledge when signing up, where you promise to act responsibly. That’s more than you can say for many dating sites. They’ve also banned face filters for photos and have a strict no dick pics policy. They’re fighting for decency in the online dating world.
The fun thing about POF is that you can take personality tests and play games to get to know potential dates better. So you can have a lot of fun with the site.