Whether you’re a young adult looking for friendship or love, or you’re a parent searching for answers before greenlighting your child’s use of a social app, it can be challenging to know which are the best teen dating apps to use.
To sate your burning curiosity, we’ve assembled a helpful list to guide you through all of the rigmarole that is inherent in decoding online dating sites and apps in general.
A location-based dating app where the ladies make the first move, Bumble has gained in popularity among guys who’d rather be approached than do the approaching. Once you both swipe right, you’re off and running.
Designed with an outlook toward safety and female empowerment, Bumble.com is a big hit among both sexes, as demonstrated by the more than 22 million singles in its userbase. It allows females to feel more in control and males the relief of avoiding the sting of rejection.
The app was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd after her departure from Tinder, which she co-founded in 2012. She has since described Bumble as a “feminist dating app” for modern-day singles.
To add even more girl power, Bumble has partnered with a California lawmaker in an attempt to outlaw the transmission of unsolicited nude photos in texts or online, as females are frequently the target of unwanted nude pix.
Since its release in December 2014, the company has rolled out two other cool apps. One is a networking app called Bumble Bizz created with career opportunities in mind. The other, designed for finding new friends, is Bumble BFF, which connects people who want to widen their social circles.
To join Bumble, you must be 17 or older. Users create an account using either their Facebook log-in, their Apple ID, or their phone number. Once the registration and set-up process with up to six pictures has been completed, members can link their profiles to their Instagram and Spotify accounts.
Bumble is free to use. Searches are predominantly limited to age, gender, and location. Unpaid memberships entitle users to two additional search filters beyond those three basics.
But there are optional premium features to enhance the user experience, like Bumble Boost and Bumble Coins. Bumble Boost lets users see who’s already swiped right on their profile, the ability to rematch with expired connections, and the option to extend matches for another 24 hours. Bumble Coins provide the chance to send “Super Swipes” for bolder first
impressions and to activate Spotlight for maximizing their profile views.
Here’s what else you can expect with a paid subscription:
- The ability to verify your profile
- Video chat
- Backtracking on accidental left swipes
- Browse all user profiles
- Beeline, a list of users who have liked the subscriber
- Busy Bee for unlimited 24-hour match extensions
- Rematch allows users to reconnect with past matches for an additional 24 hours
Pros & Cons
- Free app for Android and iOS devices
- Web-version for laptop and desktop users
- Not limited to heterosexual encounters
- Ability to extend matches for 24 hours
- Same-sex matches can initiate conversations on either end
- Ability to Backtrack on mis-swipes
- Photo moderation nixing bathroom selfies
- Sign up using Facebook or Apple ID
- Guys cannot initiate conversations with girls
- All app features not yet available on Web version
- Matches expire in 24 hours
- Only 3 Backtracks in a session
- Persistent push notifications
- Basic membership: Free
- 1 week: $8.99/wk
- 1 month: $24.99/mo
- 3 months: $16.66/mo
- 6 months: $13.33/mo
Another dating app with the goal of connecting people in person, rather than spending all their time performing searches, Hinge recognizes not everybody is into swiping.
Designed to be used with Facebook, Hinge.com was founded in 2012 but has undergone two makeovers since its initial release. Acquired by the Match Group (think Match.com) at the beginning of 2019, the service underwent further changes concerning its mission.
Now, rather than spending time performing searches based solely on appearance, the platform has been redesigned for finding lasting relationships with depth and merit.
The bottom line is that the creators really want you to get out there and meet someone in person.
The app’s matching process focuses on common connections that you and potential partners already share on social media. Users are also asked questions regarding interests to help create better pairings, which is a boon for members seeking serious commitments.
Sign-up and account creation is relatively simple but thorough, so it can take a little longer than with other apps. You must be 17 or older to join.
Free memberships entitle users to access search filters for gender, location, age, distance, ethnicity, and religion from the same userbase as Preferred members. Additionally, Preferred memberships include the following:
- Advanced filters for height, kids, politics, drinking/smoking, etc.
- Unlimited number of likes
- Option to see everyone who’s liked you in one organized view
- Ability to undo accidental skips on likes
- Multiple messaging options
- “Your Turn” to remind users when it’s their turn to respond in a conversation
- Blocking/removing someone from your matches
- Hiding matches
- “We Met” for updating Hinge on dating results and providing feedback
- “Share” allows users to send a Hinge profile to someone else via text
Pros and Cons
- App for Android and iOS devices
- Users can start accounts with just a phone number
- Designed to be deleted once you’re done with it
- Subscriptions automatically renew unless auto-renew is deactivated
- Users must upload a minimum of 6 pictures
- Sign-up process is longer than most
- Basic membership: Free
- 1 month: $12.99/mo
- 3 months: $6.99/mo
- 6 months: $4.99/mo
3. Taffy – Meet, Chat, and Date
An innovative dating app that attempts to put personality on an equal footing with physical attraction, Taffy is also an excellent opportunity to see how open-minded you are — or just how shallow. It’s all about chat first, looks later, and it’s a fantastic idea. Are you up for the challenge?
With most, if not all, dating apps users are making snap judgments about each other based on little more than profile pix as far as whether or not someone is stable.
It’s a sad commentary on how superficial society is, but that’s just how we humans roll. According to founder John Schenk, Taffy wants to challenge that by allowing people to discover one another on a deeper level before the visual reveal.
How it works is this: Initially, everyone’s profile is out of focus, so you have no idea whether they’re hot or not. However, the more you chat with someone, the clearer their profile picture becomes.
By the time the image has been completely revealed — it takes roughly 10 messages back and forth for the moment of truth to arrive — you’ve likely got a pretty decent idea of your commonalities and how well the two of you connect.
At that point, you may be more apt to pursue the connection rather than blow them off because they don’t fit your preconceived notion of beauty or aesthetics. It’s actually very much like early electronic romances in a “You’ve Got Mail” sort of way, providing a great option to its competitors.
It’s also about forming friendships and networking. One user used this analogy to describe it: Think LinkedIn meets Match only more social.
Mashable and Refinery29 have given it their thumbs up, referring to it as “refreshing.” For a newer app, it’s received massive praise for its originality from reviewers and users alike and could end up being one of the best teen dating apps ever, given time.
On September 29, a 2.0 update arrived that included an Android version and new features. Due to its revolutionary concept, it’s been listed as one of the best 24 apps of 2019. Rated as Mature, users must be 17 and up to download and use it.
New users start by posting in categories, like Chat, Love, Friends, Advice, or Whatever. This allows them to choose the form of interaction they’re looking for. Searches are performed by interests, location, age, etc. Profiles are not a thing of significant importance to this app. It’s more about putting yourself out there with interesting posts and intriguing captions.
- Taffy 2.0 allows users to share selfies during real-time chat
- Six different relationship categories to choose from
- App provides fun ice breakers to get the conversation rolling
- Push notifications serve as reminders
- Members browse posts by category
- Matches presented in either a list or column format for easy viewing
- Ability to download via link versus Google Play or App Store
- Up to six people (friends/family members) can share use of the app
Pros & Cons
- App available for Android and iOS devices
- Pleasant interface with a user-friendly design
- Refreshing alternative to swipe-dominated dating
- Provides mystery and a game mechanic for a fun approach
- Supports family sharing with up to six devices
- Encourages users to be pragmatic
- No lengthy personality tests or quizzes
- Contains ads
- Some people miss the point and whine about wanting clear pix from the get-go
- Due to its relative newness, the userbase is still relatively small but growing daily
The app is free to download and use through Google Play and The App Store.
Originally about socializing and networking, Tinder continues to make strides towards becoming as much about dating and serious relationships as compared to the hookups it became better known for.
As a social app, Tinder has come a long way. As a result, more and more success stories regarding friendship and commitment are being shared by those who have met on it.
Considering its wide gender gap, females may want to give it a try for its 76.9 percent male to 23.1 percent female ratio. Regardless of sexual orientation, be aware that you should clearly state your purpose for using the app when filling out your profile.
That’s because a lot of people still use it for casual dating on weekends and when they’re out of town for work or on vacation. This could save you a lot of hassle from partiers on the prowl and younger users from being exposed to unsavory advances.
As far as approach, it’s more of a DIY effort on the part of users rather than an algorithm matchmaking method, but it works. Users must be 17 or older to use the app, but you really should be a mature 17, which few male teens are. That’s not to let girls off the hook, either.
Basic members can create profiles which can be built from Facebook, Instagram, or scratch,
optional bios that help paint a clearer picture of users and their goals, the ability to share their favorite artists on Spotify, and the ability to hide their age and control who sees them.
With Tinder Plus members receive the following:
- Unlimited Likes
- Rewind your last swipe
- 5 Super Likes a day
- 1 Boost a month
- Passport to swipe around the world
- Zero ads
Tinder Gold members can access all of the same features that Plus offers, as well as the ability to see who likes them before they swipe and the inclusion of new Top Picks every day as add-ons.
Pros & Cons
- App available for Android and iOS devices
- Tinder Places is opt-in, not opt-out
- Several features and upgrades have been designed by women with safety in mind
- Tinder’s primary revenue is subscription-based, so ads aren’t as overwhelming
- Because members can hide their age, there’s a lot of room for inappropriate or misleading interaction
- Add-ons can mount up quickly
- Basic membership: Free
- 1 month: $9.99
- 6 months – $5.83/month
- 12 months – $4.58/month
Formerly known as Yellow, Yubo is a bit like a mashup of Tinder and Snapchat due to the ability to swipe right on profiles and chat via live video. It’s considered one of the best teen dating apps for the younger set, though.
Described by the developers as “a social app to meet new friends and have fun with them,” this application initially began with the lowest of all age requirements with a 12-and-up user guideline in place.
It eventually rose the bar to age 13 with parental permission. Otherwise, it’s 17+. Whichever way you cut it, it’s gained the reputation as “Tinder for Teens.”
In any event, the app’s designers have added numerous safety features with young adults in mind, such as cell phone verification to keep fake profiles and predators from littering the platform.
To further protect them, teenage users have their own community separate from older members using the app.
With younger users, parents of adolescents should monitor their child’s usage, and older teens should be diligent in ascertaining other users’ ages before getting involved with them.
Other than that, Yubo has received a lot of positive interest from the public, it scores well with Google Play and App Store users, and it keeps things light and social. As of January 2019, Yubo had more than 20 million users worldwide.
Incredibly streamlined, Yubo doesn’t have nearly the level of distracting elements that many social sites and dating apps currently maintain. That’s because its core feature is live-streaming. Due to this, the user experience is swifter and easier to execute. It pairs users with friends of similar ages, which is determined by profile info.
- Private chats
- Users can create an emoji bio using five emojis that best describe them
- Upon registration, the app presents users with a teen safety guide
- Ability to send and receive pictures and Bitmoji stickers
- As many as 10 people can go live at a time in a session room
- Public livestreams can be viewed by all
Pros & Cons
- Free app available for Android and iOS devices
- Profile verification steps in place through Yoti age-estimation technology
- Livestream gives it a trendier edge
- Commended for its continued safety efforts
- Geared toward budding love and friendship, it’s said some teens use it for hookups
- Android version lacks a few features
- No apparent age cutoff or ceiling
- Auto-renewal must be manually turned off
Free with the exception of Power Pack subscriptions for add-ons.
Best Teen Dating Apps Tips
- You may not be aware, but one of the biggest turn-offs among daters — particularly females — is sloppy messaging. If you can’t take the time to fix your typos, check your spelling, and ensure your grammar is up to par, you might find yourself getting blown off a lot.
- Teens lack the dating and life experiences that older individuals have acquired, so it imperative that they follow safety precautions, just like adults. All dating sites and apps have a section that covers that, but Meetopolis has covered the topic, too.
- If you’re a parent concerned about your kids’ online activities, you should investigate sources such as Protect Young Eyes, WebWatcher, Common Sense Media, and others for all the dirt on dating and social networking sites. Regardless of how innocent a product or service is intended, there’s always the potential for abuse.
Stay vigilant, friends!
*All prices listed for these best teen dating apps were current as of November 2019 and are subject to change.