Overview from Zoosk
"Upheld by strong word of mouth, Zoosk has registered tens of millions of users (aka Zooskers) from more than 80 countries and is available in more than 25 languages."
How Zoosk Works
You may come to Zoosk by a cell phone app, Facebook or their website, but all options offer quick, easy and free signups to singles around the world. As soon as you've filled out the form (it took me 15 seconds to fill it out), a popup welcomes you to the site, and asks if you'd like to download the proprietary Zoosk chat program, where you can chat with "Zooskers" around the world. If you say no, you'll then be asked to flesh out your profile slightly - most members have nothing listed but their age, general location, profile name and a picture - and then you'll be shown someone else's profile nearby. You can change what you're "searching for" with a click, but be aware that Zoosk will revert back to whatever they've deemed appropriate for you each time you log in. So, for me, this was a search radius of 80 kilometers and men five years younger than me and ten years older than me. If you'd rather see a larger list of folks rather than one profile at a time, just click on the button that looks like a chess board, and your view will instantly change.
There isn't much more to Zoosk, and that's likely why it's so popular. You don't have to fill out any profile details other than the bare basics, and really, your picture is what really counts here. After signing up you'll get a daily "mutual match" in your email, showing you someone else's profile, and allowing you to state yes or no to being interested. If you say yes, and it's mutual, you'll get a note (but won't know who it is specifically until you pay), and if it's no, you'll hear nothing. After you answer yes or no, Zoosk may ask you a dating-related question to further determine what you're after. For me, this was "Would you date someone four years younger than you?"
Access to the site comes through two means: coins, which you can pay for or earn by logging in and doing a variety of things, or by becoming a subscriber. I'll discuss membership fees shortly, so for now, let's focus on the coins. Zoosk coins offer a few ways of amping up your profile to get more attention, such as a "Boost" where your profile moves to the top of the search results, buying virtual gifts to send to other members, or finding out if and when someone has read your profile or email. "Liking" Zoosk on Facebook or installing Zoosk's cell phone app get you coins, as do daily raffles for logging in and filling out partner offers such as memberships with NetFlix. Or, you can buy Zoosk coins via PayPal, a bank transfer or your cell phone starting at $5 for 50 coins.
Unique Features of Zoosk
In addition to the features mentioned above, Zoosk also connects to Facebook and several email programs, working similarly to a social networking site by "finding" your friends. Once you've friended people, you can then chat with them using Zoosk's in-house program, which you have to download onto your computer or mobile phone. Contact anyone other than a wink costs money, but you can reply using a drop-down list of options should you want to show interest beyond just a "wink wink".
Zoosk Membership Fees
A one month membership with Zoosk costs $29.95 USD, and directly from their payment page, "If you do not cancel your subscription prior to the end of its term, it will automatically renew." A three month subscription costs $19.98 USD a month, billed in one lump sum of $59.95. A six month membership costs $12.49 USD a month, billed all at once for $74.95. Payment is accepted by credit card, check money transfer or PayPal.
To cancel a subscription, you must log into Zoosk, go to the "Settings" tab, and then "Subscription". Pro-rated amounts are not refunded, and all this does is cancel future automatic billing.
The Bottom Line
Zoosk is a fun dating site that focuses on social networking, and not so much on compatibility or relationships. Most of the profiles I encountered mentioned some sort of casual dating interaction, and that made sense to me considering how the site is set up. Not that Zoosk is seedy or presents itself as an adult dating site; more that it doesn't take itself seriously, and therefore neither do their paying members. Having said that, I've yet to communicate with anyone off of Zoosk beyond a wink, and didn't like that their search feature automatically reverted back to what the site thought I should review. It's a solid site with one of the fastest growing and largest membership bases in the world however, so it's definitely worth a look if you're willing to shell out some cash for a membership.
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