Dating in HK: The app that’s apt for you
Photograph: Time OutDating in HK: The app that’s apt for you

Dating in HK: The app that’s apt for you

Find your perfect match this Valentine's Day

Jeff Yeung
Written by: Charo Logarta
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With strict social distancing restrictions now lifted after almost three years and Valentine's Day currently being celebrated with a bit of normalcy, there's no better time for those in Hong Kong to get back into the dating scene. One of the easiest ways to connect with new, potential love interests or partners is through dating apps. While it's always romantic to meet someone personally in a meet-cute scenario, apps are still much quicker and more convenient. If you've been holding out on them but are curious or want to give them a try, we've rounded up 10 of the most popular dating apps used by Hongkongers. We've also added pros and cons to help you decide which app fits your needs. 

Keep reading and get ready to swipe left or right. 

RECOMMENDED: Looking to spice up your sex life? Check out our list of expert-approved sex toys for couples.

10 Most popular dating apps in Hong Kong

Tinder

The dating app that started the swiping craze, Tinder, is the most popular dating app not only in Hong Kong but across the globe, with 75 million people in 197 countries registered with the service.

Pros – Its massive user base allows you to cast a wide net over the dating pool practically anywhere in the world. It’s great for hook-ups, flings, or casual dates.

Cons – The high number of users might become overwhelming, making it hard to find potential matches, much less find the right one. Plus, converting a match into a date could take some time. Some users have also reported scams and bots.

Bumble

Made by a woman for women, Bumble takes the pressure off guys to message first, sparing ladies those awkward or sometimes downright sleazy opening lines. Women have to make the first move, message the guy, and get the conversation started.

Pros – Bumble is perfect for women who want to get to know potential matches before meeting face-to-face and for guys who are comfortable and attracted to empowered, independent women.

Cons – Speed is of the essence since contact must be made within 24 hours – not ideal for busy women. Plus, chats expire after seven days, which means you either pay to extend it, exchange phone numbers before then, or just go on a physical date.

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Coffee Meets Bagel

Taking pride in its algorithmic matching, Coffee Meets Bagel makes scrolling and swiping easier by curating matches based on users’ profiles, preferences, and interests.

Pros – Perfect for busy individuals who want to see pre-selected potential dates. It’s great for guys that the percentage of women on CMB is generally higher. Prompts on the app also offer a cheat sheet on how to start conversations. 

Cons – CMB has a cap on matches per day, and their user base is also rather limited. CMB’s founders are mum on their user base, but estimates put the number of active users between 15 to 30 million, mostly in megacities like Hong Kong and Sydney.

Hinge

Hinge likewise boasts of its algorithm, which focuses on quality and not quantity. Users fill out a detailed profile with three prompts to ensure the best possible matches.

Pros – Hinge is great for people who are looking for a more serious relationship. It shows you who has liked your profile, with prompts and built-in icebreakers to help start conversations. 

Cons – The app is not available to download in Hong Kong, but it is widely used in the city by people who were able to download the app abroad. Hinge limits each user to only eight likes per day, and you’ll have to pay to upgrade your account if you want to like more people.

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Grindr

Developed primarily for the LGBTQA+ community, Grindr is the most popular dating app for gay guys. Browsing through profiles is a visual treat on its own.

Pros – Great for gay guys looking for hook-ups or casual dates. As the world’s biggest LGBTQA+ dating app, Grindr is a good place to start searching for ‘tribes’ and meeting other like-minded users in the area.

Cons – If it’s romance or a serious relationship you’re looking for, Grindr might not be the app for you as most users tend to be seeking something more casual.

OkCupid

Arguably the most engaging dating app for singles, OKCupid asks users to answer as many questions as possible to boost their chances of finding the best matches. 

Pros – With 22 sexual orientations, 13 gender identities, and non-monogamy options, it’s easier to find someone that also wants the kind of relationship you have in mind. It’s also great for busy people who enjoy a healthy dose of online flirting.

Cons – Because of its updated policies, you can only message users if they like you back. There are also reports of several fake profiles.

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eHarmony

Launched in 2000, eHarmony was one of the first algorithm-based dating sites. Today it has over 66 million users worldwide and people use the app to match with potential dates based on their compatibility. It is meant for those who want to get serious and settle-down.

Pros – Using a patented compatibility matching system that features 80 questions, eHarmony allows you to learn more about your matches before going on that first date. There’s an equal split between male and female users – many of whom are very active. Plus, eHarmony polices accounts to verify that users are real.

Cons – There’s a lengthy sign-up process and limited browsing outside of the daily matches (meaning you must check the site frequently). The free trial features are limited and it’s more expensive versus other dating sites to unlock full features.

Feeld

Originally called 3nder (Thrinder) before their Tinder lawsuit, Feeld is where swiping meets swinging. Users can indulge in polyamory and anything else beyond vanilla dating.

Pros – It’s a great place for both singles and couples to explore their sexuality and kinks in an open and safe platform. Feeld is also highly inclusive and open to all sorts of orientations and preferences.

Cons – The app has a limited user base even in larger cities like Hong Kong. There is no web version, and Feeld requires you to link to a Facebook account for verification.

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Pure

Launched in 2014, Pure is for those who want no-strings-attached hook-ups right here, right now.

Pros – It’s great for people on the go who want immediate casual sex. If two users want the same thing and are in the same area, there’s no need to beat around the bush or chat to get it on. Profiles completely disappear from your matches after 24 hours to ensure anonymity.

Cons – With profiles disappearing after 24 hours and a one-hour time limit, hooking up with someone can become a game of chance (and luck). While women can use Pure for free, guys only get three free trial days. You also need to provide credit card information before you can use the app.

Happn

Happn uses technology to create real meet-cutes. It’s the app for those who consider themselves hopeless romantics and still believe in love at first sight and chance encounters. 

Pros – Happn matches people who are in the same general vicinity, so meeting someone feels more organic. Since you need a Facebook profile to create an account, it’s harder for scammers and posers to create fake profiles.

Cons – Proximity doesn’t always mean compatibility, and with a limited user base even in Hong Kong, the chances of meeting someone could be relatively lower than on other dating apps.

Ready to get back in the dating game? Take a leap of faith and try out these dating apps this year to see if you’ll find your perfect match. While their algorithms play a big part in your chances of success, a stroke of serendipity might be all you need to find ‘the one’.

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