Friends, I’ve recently been getting into dating again.
What can I say? TitaniumSheBears are hard to find.
One of the things I’ve been trying is the dating App ‘Zoosk’ (which is also available on Facebook).
It’s listed as a free app and it’s rated 4.5 stars on the app store.
What did I have to lose?
Well, quite a bit it turns out.
Because Zoosk is a scam.
Here’s how it works.
The short version is this: they say it’s free but it actually isn’t. If you search for it in the app store it is listed as a “Free” app, but anything you do using it, that might conceivably lead to a date, will cost money.
The long version is actually a tad more interesting and complicated, so stick with me.
Anyway, yeah it’s a scam because there is no way to interact with other users unless you spend real cash-money.
And given that contacting other hoomans is the entire point of the exercise I can say in total honesty that it’s a scam, because it’s listed as being free, but it isn’t.
To be more precise once you have the app you can see other single people, photos that they upload, their rough location, what their interests are, and so on.
You can even “message” them. But all the message contains is the following phrase:
That’s it. All it does is call their attention to the fact that you’d like to talk to them but can’t.
And if you want to actually interact with them without spending real money tough luck sister, there’s no way to do that.
Now, the app makers may claim that this isn’t true because you can earn in-game currency to buy things, so you never have to spend real money.
But this is also a lie.
You earn in-game currency by playing ‘Carousel’, a game that is similar to Tinder where pictures of other members are shown to you. You give them the thumbs up or thumbs down, and you get ‘coins’ for playing the game.
And here is where the scam part comes in. You only get coins for saying “yes, I would like to speak to this person”.
I played the game for three days and got 6 coins.
Like I said; TitaniumSheBears = not common.
And your coin purchases start at about 10 coins, and only get more expensive.
So this creates a situation where members are encouraged to say “yes” all the time.
This in turns allows Zoosk to message all those members and say “Hey! There are like hundreds of people who like you! We’ll show you who they are!
If you pay us some real cash money…”
It creates a huge incentive for players to lie, which then allows Zoosk to lie about how many people there are who want to chat to you.
In fact the payouts for playing Carousel are restricted to 40 coins a day, so even if you spammed ‘likes’ I doubt you’d ever earn enough money to make any meaningful use of the app.
Unless of course you decide to buy in-game coins for real-world cash money…
And then it gets even worse.
Based on your ‘likes’ the program spams you with ‘Smartpicks’ of people it thinks you will like, and who will like you.
But even if you’ve paid your monthly subscription, as I did, and even if you ‘like’ them and they ‘like’ you back Zoosk still won’t let you talk to each other.
Unless you pay them more in-game currency…
And then it gets still worse.
The phone app also gives you popups to rate the service.
Nothing wrong there really, lots of apps do that.
Except Zoosk’s popups only have two options:
1. Provide feedback.
2. Give the app a 5 star rating out of 5.
They are trying to make 5 star ratings automatic.
This is why the app is currently rated so highly on the app store. As computer users we have been conditioned to just click “accept” without reading what we’re clicking on, and they are shamelessly exploiting that fact.
As far as I can tell from my experience with it this is the only reason why Zoosk has 4.5 stars on the store.
And what’s worse still is that most of the profiles you see are either for people who can’t message you back even if you message them, because they’re trying to use the app for free (like the app makers claim you can) or they are profiles that were made by people and then abandoned in disgust when they realised how the app was trying to screw them.
And Zoosk emails you constantly with “new matches” but it’s always the same frikking people, it just keeps the app in your mind and keeps your false hopes up.
So yeah. Zoosk is a scam.
And you should stay the hell away from it.
OKCupid is much better, because it actually is free.
[Standard Disclaimer: this post was entirely my own opinion and was not paid for in any way, directly or otherwise, by anyone or anything that stands to gain in any way from the ideas expressed herein.]