Zoosk left the gates in 2007 and hasn’t stopped running since. This dating titan has a renowned algorithm that gets more specific the more you use it.
That means the more time you spend swiping, the better picture Zoosk develops of who to recommend you.
This helping hand has caused over 40,000,000 members to sign up to date. With that whopping number of potential partners, what are you waiting for?
But… Is Zoosk Free? Well, the simple answer is yes. Zoosk is free to sign up to you and have a play around. Although, to use all of Zoosk’s features you will need to upgrade to a paid membership.
If you’re wondering what the difference between a free and premium account is, I’ll walk you through some of the key features in this article. Let’s jump right in!
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Do I Have To Pay For Zoosk?
Zoosk lets you play around with their app, but won’t give you access to the main features unless you are willing to put down some money.
So, no you don’t have to pay, but you’re probably going to have to if you want to use all the main features. Considering that replying to messages is one of those features, I’d say yes, you do actually have to pay.
But, don’t worry, Zoosk has been around a long time and knows how to make your money go a long way. Considering that the Zoosk algorithm gets better the more you use it, committing to this app will help you out in the long run. So if you want to go ahead and just try it for yourself, you can go ahead and try it for free.
Zoosk makes sure that you get lots of features if you’re paying. Also, considering most people are paying for the app, you can trust that everyone on there is just as serious as you are.
If you’re looking to find out more about how the Zoosk algorithm works, I’ve already written a full guide for you to check out. If you just want to have a browse of the profiles around you, you’ll be able to do that on Zoosk free.
By now, you’re probably wondering what features you get if you pay for Zoosk premium. I’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Let’s jump right in!
What Features Do I Get If I Pay For Zoosk?
Unlimited Winks And Messages
Zoosk has two main forms of communication: winks and messages. Messages, as you could probably guess, are simply sending texts between your profile and another. This allows you to communicate with someone you match with.
Winks, also known as smiles, are little emojis that can show you’re interested in someone. If you’re not too sure what to say but want someone to know you like their profile, you’ll be able to send a wink.
With a free version of Zoosk, you won’t be able to send messages at all. You’ll be limited to sending a few winks a day. However, if you upgrade to a premium Zoosk account, you will be able to send as many as you’d like.
This lets you make the most of your Zoosk account, messaging being pretty vital to getting to know another member.
Full Access To SmartPicks
SmartPicks is a Yes/No system for viewing profiles. Zoosk will generate profiles that they think would be a good match for you, based on the algorithm. You’ll be able to see a profile photo, then you’ll decide if you like them or not. If you both like each other, it’ll be a match, and you can start talking.
Again, this is limited to premium Zoosk accounts. If you’re only a free member, you’ll be able to reject people, but won’t be able to say yes to anyone. Which is just cruel, Zoosk.
They’re essentially dangling the carrot in front of you. Especially considering these SmartPicks have a 24-hour time limit, they really light a fire under you.
That said, SmartPicks makes the very best of the Zoosk algorithm and is well worth the extra bit of cash to unlock.
See Who’s Viewed You
With this, as the title suggests, you’ll be able to see who has viewed your Zoosk profile. Although you can do this on a free account, you won’t be able to select any of the profiles that have seen yours.
Again, Zoosk loves dangling the carrot. You can see those interested in you, but won’t be able to do anything about it unless you upgrade.
Those that keep cropping up as taking a look through your profile may be interested in you. That can be a pretty good hint for you to send them a message.
Separate Membership Options
On the carousel feature of Zoosk, you’ll be able to quickly Yes/No on a bunch of profiles, similar to how Tinder works. One feature that you’ll unlock on this page if you have a premium account is access to ‘Send Crush’ to someone.
Subscribing to this option will give you 5 ‘crushes’ each day you can send out. This will alert the other user, bringing their attention to the fact you’re interested in them.
You’ll also be able to ‘undo’ a swipe on the carrousel, meaning you can go back to a profile if you accidentally swiped wrongly on someone.
This feature isn’t included in the main Zoosk premium membership. You will have to buy this separately. You can also subscribe to more months to gain a cheaper deal.
To be totally honest, this doesn’t seem like an absolutely necessary feature. If you’re going to be spending money, I would prioritize upgrading your account to premium before anything else.
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Coins are a Zoosk form of currency that allows you to do distinct actions within the app. One of these is sending virtual ‘gifts’ to other members. This will definitely get their attention, as they don’t crop up too frequently on Zoosk.
You’ll also be able to ‘Boost’ your profile using coins. In my opinion, this is a much more useful feature of spending coins. Zoosk reports that your profile will receive, on average, 3x the views during this boost period.
If you’re going to buy coins, I would urge you to spend them on boosts, over virtual gifts. If you want to get someone’s attention, why not take a look at some hilarious openers to dating conversations.
How To Set Up A Premium Zoosk Membership
There are two main ways of setting up your Zoosk premium membership.
If you click on any feature that isn’t included in the free version, a popup will appear telling you to upgrade. From this window, you’ll be able to select the membership duration that works best for you.
Much like other dating apps that I’ve reviewed, you’ll save a little bit of money if you opt for a longer premium account duration.
On the home screen of the app, you’ll also have a golden ‘Z+’ at the top right of your screen. Clicking this will take you to the popup where you can upgrade your account.
Can You Get Matches On Zoosk Without Paying?
If you use the carousel feature on Zoosk, you’ll be able to quickly move through profiles, giving either a Yes or a No. If you ‘Yes’ a profile and they do the same to you, they will be put into your ‘connections’ tab. This is the Zoosk form of matching.
But wait, there’s a catch. While you can get matches, again you can’t actually message them. That means if you want to chat with other Zoosk members, you’ll have to sign up for a premium account.
If you’re looking to get more connections on Zoosk, dating expert Joan Brainard discusses that in a short YouTube clip.
Ultimately, Zoosk has taken and run with the carrot on a stick metaphor. You’ll be able to see and match with others, but won’t be able to really talk unless you upgrade.
Luckily for us, Zoosk makes sure your money goes a long way. They’ve been in the dating game for a while, and have plenty of premium features to catch your fancy.
The good thing is that Zoosk lets you set up your profile and look at who is around you without spending a penny, so you can dip your toe in and see if it’s for you! If you’re interested, you can sign up here.