We’ve all been raised with the maxim, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” tucked snugly into the back of our minds. Should we get a pamphlet in the mail saying we won a free trip to Venice; too good to be true. A yogurt that is non-fat that’ll make you lose weight; too good to be true.
Yet when it comes to dating apps this hasn’t been the case. The most popular dating apps in the USA –Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid– are all free. Each app gives users the option to purchase certain add-ons but the basic features of the application are 100% free. With that said, this isn’t the case for all dating sites or apps.
Elite Singles is a dating application that, as advertised, targets a certain type of user. On its website, it boasts that Elite Singles “Is only for those who want a serious relationship. Over 90% of our members are 30+ and over 80% have a university degree.” Elite Singles pitches itself as a far cry from the much maligned “hookup apps” like Tinder and Badoo. While the application/website prides itself on its ability to create lasting relationships, it isn’t being completely upfront about its free capabilities. In this article we address what everyone wants to know – is Elite Singles free?
While the asiame-quizzen pretentious app claims to be free, their definition of the word might be a little different than yours. To investigate what perks are granted to users with a free membership, we decided to create an account and conduct a little investigation of our own.
While researching the application, we stumbled upon an article published on the Elite Singles website that juxtaposes the capabilities of free and premium memberships.
On the top of page you see the Elite Singles logo with the words “Free Dating” beneath it. While the claim here is vague, anyone with mild dating application experience will infer that the application is free. As we’ll soon find out, it is…. to a certain degree.
Below you’ll find a segment of the Elite Singles free vs. premium membership page. The paragraph talks about the in-depth personality test that users are required to take before making claims about the capabilities that accompany the free membership. It’s here that we find the first claim that needs debunking. As the paragraph clearly states, “When you join our site, you’ll also be able to create a profile, see matches…” Well we’ve created a profile and can say from firsthand experience that we’re not able to see photos of matches. To be fair, pictures can be seen, just not very well. With a free membership, users are only granted access to blurred photos of matches. You know when people in vulnerable positions are being interviewed in documentaries and their faces are blurred so as not to compromise their identity? That’s exactly what matches look like.
Though perhaps we’re misreading the fine print. We’re promised the ability to “see matches” and nothing more. With a free membership users are granted access to a match’s personal description along with partial questions and answers from their personality test. But let’s be serious, even though users might be deeper than the average Tinder user, they still place great importance on the appearance of another user. With only a blurred photo and a nondescript profile blurb to go off of, should two people with free memberships ever meet up, their encounter will be akin to a blind date.
The 15+ minute personality test that Elite Singles demands first-time users to fill out is a perfect example of the foot-in-the-door theory. This tactic is used by first soliciting a minor action before attempting to get someone to agree to a major request such as paying for an online dating membership.