Whether it’s you, your friends, your unmarried auntie – it seems like everyone is going online to search for their soulmate nowadays. According to a 2022 survey on dating apps conducted by Rakuten Insight, approximately 42 percent of respondents in Malaysia between ages 25 and 34 stated that they had used mobile dating apps. That explains why more and more dating apps have been coming onto the scene, promising either so-called ‘perfect matches’ or ‘hook-ups’ for users.
So now, not only do you have to sift through dozens of potential matches, you also have to choose which dating apps to use. To save you some trouble, I’ve ranked the top 5 dating apps in Malaysia, namely: Bumble, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, and Tantan based on the quality of matches and conversations, and my overall experience on the app:
One of the most popular dating apps on the market, Bumble encourages women to make the first move. It’s super user friendly, and you’re almost guaranteed to get at least one meaningful conversation out of it (for women, at least). The only downside is, if you’re a woman, and you’re not comfortable with making the first move, it can take you a bit of time to get used to it, since you have to send the first message within 24 hours of matching. So it does put some pressure on the woman to open up the conversation. As for the guys, depending on how put-together your profile is, it may take some time for you to actually get a decent match. But wouldn’t you rather talk to someone who actually has an interest in talking to you? That said, Bumble also offers a BFF function for users who are just looking to make new friends, so it’s not just for romantic relationships.
In my opinion, Bumble is for those looking for serious relationships or casual dating. The matches in general are quite decent, as I did get some meaningful conversations out of it. The only downside of this app is that it would automatically clear out matches if there’s no communication after 24 hours, or if they don’t respond to your text, which can be a bummer since not everyone uses this app every day, so you may miss out on some potentially good matches. The app functions perfectly fine even with the free version, so users don’t have to pay for the premium version to get the service they want.
Compared to the other dating apps, OkCupid offers the most comprehensive filters to get you the best matches. It works via a powerful algorithm that takes your age, location, gender (22 genders offered!), orientation (12 orientations offered!), romantic interests, deal breakers, and profile prompt responses into account before matching you with another person. After you’ve completed your profile, it would show you your match % score with someone (how well you match with the other person). If your Match % score is higher with someone, it’s likely that the two of you are more aligned when it comes to important issues, like religion, politics, etc.
Like the other apps on this list, OkCupid gives you the option to swipe on potential matches, but puts more emphasis on personality. And you don’t have to worry about not getting any matches, because the app has a massive user base with a wide variety of people. In most cases, you’ll get around 50-100 likes after having your profile up for a day. Downside? There are way more fake profiles on there compared to Bumble or Tinder, so just pay extra attention to the profiles before you swipe right, K?
If you’re looking to meet people for casual dates or hookups, the answer is Tinder, no doubt. But if you’re looking for a serious relationship, the potential is there, just not a lot. Similar to Bumble, Tinder offers several filters to help you get better matches and ‘show off’ your personality, such as the text and photo prompts like “Two truths and a lie”, “Why hasn’t someone invented…”, “Best travel story…”, and so on. Overall, the app functions well without a premium. The only downside would be that the majority of users on the app are looking for ‘something casual’, which is basically a gateway to an endless stream of situationships, not great if you’re looking for something serious.
Despite its reputation for being a ‘hookup app’, personally, I’d have to vouch for Tinder, since I’ve actually had quite a few pleasant dates thanks to it. I’d say 1 out of 10 people are looking to date seriously on this app, but that could just be my experience. If you’re just looking for something casual, it’s definitely worth trying out.
Coffee Meets Bagel 5/10
Let’s just say when I downloaded this app I spent 90% of the time creating my profile, and only 10% of the time swiping for matches, not because all them were bad, but because there were only a handful of them to begin with. Yes, this app only allows you a limited amount of “Bagels” each day. The women will receive 6 ‘curated matches’ each day, while men can receive up to 21 potential matches. This isn’t an app for singles who are interested in a hookup or a casual encounter, and most of the users are here to find a serious relationship or even a spouse. Also, Coffee Meets Bagel has a limited timeframe for communication, and you get 8 days to make contact with a match – after that period, the contact option would expire.
For me, the biggest turn-off of the app is its small user base – there’s just not a lot of people on this app. Since Coffee Meets Bagel shows matches that are closer in proximity, it’s better if you’re in a major city. But the farther away you are from the city, the lower your chances are of finding a local match on the app. The app itself can be buggy at times, with messages not going through and lack of notifications from new messages.
No offence to people who love to use Tantan… but it’s just not a great app in general. The app itself is buggy, and it doesn’t have a lot of filters, and the only information that is revealed on your profile is your picture, your age, your distance, and your astrological sign (which, contrary to popular belief, does NOT determine whether the other person would be a good match for you). While you can write down some information about yourself in the ‘About Me’ section, many users don’t go much into detail.
The majority of users on the app are either Chinese or Chinese speakers, and the app doesn’t provide in-app chat translation, which really narrows down your pool of matches. In terms of fake profiles, TanTan does have a fair share of them, but the app notifies you if you’ve matched with a possibly fake profile. This was the app that I spent the least amount of time on, since I’m more comfortable texting in English, and I wasn’t getting a lot of quality matches, but that’s just me.