LIFESTYLE
22/01/2018 16:49 SAST | Updated 22/01/2018 16:49 SAST

The Top 5 Free Dating Apps You Should Consider Giving A Try

If you haven't tried them already, that is...

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Online dating is not a secretive "last resort" that creepy, desperate people turn to -- it's increasingly the new way to meet singles online. About 31 percent of South Africans using online dating services and apps.

While there are plenty of dating apps out there, we've rounded up five popular, free ones -- including SA-made Predict.

1. Tinder

One of the most popular dating apps currently, Tinder matches couples based on their physical attraction to one another. You select your preferences, including male or female, age limit and radius of how far you're prepared to go to meet your match. When you see matches in your area, you swipe left for "no" and right for "yes". You only get to talk to the person if you have both right-swiped each other.

WATCH: Singles Share Their Thoughts On Tinder, Technology And Dating

2. OkCupid

One of the largest dating sites in the world, its Quickmatch function lets you filter matches based on photo, age and location. Like Tinder, you swipe right to "like" and left to reject. You can also access your message inbox and have a more in-depth browse of potential matches. Also, mutual "likes" are not required for direct messaging, so any user can drop you a line if they want to.

3. Bumble

Labelled "the feminist Tinder", once two users make a match on this app, the woman has to message first. Unlike Tinder, your matches on Bumble only last for 24 hours before disappearing. If you don't "make a move" within to those 24 hours, you'll lose that match forever. This encourages women to expedite their communication, so a guy will know that very day if they're interested. If 24 hours have gone by without a message from a girl, an interested guy can choose to extend those 24 hours – although to only one person a day.

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4. Singles Around Me

With Singles Around Me or SAM, you can search for people no matter where you are. You can navigate through profiles of people who are near your location, or meet someone at a future destination, if you're travelling. After sign-up, it is also possible to send messages and winks to those who interest you.

5. Predict

The newest kid on the block and a bit like Uber for dating, Predict's "instant" feature lets you indicate that you're free in the next three hours for a date, to see which of your matches are too. You can also make sure you only match with those who share your intentions and values that are important to you. With the new privately answered yes-no compatibility questionnaire, you can set red lines you're not prepared to cross – by choosing to allow a match only with people who answer certain questions the same way as you do.