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14 January 2021

Plenty of Fish (POF) Clone App - How to Create a Dating App like Plenty of Fish?

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Plenty of fish (POF) is one of the oldest dating apps with an audience of 159 million registered users in 20 countries. Today we’ll consider all its key features and how to create an app with similar features and design, i.e. a Plenty of fish clone.

Step 1: A niche of your dating app



A dating app map sorted by niches. Source

A niche of Plenty of fish. It’s a quite traditional dating app, which is aimed at the largest possible audience aged 25-35 (there are people of other ages on the services, but the majority is young people). The platform offers quite standard features: the user fills in his profile (photo, physical data, type of relationship he wants, preferences, a personality test (and then algorithms of the system are looking for people, whom he might like.

Having said so, the app is free and it describes itself as a dating social network, where most conversations take place. It’s no surprise as sending and reading messages on Plenty of fish is free (limited to 50 new introductions per day) unlike the majority of other dating apps.

Plenty of fish’s success can be explained by time of work (the app was launched in 2003), ease of use, continuous improvement, and pushing users to be honest: when registering, the users are required to specify the kind of relationship they want (romantic partner, one-night stand, or friendship). Besides, Plenty of fish prohibits the publication of photos with face filters, which the users consider «misleading».

What niche you should use. If you’re planning to develop a clone in countries / regions, where there are no large players, then you can bet on the largest possible audience. As the developers of Tantan did when they launched a Tinder clone on the Chinese market in 2014 with an almost identical interface, matching, and premium service. Tantan immediately became a hit and had 5 million active users per day in one year.

If you want to create a clone to enter a highly competitive market, then you should adapt it to meeting the needs of a specific target audience. The chosen niche should be either big enough or rich enough. Otherwise, the app won’t pay off.

Here are several successful examples of niche dating services:

Step 2: Matching algorithm



Questions from the Relationship Chemistry test on Plenty of fish

How Plenty of fish works. When a new user is registering in the Plenty of fish app, he is required to provide personal information and a real photo. Then the system offers to take two tests: Relationship Chemistry (73 questions) and Relationship Needs Assessment (about 100 questions). After the tests, the system offers to go on training: how to introduce yourself, how to behave on a date, etc.

Based on people’s answers, the algorithm of Plenty of fish finds potential partners for each user on the basis of common life goals, income levels, hobbies, and other parameters. How exactly the algorithm works is a sealed book, but this is a quite traditional approach to matching overall.

What algorithm you should use. When you create a clone, you can implement a similar algorithm or choose another approach. For example, you may develop a system of searching for people closest to you like on Tinder. You also can create a system to track the users’ movement and recommend them users, who visit the same places like on Happn. As an alternative, you can create a matching algorithm, which will be analyzing accounts on Spotify and YouTube to make recommendations by finding «digital twins».

Besides, you are able to create an applied artificial intelligence (a deep neural network) and program it to perform a certain task; for example, finding one-night stands, bringing relationships to marriage, or making couples created by the algorithm date for at least several months and not start looking for another option during the first date. This approach is more expensive and it requires more time and Big Data, but it gives the best result / projection if implemented properly.

Step 3: Safety and confidentiality matters


A basis of security policy of Plenty of fish — protection of users’ personal information: name, phone number, address, social media accounts, etc. Users have no possibility to link accounts of other POF users to accounts on social networks like Instagram, Facebook, or Spotify and provide proof of their existence outside the POF service. Notably, the app constantly reminds people not to disclose such data.

Other platforms have protection against spam of meeting suggestions from men too: only a woman can start a conversation unless it’s a message to the user found by matching. Some dating services are executing a verification of each user to eliminate perverts, spammers, and those, who like communicating from fake accounts.

Step 4: Key features of a Plenty of fish app


The interface of the app. Key pillars of Plenty of fish are the user interface, matching algorithm, and communication functionality. The interface of this service was a little simplified and quite obsolete. Fortunately, a recent redesign has solved this problem, especially when it comes to the interface of the mobile app.

Users’ profiles, navigation, and chat look nice and make people communicate pleasantly and calmly. It’s also easy to understand what to do. Therefore, you can copy the design of Plenty of fish almost entirely when creating its clone.


A new design of Plenty of fish. Source

Features for communication. Unlike most other apps, POF brings messaging to the forefront. Features of the chat inside the app are standard: text messages with the possibility to add emoji, pictures, images, videos, etc. The only novelty is free live streaming, which the company has added because of the quarantine.

A text chat is also free. Although there are small limitations: the users can send messages only to 55 new people per day and the age gap between them has to be 14 years at most or 9 years if one of them is younger than 22. It’s quite generously.


Plenty of fish added the possibility of free video chat communication in 2020. Source

Search for the users to date. POF matching is outlined above. The feature of the search for potential partners works with standard filter parameters — age, physique, ethnicity, and intentions — plus the possibility to search by the duration of the longest relationship of your potential match («You haven’t spent more than 5 years with anyone? You’re not for me then!»). You can also filter the users by income level and location.

If the search has results, the profiles of people for communication will be seen with photos, age, and nickname. A list of things that a dialog partner likes is displayed on the screen so that it’s easier to start a conversation. There is also a possibility to send a priority message, which puts the conversation on the top of the recipient’s listing.

Individual profiles in the search results look like spreadsheets – a lot of data, which doesn’t highlight or show anything. Meet Me feature works just like Tinder with a possibility to swipe to the left or the right.


Screens of the search for people on POF. Source

Step 5: Dating app monetization


Plenty of Fish is using a monetization model, which is standard for free dating apps. It implies selling a subscription that provides the possibility to send more messages, see more information in the users’ profiles, see, who has liked you and who you have talked to (a month or a year ago). Tariff plans start at $19,99 per month or $9,99 per month for eight months. These are small fees compared to eHarmony or Match, which take $40 for a monthly subscription.
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