Dating Direct Review — Looks Awfully Familiar
Dating Direct is owned by Meetic, a media group that purchased the European dating sites belonging to Match.com in 2009. This explains why when you visit Dating Direct, everything about the appearance of the site looks eerily similar to Match.com. Don’t worry, they’re not ripping off Match, they just share the same lineage. Think of them as first cousins. Should you use Dating Direct to meet other singles? Here is our review.
Dating Direct Review Results
Final Word on Dating Direct
Dating Direct is a powerful dating site. Its profile building capability, robust search metrics, and matchmaking algorithm are above par. That being said, it does not negate the fact that it is — in terms of development lineage and cross-functionality —a variation of Match.com. If you are already a member of Match and if you reside in the U.S. — from a cost and value perspective — you will probably not get much benefit from having redundant memberships. However, if you don't mind spending money on a second membership, Dating Direct can play out as a "search positioning" play. Since there aren't that many American members yet, your profile has the ability to appear higher to other Americans when they conduct searches. Yes, it's slightly convoluted and complex, but if you can afford it and want an advantage, it may merit consideration. Overall, we rate Dating Direct as VERY GOOD in terms of functionality. In terms of practicality, for U.S. users at least, we rate it as having GOOD POTENTIAL, but NOT IDEAL.
Watch Our Dating Direct review on video or scroll down to continue reading.
— Pros and Cons —
- Part of a powerful media group in joint partnership with Match.com
- Large user base
- User-friendly interface
- Requires a paid membership for any real functionality
- No mobile apps
- Majority of members are U.K. based
— In-Depth Dating Direct Review —
Like any industry that has undergone over two decades of incredible growth and maturity, the online dating industry has its own set of distinct leaders. Powerful and popular dating sites that extend their influence not through one site or app alone, but rather through a network of sites. While this may seem like a monolithic approach, it has its benefits. It allows for different sites, each customized for a particular dating niche or region, to take advantage of the technological muscle and creative matchmaking algorithms that can only come from a larger company.
In spite of such levels of planning and diversification, sometimes the unforeseen happens. This is the case with a dating site known as DatingDirect.com. It is focused on the U.K. market, but lately, through organic growth (the parent company Meetic hadn’t anticipated it) the site has also been developing inroads in the U.S. market.
— So, Is It Just Another Portal to Access Match.com? —
The quick answer to that question is, no. While Dating Direct and Match.com in the U.S. share a nearly identical platform, functionality, features and even have joint ventures established that allows for both companies to share algorithm technology and user-based interconnectivity, each is still a freestanding entity.
You might be asking, “fine, but what does this mean to me?” First, if you have ever used Match, you will already be familiar with Dating Direct’s functionality and user interface — the learning curve would be minimal. Second, if you reside in the U.S. you have the advantage of having less saturation when another American conducts a local search. In other words, you have a stronger probability of getting a better position in local U.S. searches.
— Registration —
Registering on Dating Direct is a simple process. You start by entering your gender and the gender of the match that you are seeking on the welcome page. You will also be asked for your date of birth.
Following that, you will be redirected to a series of information boxes where you must submit your location, select a username and password, and a valid email.
Like the majority of other dating sites, a verification email will be sent to your email containing a link that you must click on to validate your registration.
When you conclude the registration process you will be redirected to a payment screen. Relax, you can try the site out for free. To do so, just click on the “I’ll upgrade later” link. This will send you to the member’s area as a free user. You will be limited in terms of not being able to use the communication features and being limited to simple searches. The free version, however, will give you an opportunity to scroll around and get a feel for the site.
— Features —
First thing first — there is no mobile app for Dating Direct. That means that you can only interact with your account via a web browser. We found this to be bothersome. In 2017 — with an ever increasing number of mobile-only dating apps out there — it seems archaic and market regressive not to have a mobile presence, but we digress.
Your user profile can be greatly amplified once you are logged into your account. You can add multiple profile pictures, provide a broader description of yourself and expand upon the attributes that you seek in a partner. Since the Dating Direct matchmaking algorithm places a lot of weight on the content of your profile to generate matches, we would urge you to spend the time necessary to complete your profile as thoroughly as possible. In our testing, creating, proofreading and polishing a complete profile took us approximately 25 minutes.
— Features of Paid Membership —
On the paid version of Dating Direct, the search function is very thorough. You are able to customize your searches by a wide variety of metrics, making your potential matches list very personalized.
There are two features unique to Dating Direct that we found very interesting. One is called “The Daily 6.” This consists of six potential matches that are sent to you for your approval or rejection. If you approve the match, the other member will be notified and if they approve you — you will be able to communicate with each other.
The other unique feature is called “20 Questions.” This allows you to select a minimum of five and a maximum of 20 pre-approved questions that will be presented to your potential matches. You can choose to write your own questions, but this requires the Dating Direct team to manually approve your questions before they can be displayed. When we submitted our own questions, the approval process ranged from as fast as 20 minutes, to as long as two days. We found this feature to be the ideal ice breaker. It also allows you to save time in filtering your potential matches. With the answers that you receive, you can get a better idea if the person is truly compatible with you. In our testing, we were able to discard several potential matches before having to get to the active engagement phase. This left us with more time to interact with those members that were better prospects.
— Cost —
The monthly membership for Dating Direct is £42.99. This cost can be lowered by paying for three months in advance. This lowers your cost to £30.99. If you pay for 6 months in advance the cost is lowered further to £18.99 per month.
As we stated above, you cannot do much with the free version. In order to get the most out of Dating Direct, you will need a paid subscription.