If you are an African-American professional seeking to meet someone for a meaningful long-term relationship, MELD is an app described within its promotional material as being the “#1 Elite dating app designed exquisitely for black professionals.”
First launched in 2014, it has been highlighted in many prestigious publications such as Ebony, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, to name a few.
Of course, good press coverage does not always equate to a stellar user experience. For this reason, we recently conducted a review of MELD to see how it performs today and to provide you with a clearer idea of how it works. We suggest that you give our review a read in order to have a good base from which to develop your own opinion of the app.
Meld Dating App Review Results
Final Word on MELD
As we already mentioned within the context of our review, we feel that the concept behind MELD is excellent. Sadly, the small active user base makes using MELD a hit-or-miss affair.
This is why it is best to try MELD first as a free member. If you find that it provides you with a steady stream of results in your area, then upgrading to a premium plan might serve you well.
Overall, we would have to rate MELD as barely FAIR.
If they managed to increase their active user base our rating would certainly jump to "very good."
— Pros and Cons —
- Serious dating app for African-American professionals
- New users are authenticated via Facebook and Linkedin
- Free version allows use of the internal communications feature
- Available only for iOS devices — the Android version has been removed from Google Play
- Free version limits your list of suggested matches
- Active user base is extremely small
— The Concept Behind MELD —
The concept behind MELD involves helping young African-American professionals meet each other for long-term relationships. While you could use MELD to search for casual encounters, it is not specifically designed for that purpose.
— Available Versions —
MELD functions exclusively as a mobile app. It is available for iOS devices via the App Store. When MELD was originally released to the public, there was also an Android version available. Unfortunately, as of August 2018, the Android version has been pulled from Google Play. This means that you are only able to use it on Apple devices. MELD does not offer access to its platform via a desktop browser
— Registration Process —
MELD takes pride in curating a membership base that is genuine. In so doing, it requires its new members to link both their Facebook and LinkedIn account when registering. Users are not given the option to use one or the other, both are mandatory.
From the information that Meld gathers from your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, a basic profile will be established for you. This means that other members on the site will be able to see such information as your profession, job title, level of education, which college you attended, and other personal details which on the majority of other dating platforms you could exclude.
The reason given by MELD for this type of registration process and profile creation is that it wants to offer its users a trusted method for finding other professionals such as themselves. Initially, this type of registration process might be off-putting, however, if you are serious about looking for a long-term partner who shares your career and or professional goals, then MELD’s method has a lot of merit.
MELD only uses your Facebook and Linkedin data to authenticate that you are a professional, it never posts anything on any of your social media accounts. Therefore, you’re assured of privacy.
—The Matching and Discovery Process —
The matchmaking and discovery process on MELD is direct and straightforward. Users are not given much choice in deviating from the automated matchmaking algorithm employed by the app.
The matchmaking algorithm relies on a “mutual like” system. When users log on to the app they are shown the profile summaries of potential matches. The user can then choose to like (“meld”) or pass on each profile.
When two users mutually like each other, the matched couple can then use MELD’s internal private communication module to get to know each other better.
While the MELD matchmaking algorithm does most of the heavy lifting, users can modify some of their preferences in order to fine-tune their list of suggested matches. Mind you, these modifications do not approach the level of filtering found on other sites. Essentially, you can filter for age range, gender, and distance from you.
— Cost —
There are two tiers of service on MELD, free and premium. The free version offers you access to the matchmaking module as well as the communication feature. What is limited in the free membership is the number of profiles that MELD’s matchmaking algorithm will show you in a 12-hour period.
How this number is arrived at still remains a mystery to us even after our four-day test. Some of our testers hit their 12-hour free limit at 10 profiles — others went as high as 25.
We could not find anything in the terms of service that stipulated how many profiles free members are to be shown. W, therefore, deduced that the number of suggested profiles shown to free members is based on a combination of factors. In all likelihood, it would be the amount of activity that you have on the app combined with the area in which you live.
A premium membership removes these limits. Additionally, the premium version allows users to view 10 profiles a month belonging to people who have already liked their profile. Premium members can also toggle their visibility on the platform on and off. This is beneficial if there are times when your work schedule or personal issues make it inconvenient to be tending to your dating life. By toggling your visibility, you can rest assured that potential matches will only see your profile when you are disposed to seeking dates.
A one-month subscription to MELD’s premium level costs $14.99. You also have the choice of paying for three months in advance for $29.99.
— User Experience —
Based on the time that we spent testing MELD, we found the concept to be excellent. The methodology designed by MELD to curate and vet new users is very sound. Unfortunately, there were two areas that soured our user experience on MELD.
First, it was the fact that it can currently only be used on iOS devices. We found that to be very limiting.
Second, involved the small size of the active user base. While it is to be expected that on dating apps such as MELD which rely heavily on proper curation and strict vetting, active user numbers are going to be smaller than other “open-door” style apps, the fact that many of our testers were unable to find suggested matches within a reasonable distance from their location was very troubling. When you have to extend your search radius beyond 100 miles to find a potential match, we feel that is no longer effective for realistic dating and matchmaking.