SpeedDate SpeedDate
by ,
2 5stars

SpeedDate Review

Bottom Line:
Constant stream of speed dates, matchmaking "system" yields poor results, nonstop harassment to subscribe

Full Review:
He Said/She Said Ratings

We took two volunteers, a man and a woman, and had them sign up for each service, fill out a profile, look at their matches, and then give us their impressions. We also asked them to rate each of our reviewed online dating sites.

He said:
"... speeddate.com doesn't really seem analogous to real-world speed dating. It's like dating for hyperactive multi-taskers. There was just too much going on here. It's overwhelming. Plus it seems pretty male-dominated. It was surprising how many people were looking for speed dating at 10:00 AM. I guess it's a good way to judge if they really are employed. Most are not.

"Also, it seems like there's no real matching, and I wasn't really into anyone I had a speed date with. There seems to be a lot of desperation, and it didn't seem like people were choosing me because they thought I'd be a good match for them, but because I was there. The profiles also seem extremely simplistic. In short, it's not my thing. I felt vaguely dirty even being there."

She said:
"... this site is out of control. Was it called 'SpeedDate' because you have to be on speed to keep up? There appears to be no limit on the number of speed dates you can have at once, and the site frequently ignores you when you tell it to pause speed dates. I was constantly bombarded with so many speed date windows that I wasn't able to respond to all of them before the five minutes allotted for each were up. Whenever I clicked on anything, most of the time I'd see a pop-up window exhorting me to sign up for the paid subscription.

"The site's Private Matchmaker is anything but. Despite stipulating that I was interested in 25- to 40-year-old liberals in San Francisco who did not want children, 18-year-old militiamen from Montana who wanted to impregnate somebody ASAP kept popping up for my speed dates. SpeedDate.com left me exhausted, annoyed, and kind of grossed out."

Site Details

SpeedDate.com is a fast-paced, chat-focused dating site with nearly 2 million members and has been connecting singles in five-minute, online speed dates since 2007.

Profile Creation

When you fill out your profile, you have the option to answer many questions—about your favorite music, movies, television shows, books, and quotes; about your political views, income, weekend activities; even about your "secret." You can be equally detailed regarding what you're looking for, yet SpeedDate's Private Matchmaker system doesn't take much of this into account.

Matching & Searching

The SpeedDate interface resembles Facebook quite a bit: You can navigate among blue tabs and red balloons signifying your notifications, and chat windows pop up in a blue toolbar at the bottom of the screen. View different profiles by clicking "next profile" or "previous profile" for each "match" SpeedDate chooses for you, or browse members by age, location, and so on.


If you're a basic member, SpeedDate lets other users initiate with you a five-minute instant messenger chat session, or "online speed date"; subscribers can extend that time. When you view a profile, SpeedDate tells you what preferences your potential date matches, what preferences you match for the other person, and finally what you have in common, even if it's only that you both speak English. These summaries are based on what you've filled out in your profile.

The speed dates come fast and furious the instant you log in. But you're somewhat powerless over the number of speed dates you have and the speed with which they pop up; the onslaught often continues even after you've asked the site (nicely) to pause speed dating. Anytime you close a speed date window, the site forces you to select a reason, and then you can either have a speed date with someone else or ask the site to give you a break.

But you don't get a break; the site relentlessly bombards you with pop-ups featuring an attractive cartoon woman asking you to share your SpeedDate.com activity with your Facebook friends or, more frequently, to become a paying SpeedDate member. You can't see messages or who's "liked" you or initiate a chat with someone SpeedDate hasn't selected as a match without paying, and the friendly cartoon lady will not let you forget it even for a second. She also desperately wants you to SpeedVerify your profile, which proves that you're a real person for $0.99 a month.

One cool feature SpeedDate offers is an "Icebreaker." During a speed date, click on the button, and a random question like "What is your best childhood memory?" or "If you could have any superpower, what would it be?" appears in the chat window.


It's hard to explore SpeedDate.com when you're interrupted by one new speed date after another and constant petitions to upgrade your membership, but if you want to e-meet a large number of diverse strangers in a short time period, SpeedDate could be quite engaging.

Compare to Other Online Dating Sites

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Service Details

Cost/Month:$12.95/month (12-month membership)
Relationship Type:Casual Daters
User Base*:1.7+ million singles;
more males than females
Matching Method:Private Matchmaker, but more focused on searching/chatting
Features:Site focused on five-minute chats; video chat and multiple chat windows; browsing and searching functions

*Quantcast Data used for male/female ratio and accurate as of June, 2012

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