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Joining Friendfinder online dating
The process is very simple - enter your basic details, the city you live in (or are closest too), and your password is sent to your email account.
Once logged in, you can carry out a variety of activities as a free member: creating your profile with photo, use the community chat rooms, you have ability to receive email but it's time restricted (1 reply every 24 hours) and only premium members can initiate contact. You can also upload and send voice greetings. The initial signup only takes 5 minutes. Later on you can fill in more profile information.
To get the best out of this online dating service, with more chance of meeting the right person, longer term you might consider upgrading to a silver or gold paid membership. This allows fuller searching capabilities, better support, the unrestricted ability to email singles, more priority and hence exposure for your listing.
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Logging in for the first time
When you first log in you are presented with the profile form which you should fill in. The form contains your introduction line 'hook line', a description about yourself (friendfinder suggests a few ideas here), and a description of what you are looking for in your ideal match. Furthermore, if you prove to be a popular attraction a free service enables auto-reply emails to be sent to those who contact you.
After you've completed the profile (it only takes 5 minutes) you are shown what the costs of the upgraded memberships are:
Silver - $19.94 - 1 month, $33.94 - 3 months and $99.94 for 12 months.
The gold membership differs in that you are given top priority in the listings, thus exposing your profile to many more potential matches than those who aren't gold members. Plus, super-search enables more refinement to your searching. Faster support by phone and email is included too.
The Friendfinder Site
The site is designed in a friendly manner, not too cluttered, with the key descriptions being short and to the point. Several key areas exist:
Your Account - the first thing I recommend is to visit your
profile and update the additional sections. These are quite extensive questions
including personal, dating status, entertainment you enjoy [books, cd's music,
movies], personality traits, hobbies you have, sports you take part in, your goals,
your working and living environment, your outlook on life and finally your physical
Cupid Email is another handy feature, whereby you fill in the type of person (age, location, interests, body type, education) that you are looking for and friendfinder will email you matches when singles closely matching those criteria become members. If you have the time, recording a voice greeting further enhances your profile.
Browse - in addition to standard categories, this is one online
dating site that also caters for penpals and activity partners.
If you're a free member you can specify age range, but if you upgrade to silver status, you can use the Search facility to specify the interest and race. The Gold package takes this further by allowing search criteria like body type, religion, education and a few other handy topics.
Each results page has up to 30 listings, containing a photo, profile link, city and introduction line. I personally found the photos to be a tad too small, and maybe the results could be better organised so it's more pleasing on the eye as you browse through them. Also, by including for instance, the first 30 words of the singles profile description, I feel this would make it easier to narrow your choice of people you may want to communicate with.
Profiles are presented to the user in an attractive tabular manner, making it easy to get to know them quickly. Additional details are included below the main sections. You can then email them (if you're a silver/gold member), and even send a voice message (using friendfinders free pc voice recorder software) or continue browsing.
Chat - as a free member you can participate. There are various lounges you can join and talk to folk in, maybe forming a few friendships along the way.
Hotlist - add people to your hotlist so you can remember to contact them, or maybe for revisiting them later on.
Magazine - this is a section that contains a lot of articles on dating. Well worth browsing through as many of them are voted on.
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Friendfinder online dating has been established for over 7 years
with many millions of happy members. As a free singles member you are obviously
restricted in searching and in not being able to send emails, but nevertheless
I consider this one of the better introductory sites for those starting out with
Also, after browsing and getting an idea of the kind of people you may like to meet, upgrading lets you refine your searches and enhance your prospects of meeting that somebody special. The sliding scale price packages offer decent value for money (especially the 12-month option). Tip - Look out for special upgrade offers they occasionally run (one I saw recently included discounts and 3 months free!)
In terms of aesthetics and feel, navigation is a breeze and the site doesn't go over the top in use of graphics or any fancy flash. I was particularly impressed by the depth of profile singles can fill in, the summary listings (numbers beside each state), the chat and advice sections.
The minor downside I found was that the browsing and subsequent listings
could in my opinion have been arranged in a better manner - unfortunately, it
doesn't help that a lot of people don't submit a head-shot as the main picture.
Rob's Rating - 8.5/10 - Highly Recommended
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