If you’re someone who believes that you get what you pay for, you might be surprised by what you find when you use the Plenty of Fish dating site.  This free service, also commonly called PoF, has been connecting singles for over a decade and boasts one of the largest active user bases in the world.  Over 32 million members have a profile and use either the POF dating site or the PoF dating app for iOS or Android devices to find love or casual relationships.

While there are other free dating sites like POF, you won’t find another that offers as many unique and innovative features without an additional charge.

Here, we’ll give you the rundown on what you need to know if you want to set up an account and start searching for singles in your area.  We’ll include pros and cons of the service, and information about their upgrade memberships.  Finally, we’ll give you an informative how-to guide for building your profile.

POF Dating Pros and Cons

Plenty of Fish Dating app

Every dating website has advantages and disadvantages to using the service, and Plenty of Fish is no different.  Here are the most common things users like, and dislike about the site and app.

Pros:

  • POF is one of the largest free dating sites in the world.  This means you have a huge user pool to search and select from, and a variety of people you could potentially meet and connect with.
  • Features like sending and receiving messages are free, which makes it affordable to connect with more people who might potentially be your match.
  • You don’t have to pay for an expensive upgrade to see who has viewed your profile which means you can look at people who have checked you out and send a message to chat with them.
  • The site and app offer a robust advanced search filter to make it easy to weed through all the profiles to find people who match with things that are important to you like their education level, income, profession, body type, and more.

Cons:

  • Since the site is free and easy to use, that means that literally, anyone can use it.  You might need to weed through spam, fake profiles, or paid escorts from time to time to get to the genuine users.
  • Given the sheer volume of users, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd on the site.  You’ll need to spend time perfecting your profile and use creative icebreakers to get noticed, especially by particularly attractive and in-demand users.
  • Although there are millions of users on the site, not all of them are high caliber or high quality.  As such, POF has earned the nickname “plenty of fatties,” and some users feel that it’s a low-end dating site.  Luckily, with the in-depth search features, you can weed out a lot of the people that you’re not looking for by simply eliminating categories like “unemployed” for example.
  • While the free version has a ton of functionality, if you’re serious about using it to foster meaningful connections, you might need to pay for the upgrade.  To do things like search by username, view extended profiles, and see if someone opened and read your message, you’ll need a premium membership.

Plenty of Fish Free Membership

There are lots of features and functionality included in the POF free membership, which is one of the reasons it’s such a popular dating service.

Before you can access any of them, you’ll need to sign up and set up your dating profile.  We’ll go into more detail on how to get started below.

Once you’ve established yourself as a user, Predictor.”  After taking the test, the site will match you with singles in your area based on your responses to get you started.

Unlike some other free dating apps like Tinder, you’re not limited to only communicating with people that are a match.  You can also do an independent search to find people who meet your own personal criteria.

The search functionality is one of the best parts of Plenty of Fish.

You can narrow down your prospects and filter by dozens of options.  If you’re looking for someone with a specific body type, ethnicity, age, location, or kind of relationship, you can select the criteria that best apply.  The advanced search engine gives you even more choices, like languages spoken, hobbies, and other information found in user profiles.

There aren’t many restrictions on POF, but they don’t allow you to message users who are outside of 14 years of your own age.  You can’t alter your birthday once you create your account, so it’s important to be truthful from the start.

Another helpful function is their sort feature.  You can arrange your results by either “last online” or “newest users” which makes it simple to interact with people who check in regularly.  This also gives you a higher chance of having your message seen, read, and responded to.

To help you better interact with your perfect potential partner, POF offers a “Relationship Needs Assessment.”  This optional test helps to determine exactly what you’re searching for, and then gives you a personalized guide on how to find and interact with your ideal match.

Plenty of Fish Upgraded Membership

POF also offers an upgraded membership for $20 per month.  If you sign a four-month or eight-month commitment, you get a discount, of $12.75 and $10 per month respectively.  

This level expands the built-in functionality of the site and app and can result in up to three times the amount of profile views.

Upgraded features include:

  • Ability to add 16 images to your profile, 8 more than the free membership.
  • Access to the Extended Profile of every user.
  • Reporting on the messages you’ve sent to see if they are read or deleted.
  • Optimized profile positioning placing you first on Meet Me and helping you stand out in searches.
  • An ad-free experience.
  • Details on the date and time someone accessed your profile.
  • The ability to conduct a POF username search
  • See a list of exactly who has browsed your profile in a given time frame.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to get signed up, you’ll want to set aside a little time to go through the process.  While it’s overall simple to do, it is more involved than just uploading a few pictures and hitting the ground running.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Either download the app or log into the site and go through the initial registration process.  Here, you’ll provide your basic info.  Then, take the multi-section personality questionnaire.  Be sure not to skip any of the questions, as most of the fields are mandatory.
  2. Choose your POF username and write your headline.   This is the first place that you have to stand out on the site, so it’s important to pick a good one.  Your username is displayed in all of the messages you send and will make an instant impression on your potential matches.
  3. Create a profile that showcases your personality and talks about what you’re looking for in a partner.  Take care in writing your “About Me” section to ensure you capture interest and give a little snapshot of who you are as a person.
  4. Upload your photos.  You’ll want to choose amazing images that are clear, high-quality, and have good lighting.  Include both face and body pictures so that people looking at your profile can decide if they’re interested enough to pursue a conversation.  Basic users can upload up to eight images, and paid users have 16 slots to fill.  Remember, you don’t need to include the max.  If you have just a few pictures that capture your essence exceptionally well, that’s all you’ll need to grab attention.

Plenty of Fish Profile and Picture Do’s

There are lots of ways to capitalize on your profile real estate in POF.  Here are a few tips to optimize your listing.

Writing Counts

Make sure that your profile is well written.  Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling and run it through an editor like Grammarly before you post to make sure you’ve done it right.  

Use descriptive language, and don’t just write a list of adjectives.  People like to feel like they’re getting to know you when they read your profile, so rather than say you love to travel, tell a story about an experience that paints that picture.  Reading about a skydiving adventure is far more captivating than a simple adjective.

Create a Conversation

When you send messages, use an icebreaker to introduce yourself and try to advance the conversation with an open-ended question.  Asking questions lets dialog flow more efficiently, and also showcases that you’re interested in learning more about your potential match.

Get Photo Feedback

A compelling, captivating, and interesting photo is one of the most crucial elements to getting noticed on POF.  Before you post a random bathroom selfie, get feedback from friends and family on which images cast you in the most appealing light.  You can also upload your prospects to a free site like PhotoFeeler so that you can get an unbiased option on which snaps are your best ones before you use them on a dating site.