JUICE Ranks M’sia’s Popular Dating Apps That Aren’t Tinder or Bumble So You Can Get Down & Dirty

Illustration by JUICE designer Safa

Mamak stalls are busy, road traffic is heavy, couples are making Tik Toks in public… All in all, nature is healing and we’re all excited to see it!

While Malaysians are slowly recovering from the dire effects the pandemic had on our job security and mental health, we are also struggling to rekindle that inner social butterfly after being isolated at home for an ungodly amount of time.

Not having anyone to talk to other than the dirty bathroom mirror and a few pets can take a toll on almost anyone’s ability to socialise, so what better way to practice than to jump on some dating apps?

Illustration by JUICE designer Safa

Organically meeting someone at a hipster cafe and locking eyes from across the room would be the way to go when it comes to finding a new fiery partner but since Covid-19 has cockblocked us all from meeting people in real life, the next best thing is a virtual meet-cute.

But Tinder and Bumble have garnered a bad rep in the past few years – especially because of Subang boys (ehem you didn’t hear it from me) – so it’s high time we check out the alternatives.

In the name of making all things easier for you, I have personally tried out the most popular Malaysian dating apps, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Without further ado, here is my ranking of dating apps from my least to most favourite… Get ready to find love!

Litmatch

LitMatch v3.8.9.3 APK Download For Android - AppsGag
source: AppsGag

How do I even begin to explain this monstrosity towards love and humankind?

Well, to start things off, this app is notorious for being a cesspool for underaged children and it has even gone under fire for its ties to child grooming and pedophilia since all users are essentially anonymous.

Similar to WeChat in that sense and also in its user interface, this app is not appropriate for anyone looking for something more than just a quick chat with a stranger.

Personal screenshot

I found myself in a morose mood after diving into Litmatch, mostly because I was more concerned with the safety of the people using it than my own quest to find a match.

Overall, I would stay very far away from this one.

  • Dating pool: 0/5. Almost everyone is underaged or predators. I don’t think any of us are interested in that.
  • User interface: 1/5. A mix of Discord and WeChat isn’t the sexiest thing in the world but at least the icons available for you to choose so you can hide your identity are cute.
  • My luck with it: 0/5. What luck?

Tagged

Do you find yourself craving live videos while swiping to find your soulmate? Well, maybe Tagged is for you.

I would describe Tagged as a hybrid of Instagram Live and an awful dating app.

Unconventional in the way that people can message you without you even matching with them, Tagged feels more like a slap in the face than a gentle caress. After creating my profile, I was swiftly bombarded with unsavoury messages from men with questionable profile pictures which is never fun.

And no, the live video feature does not redeem it in the slightest. In fact, it makes it worse.

Personal screenshot

The best part about dating apps is reading the bio of the person to get a gist of what they might be like. From here, you can gauge their personality and interests which will help you in discerning whether or not they’re the right fit for you.

With Tagged, you can forget about it because that feature doesn’t exist.

  • Dating pool: 2/5. While it isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, there is a variety of people to choose from who are not underaged. Bare minimum, but acceptable.
  • User interface: 2/5. Do you like ads popping up of people trying to coax you into an MLM? If you do, you might enjoy this. The interface is outdated, morbidly basic and filled to the brim with clutter. I would like to save my headache for later please.
  • My luck with it: 0/5. Personally, I’m not into people unsolicitedly messaging me, “Sayang, saya ada pisang besar.

Omi

Omi, the newest social application, unveils its secret to success after gaining 2 million installs by downloads in Thailand within 3 months after the launch, bringing up its high-tech function, security, and
source: The Big Chilli

If you’re a Bitcoin bro who’s more into a person’s Myers-Briggs test than their astrological sign, then you can opt for Omi.

We’re inching towards more tolerable waters now as Omi integrates the basic dating app user interface with a few of its own special tidbits.

Most notably, I quite enjoyed the addition of a Myers-Briggs prompt which helps you find someone who is on a similar wavelength as you when it comes to personality traits. The Interests segment also acts as a quick guide to what the person is into, kind of like typing in a hashtag on Instagram to see posts related only to that.

Other than that, Omi feels unspectacular and while it’s not terrible by any means, it’s definitely the app you’ll have on your back burner.

  • Dating pool: 2.5/5. This app is definitely catered to the Malays since there are barely any other races there. While I am Malay myself, I prefer more variety.
  • User interface: 4/5. It’s simple and understated which makes it very easy to navigate. There is also a pretty Discover page with a background that looks like a very calming mobile game.
  • My luck with it: 1/5. I’ll have to be honest, I didn’t find anyone particularly interesting but if I were trapped on an island with no cellphone coverage and the only app I could access was Omi, I wouldn’t be that mad about it.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel goes anti-Tinder with a redesign focused on profiles, conversations | TechCrunch
source: TechCrunch

When capitalism meets dating apps, you get Coffee Meets Bagel.

We’re all aware of the perks that come with buying a premium subscription to a dating app. Essentially, users will get more swipes, more superlikes (which will boost the chances of getting a match), and even a wider pool in case Malaysia is too small to find your soulmate.

But with Coffee Meets Bagel, even the basic act of swiping is costing you Beans – which is the currency used in the app. The app justifies this by saying that you’ll be more selective therefore get a higher quality match but I’m not buying that, or their subscription.

To me, I think it’s just another way to capitalise on the human desire for love and since I’m a (broke) hopeless romantic, that pisses me off.

Personal screenshot

The app also tries too hard to be different from the rest with a rather complicated user interface that almost feels like you’re looking for a secondhand PS4 on Facebook Market. Scrolling vertically instead of horizontally, it takes quite some time to get used to. And the Beans system makes it more complicated.

  • Dating pool: 4/5. It doesn’t matter if you’re a simple Americano or an outlandish upside-down Caramel Macchiato with whipped cream and half a cupcake on top, you’re bound to meet a Bagel that complements you.
  • User interface: 3/5. It needs some getting used to but once you learn the ropes, you can start matching with people – no problem. However, it costs a bit too much for my liking and as a slave to the 9-5, I would prefer to spend my money elsewhere.
  • My luck with it: 4/5. I matched with a Subang boy (shivers) but he entertains my affinity towards trashy reality TV so I would consider it a success.

Taimi (LGBTQ+ friendly)

Download Taimi - LGBTQI+ Dating, Chat and Social Network on PC with MEmu
source: Memu

If you thought this article was going to cater solely to the heterosexuals then you thought wrong!

I’m a Malaysian so I like rojak everything. That includes my taste in food, my taste in apps and my taste in people.

Taimi is different from most dating apps since it has an almost Facebook-like quality to it. Users can create posts, follow people and also add them as friends. The only downside is that people can message you even when you want nothing to do with them.

Personal screenshot

For those who frequent dating apps, you’ll notice that there is normally a Like, Pass and Superlike feature. For Taimi, you can send prompts as well. There are a few defaults such as the typical, “Wassup girl,” and “Hey cutie,” but you can also create your own.

Might I recommend the corny, “How do you like your eggs in the morning?”

  • Dating pool: 4/5. Variety is the spice of life and judging by our addiction to KFC, we all like a bit of spice here and there. There are plenty of people to choose from regardless of your sexual orientation.
  • User interface: 4/5. I enjoy the Facebook feature due to its uniqueness but the app could use some refurbishing in terms of aesthetics.
  • My luck with it: 3/5. I’ve come across a few gorgeous people and gotten some friend requests here and there so I’m quite pleased. No luck with love though, but that’s probably my own fault. I’m rusty at this…

Her (For women)

HER, the dating app for queer women, revamps profiles | TechCrunch
source: TechCrunch

Ahh, the pinnacle of dating apps for women and for good reason.

As you can already see, I’ve been on several dating apps which meant I had to compose numerous About Me paragraphs. Let me tell you something, that takes a toll on you. I think I’ve become a better writer because of all that practice but now I have no idea who I am.

But I digress. On some apps, I gave up and used the most generic summaries of myself that I could think of at the time but with Her, I put my back into it. I’m HERe to charm!

Personal screenshot

Her is known for its magical abilities to connect lifelong partners with each other virtually, so I wasn’t surprised when I thoroughly enjoyed swiping and talking to different people.

Not only does the app have a comforting colour way, but the people on it are very pleasing to the eyes and soul as well.

  • Dating pool: 5/5. Women. That’s all I have to say.
  • User interface: 4/5. There’s nothing incredibly special about it but its simplicity is definitely welcomed.
  • My luck with it: 4/5. I may not have landed a date but I won’t fault the app for this. I will fault my cowering when it comes to beautiful women instead.

Winner – OkCupid

Introducing Brand-New Features to Help You Find Deeper Connections | by OkCupid | OkCupid Dating Blog
source: OkCupid

After getting jabbed with a syringe for your vaccination, it’s time to get impaled by the arrow of OkCupid.

Predominantly used in the States, OkCupid made its way to Malaysia but it hasn’t received the same amount of hype. I am here to put an end to that.

By far, OkCupid has the best understanding of what people want in a partner by providing numerous additional features that will help you in finding your next date.

The algorithm is stellar and the app actually allows you to use it to its fullest potential without paying a dime. My credit card approves.

Personal screenshot.

Users are also able to see who has already liked them and select from that pool as opposed to the element of mystery that comes with swiping blindly, which you can still do.

While that’s all fine and dandy, the best parts come in the form of its compatibility percentage and prompts for your profile. By answering questions on the app like a survey, OkCupid will be able to show you other users who answered similarly to you thus proving a similarity in interests, political beliefs, future plans and everything else under the sun.

It’s like writing a thesis but instead of getting a headache, you might find someone who can relieve it.

Personal screenshot. Feel free to marvel at my wit

The prompts are also incredibly fun to fill out since it allows for you to be as witty and quirky as you would like. Naturally, with me being a writer, I got quite a kick out of it even if I did come off as annoying instead of endearing.

  • Dating pool: 5/5. Malaysia too boring for you? No problem. You can also find someone down under so they can well… possibly go down under on you. Everyone is interesting and with sprawling self-summaries and helpful compatibility percentages, you’ll definitely land a few good matches.
  • User interface: 5/5. They’ve got it down and it’s truly a sight to behold. While there are many features on this app, it never feels difficult to navigate.
  • My luck with it: 5/5. I may or may not have a date with a cute athlete come Christmas time. I hope he comes bearing gifts.

Throwback devices – The Circular

So there you have it, lovebirds.

This was JUICE’s comprehensive ranked list of the most popular dating apps in Malaysia other than Tinder and Bumble.

If you found a match on any of these apps after reading this article, do share your experiences with us!

‘Til then, stay safe and be safe!