POF.com Quick Facts:
- Free to sign up.
- Low upgrade rate for paying members.
- Biggest online dating and adult personals website.
- Around 30,000 new members everyday
- Average of 200,000 online members at any given hour everyday.
- Includes a dating and relationship forums.
- Has Alexa Global Rank of 296, and US 86 as of July 2012.
- Most visitors are from US, Canada and UK.
POF.com (PlentyofFish.com) is one of the best free dating sites and ad personals around. If you have been reading some of our posts you will notice that we have mentioned this website a couple times already. Today we are doing a whole review of Plenty of fish or pof .com.
There are two things that makes this website different among the rest. First it’s free to join, and this website has a massive number of members estimated to be near 30 million, if not more. This is pretty amazing, considering the fierce competition in the dating industry.
When it comes to websites that offers free dating and free personal ads, Pof.com and AdultFriendFinder.com have the largest number of members. But we have to consider that AFF members’ data base are composed of members coming from a network of dating and adult hook up websites in many niches, adult friend finder networks also have the power of a revenue model. Because the site is paid they can afford to advertise heavily to attract more members while pof mostly relies on word of mouth.
When you visit POF homepage you will notice the minimal and clean design. It does not carry sexually explicit or suggestive images. It’s pretty basic with easy navigation and quick sign up process. Many reviews would consider this minimalism as weakness, but we see it in a different light.
First it allows pages to load faster, even users with slow internet connection will find the site performance pretty decent. The navigation is traditional, so it does not take long to get to used to the website. The site has less sexual graphics and images, which can have varying effects. Although it might not attract users with oozing testosterone levels, it appeals to a general public which levels out the male to female ratio.
Having a less sexually and adult oriented design means you can use and browse the website even if your on public places. This is something that you cant do when your using AFF, Cam4 and other adult hook up websites. Even though you can turn off explicit images (in adult friend finder) from showing on your web browser, the site name or domain name has sex painted all over it.
Markus Frind is the brain behind this website. The website has become famous since 2004. From there on until now, it has been growing and keeps on attracting new singles everyday. This is despite the fact that the website has been a subject of hacking attack exposing members database information. When you first sign up to pof.com you will have an automated welcome note from him.
Anyone can signup and use POF.com. It’s free to read and send messages, plus every basic features of the site is free too. In fact they have a system for users to earn points and use points like POF credits. The more you use the site the more points you gather. But for serious taker daters you can enjoy pof.com by paying for a premium membership.
Upgrades are available in three different plans. There is an annual plan where you will pay $81.40 for a year subscription, that amounts to $6.78 per month. You can also buy shorter plans for 6 months and 3 months terms. It will cost $51 to get 6 months premium membership which will boil down to $8.50 per month. Three months term will be for $34.50 or $11.80 per month.
If you don’t wish to pay for a full membership perhaps you would like to buy POF credits. Each credit can range from 8 cents to 11 cents depending on how many your buying on each purchase. You can use each credit to buy virtual gifts, ice breakers, check message status if it has been read or deleted, and check who has been viewing your profile.
Please note that as a free standard member of pof.com, it allows only 8 pictures on each account. If your paying member you can upload up to 16 pictures. This is pretty low compared to other dating and personals ads site which offers higher disk space for each user and sometimes unlimited image upload. Messages are also deleted after 20 days. So you should make sure that you check your inbox regularly. They will not and they are not able to retrieve deleted messages.
As a free member I feel that the site has too much ads trying to convince you to upgrade. There is nothing wrong with keeping ads to convert members into paying customers, that is how they make money. But too much of it can be annoying.
Another feature POF.com is chemistry profile matching. Ideally it’s designed to match you with members whom you will be compatible with. It will also block those who will end up on the opposite side of your matching results. But it does not always work as it’s expected. First you will have to spend some time going though a questionnaire. Every member will have to take the test, so if your not into it then you might be bored answering questions when you could be chatting. These filtering methods are not very useful when you live in small cities but are required with large databases and big cities.
The idea of automatically blocking members to contact you because of matching test results does not sounds appealing. Is it not true that we join dating and personals ads sites to interact with other members? This feature should be left to the discretion of the user. Let members decide whom they want to block or not, perhaps this is a customisation feature inside pof.
Although it’s true that there is no single dating or adult hook up site with zero spammers, con artists, and posers. Pof.com has a few of them, and some of them are pretty active. They are here because the site is free to use, or has minimal premium subscription rate and it has a lot of members. This means that you will have to be extra vigilant and extra careful giving out your personal information. It’s highly suggested that you read and follow their online dating safety tips articles and forum threads.
We noticed that there are a lot of the guys here who are married, and looking for discreet fun. It was not as we have expected as it claims to have 30,000 singles coming in everyday. If you don’t mind extra marital relationships then you might easily find it here.
There are some reports about having people here who are known sex offenders, and have some brush ups with the law. They might go with their real name and you can easily track them by cross referencing. What’s scary is if they go under different names you have no clue who your chatting with unless you video chat (suggested!), that is why you have to be extra vigilant online.
Reports says that they have poor customer service team which can be reached through email. Complaints and reports will come out unanswered, and the lack of a hot line is another point to consider. As a paying member you should know whom to call and talk to regarding what your paying for and where your money is going. A prompt and helpful customer care line should be a plus, unfortunately pof.com has none of it.
Here is our take on basic features of POF.com and some ideas on how to take advantage of these features in your online dating adventure.
Your POF.com Profile
Your profile is your online personal page. This is where you will represent yourself to everyone inside the website. The secret is to make it unique, catchy, and short. Tell everyone what your looking for, and whom your interested in meeting. Include a little bit of your hobbies or interests.
The most important part of your profile is your profile picture. Put a picture which will show your face, otherwise you might be reported as spam/get banned or you might not get the right response from other members. A nice profile picture will double if not triple your chance of hooking up with someone. POF.com will not tolerate members uploading sexually explicit images.
If you have a gold membership you can have your profile highlighted and have it appeared on top search. But an incomplete profile even with a paid subscription is completely ineffective. Here is a link that you can follow where Pof.com tells it all regarding how to create a better profile and effective messages. (http://www.pof.com/betterprofile.aspx)
POF.com Chat feature is free and its browser based. This means that you don’t need to pay or download anything in order to use the feature. You can start chatting with other online members who have their chat settings enabled. You can send chat requests by clicking the chat icon below the member’s profile thumbnail.
Chat will allow members to exchange instant messages on real time. It also enables members to have audio and video chat. This feature is available to users who are online via a computer. Online members who are on mobile phones will not be able to use chat. Chat is an essential element for a dating website to thrive.
You can enable and disable chat settings from your profile. Just click on “edit profile” from there on you can adjust almost all of your settings. This is where you can chose to accept chat requests or automatically deny them. You can also choose to have your profile hidden. This way you will not appear online or on any search that also means that you can’t be bothered by chat requests.
Follow the link we have here to learn more about Pof.com Chat. (http://www.pof.com/faq_chat.aspx)
Images are great when you want your page to catch more attention. POF.com allows users to upload images into their account or members’ page. Free standard members are allowed to upload up to 8 images, while paying or premium members can have up to 16 pictures. You can upload pictures in .jpg.gif and .bmp formats.
Uploading images to Pof.com can be done via computer and and your mobile device where POF app is running. Please remember that you can’t crop pictures within POF.com, so you will have to crop them before you upload them to the site.
Also remember that as a member your not allowed to upload explicit or inappropriate images. This will involve images that is not showing your face, sexually suggestive images like nudity or showing private parts of your body. Cartoon characters and images depicting brand names are also considered inappropriate. If you will violate this rule you might loose your image uploading ability or get banned from the site.
Take note that once you upload an image your picture will show in a new image tab where others can rate or report it. Offensive images and pictures rated badly will be taken off from the site.
Here are some more information regarding managing and uploading images to pof.com. (http://www.pof.com/faq_images.aspx)
Common POF.com Errors
Here is our quick rundown of common errors that a pof.com user may experience. Most complaints will include, “can’t login”, “can’t upload image’ and “can’t use webcam”.
POF.com Login Errors. The most common issue that members may encounter are log in errors. If you can’t login this can be due to incorrect password or incorrect username. If you have forgotten your username you can login using your email address instead. If you have forgotten your password, you can ask a copy by putting your email address here. http://www.pof.com/getpassword.aspx. And you will have your password emailed to your address.
A pop up window saying that your password just expired is not a login error. It only means that yo have to update your password, this is an added precautionary measure. It’s best that you regularly change your password for security purposes.
Some may also report that they can’t login because of an incomplete signup. When your signing up make sure that you complete it at once. If you haven’t you can check your members status here. http://www.pof.com/suggestions.aspx?from=v2_4. You can also use the same form to contact support in case you have lost access to your original email address.
POF.com Image Upload Error. If you have difficulty in uploading images or pictures this can be due to the following.
- First you might have reached your maximum number of allowable images on site. Again free members can upload 8 images and 16 for paying members.
- Second you might be uploading an image format that is not accepted by site.
- Third your account might be on ban from uploading pictures because you have uploaded an indecent or inappropriate picture.
POF.com Chat Error. Some people may complain about chat not working. There are known issues why you can’t chat with someone or why chat is not working on your account. First you must make sure that you have disabled your pop-up blocker. You must also check your chat settings if its allowed or not.
A message saying that your ”chat request timed out” is not a chat error. It only means that the member was not able to respond to your request on a timely manner. It might be because the member is busy or has ignored your request or he/she is online via mobile in which case chat is not available. Try sending chat request some other time.
If you have a black screen, or plugin missing error when trying audio and video chat, your computer might not have the latest flash plugin. You must download and run Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or newer version in order to use video and audio chat. Also check cables and make sure that your camera and/or microphone is properly working.
You should also try changing your browser from IE to mozilla firefox
Basically most issues are addressed by the website’s help section. There are plenty of f.a.q. articles there that can help you. We do recommend that you check them first before you contact support. The forum boards can also help you. In fact members can be very helpful with any of your concerns.