Dating app gives users an attractiveness rating on a scale of one to five

A dating app that evaluates user photos and issues an attractiveness score on a scale of one to five is informing users of their ratings.

Last week, the UK-based dating app Once emailed all of its users and informed them of their attractiveness score – which was determined by asking “users to rate each other’s pictures” and the app’s algorithm. 

According to the app’s CEO Jean Meyer, the decision to do so was one made out of a desire to be “transparent”.

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Although it is believed that most dating apps use algorithms to rate users and pair them with appropriate matches accordingly, this is the first time a dating app shared the ratings with its users.

“[Ranking algorithms] are the unspoken secrets of the dating industry,” Meyer told The New York Post. “We know we’re doing it, we know our competition is doing it, so why not be transparent?”

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1/9 Doingsomething

Doing Something was set up to avoid awkward meetings in bars and to get people together who enjoy doing the same things. Rather than picking dates based on profiles, you sign up with one photo, a few optional questions and something you’d like to do on a date. If someone likes your date idea, you can go on it together. The ideas are interesting (wild garlic picking anyone?), the profile questions quirky and you can do everything except contact members without parting with the cash, so you can see who’s out there first. The site started for London residents, but is expanding across UK cities. Doingsomething, offer for independent.co.uk readers: Enter code ‘independent15’ for a month’s membership for £15

2/9 My Single Friend

If you find the thought of writing the perfect dating profile a little daunting, My Single Friend is for you. The brainchild of Sarah Beeny, it lets yours friends do the hard work and set up a profile for you. All they have to do is answer five quick fire questions about you (‘Breaking Bad or Homeland?’), describe you in fewer than 2000 characters, upload a picture and you’re all set. My Single Friend, from £21/month

3/9 Match

Match.com is one of the oldest and biggest dating websites in the world. Launched in 1995 it runs in 25 countries and has over 5million members in the UK. With so many members, statistically you have a great chance of finding a partner, though you might have to trawl through a lot of profiles first. Setting up your account is fairly simple and involves answering questions about your basic information and tastes, and then answering similar questions about your ideal date to raise the chances of getting a suitable match. The app version offers all the same features as the website and is available for Android, Nokia an Windows as well as Apple. match.com, from £20.99/month, also on app

4/9 eHarmony

Calling itself the number one dating site for marriages, eHarmony is a great place to start if you’re looking for long-term love. Unlike other dating sites, you don’t browse other members’ profiles yourself. Instead, you answer an extended survey about your tastes, personality and lifestyle when you sign up, and the site uses an algorithm to find matches for you. Once you’ve got a match, you can send them pre-set icebreaker questions to test the waters or just go straight in with a direct message. The app is clean and simple, and comes with the added feature of a date diary, so you can keep on top of your matches. eHarmony, from £12.95/month, also on app

5/9 Tastebuds

If music be the food of love, Tastebuds is the way to find it. For those who want to be able to share their taste in music with their partner, Tastebuds uses listening data from last.fm or Spotify, or the bands and artists that you enter manually, to match you with people who like the same music as you. First date to see The Black Keys anyone? There is currently an app for Android, but not for Apple or Windows. Tastebuds, free, also on app

6/9 Lovestruck

Lovestruck is a fairly traditional dating website in the way that you set up your profile, but it’s the best one for location services. You can search potential matches within a close radius to find singletons who live, work or go out near you and set up dates nearby. If you struggle to find the time to fit dating in, you can do it on your lunch break with Lovestruck. The site also organises dating events and has a great selection of suggested date ideas if you’re feeling uninspired and the app makes it even easier to find love on a busy schedule. Lovestruck, from £11.58 a month

7/9 OKCupid

With over 30 million active users and no subscription charges, OKCupid is a good place to start if you’re new to online dating. You fill in a traditional profile with a photo, basic information about yourself and a short blurb, and also have the option of answering a set of randomly selected questions. The more you answer, the better chance you have of getting a good match. It’s almost worth doing just for the comedy value of the questions, ranging from the basic – ‘Are you a cat person or a dog person?’ – to the downright odd – ‘In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be exciting?’. The site also has one of the best designed apps we’ve tested. OKCupid, free, also on app

8/9 Love begins at

Love Begins At is a more niche dating site that comes from the creators of Uniform Dating and Speed Dater. The site was set up to help singletons over the age of 45 find love and companionship outside of their usual social circles. It’s a traditional dating site, with basic profiles and you do the browsing yourself but you can send winks and icebreakers to other members to see what’s out there before you subscribe. Love begins at, £34.99 a month

9/9 My Lovely Parent

My Lovely Parent operates on a similar premise to My Single Friend, so you can give your parent, aunt, father-in-law or other relative a friendly nudge into the world of online dating by setting up their account for them. You write a basic character description and answer questions like ‘What five words best describe (Kate)?’ and ‘Describe three perfect afternoons for (Kate)’ and then send the details of the account to your relative to let them get browsing. The site also has a great series of support articles for staying safe online and relationships after divorce or bereavement. My Lovely Parent, first 3 months free

1/9 Doingsomething

Doing Something was set up to avoid awkward meetings in bars and to get people together who enjoy doing the same things. Rather than picking dates based on profiles, you sign up with one photo, a few optional questions and something you’d like to do on a date. If someone likes your date idea, you can go on it together. The ideas are interesting (wild garlic picking anyone?), the profile questions quirky and you can do everything except contact members without parting with the cash, so you can see who’s out there first. The site started for London residents, but is expanding across UK cities. Doingsomething, offer for independent.co.uk readers: Enter code ‘independent15’ for a month’s membership for £15

2/9 My Single Friend

If you find the thought of writing the perfect dating profile a little daunting, My Single Friend is for you. The brainchild of Sarah Beeny, it lets yours friends do the hard work and set up a profile for you. All they have to do is answer five quick fire questions about you (‘Breaking Bad or Homeland?’), describe you in fewer than 2000 characters, upload a picture and you’re all set. My Single Friend, from £21/month

3/9 Match

Match.com is one of the oldest and biggest dating websites in the world. Launched in 1995 it runs in 25 countries and has over 5million members in the UK. With so many members, statistically you have a great chance of finding a partner, though you might have to trawl through a lot of profiles first. Setting up your account is fairly simple and involves answering questions about your basic information and tastes, and then answering similar questions about your ideal date to raise the chances of getting a suitable match. The app version offers all the same features as the website and is available for Android, Nokia an Windows as well as Apple. match.com, from £20.99/month, also on app

4/9 eHarmony

Calling itself the number one dating site for marriages, eHarmony is a great place to start if you’re looking for long-term love. Unlike other dating sites, you don’t browse other members’ profiles yourself. Instead, you answer an extended survey about your tastes, personality and lifestyle when you sign up, and the site uses an algorithm to find matches for you. Once you’ve got a match, you can send them pre-set icebreaker questions to test the waters or just go straight in with a direct message. The app is clean and simple, and comes with the added feature of a date diary, so you can keep on top of your matches. eHarmony, from £12.95/month, also on app

5/9 Tastebuds

If music be the food of love, Tastebuds is the way to find it. For those who want to be able to share their taste in music with their partner, Tastebuds uses listening data from last.fm or Spotify, or the bands and artists that you enter manually, to match you with people who like the same music as you. First date to see The Black Keys anyone? There is currently an app for Android, but not for Apple or Windows. Tastebuds, free, also on app

6/9 Lovestruck

Lovestruck is a fairly traditional dating website in the way that you set up your profile, but it’s the best one for location services. You can search potential matches within a close radius to find singletons who live, work or go out near you and set up dates nearby. If you struggle to find the time to fit dating in, you can do it on your lunch break with Lovestruck. The site also organises dating events and has a great selection of suggested date ideas if you’re feeling uninspired and the app makes it even easier to find love on a busy schedule. Lovestruck, from £11.58 a month

7/9 OKCupid

With over 30 million active users and no subscription charges, OKCupid is a good place to start if you’re new to online dating. You fill in a traditional profile with a photo, basic information about yourself and a short blurb, and also have the option of answering a set of randomly selected questions. The more you answer, the better chance you have of getting a good match. It’s almost worth doing just for the comedy value of the questions, ranging from the basic – ‘Are you a cat person or a dog person?’ – to the downright odd – ‘In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be exciting?’. The site also has one of the best designed apps we’ve tested. OKCupid, free, also on app

8/9 Love begins at

Love Begins At is a more niche dating site that comes from the creators of Uniform Dating and Speed Dater. The site was set up to help singletons over the age of 45 find love and companionship outside of their usual social circles. It’s a traditional dating site, with basic profiles and you do the browsing yourself but you can send winks and icebreakers to other members to see what’s out there before you subscribe. Love begins at, £34.99 a month

9/9 My Lovely Parent

My Lovely Parent operates on a similar premise to My Single Friend, so you can give your parent, aunt, father-in-law or other relative a friendly nudge into the world of online dating by setting up their account for them. You write a basic character description and answer questions like ‘What five words best describe (Kate)?’ and ‘Describe three perfect afternoons for (Kate)’ and then send the details of the account to your relative to let them get browsing. The site also has a great series of support articles for staying safe online and relationships after divorce or bereavement. My Lovely Parent, first 3 months free

According to Meyer, by knowing one’s rating, it makes it more likely they will find a match by aiming for “realistic” partners.

But just because a user has a certain score doesn’t mean the score is permanent, as Meyer said the algorithm takes into account when a lower-scored person matches with someone who has a higher rating.

On Twitter, one user said she was “horrified” by Once’s decision to reveal ratings. An article by The Guardian hypothesised whether anybody would “even want such a feature” and whether it could be the “death of the dating app”.

Despite the somewhat negative response, Meyer wants to remind users their rating is about nothing more than their pictures.

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“We are disclosing the rate of how your pictures are perceived, it doesn’t mean you’re ugly or you’re beautiful,” he said, adding: “It only reflects one attribute of who you are – your pictures.”

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