Are you having trouble finding your Mr. or Mrs. Right in today’s Nigeria? You are not alone.
Some of the most common questions being asked are: Which is the best dating app in Nigeria? Is there a free dating app available in the country?
The good news is that there is plenty of choice and six amazing Nigerian dating apps have been identified, including one that may surprise you (see No. 6 below).
Check out the list below, starting with Nigeria’s top dating app: Badoo
Badoo is a location-based dating app that shows you people who live and work near you. You can find people based on age, location and gender. Badoo offers Nigerians the opportunity to chat with people nearby and rate their photos. As if that is not enough, there is an ‘Encounters’ feature, which allows you to swipe through different people’s photos and say either yes or no; if there’s a mutual yes, then both users receive a notification.
Popularity in Nigeria: Badoo has a whopping 314 million users. Tens of thousands of Badoo’s huge users are located in Lagos, Abuja and other communities throughout Nigeria. In fact, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that Badoo was the most downloaded dating app in Nigeria during 2015.
Device availability: Badoo is available for phones using the Android and Apple operating systems. The many Nigerians who use Windows phones will be pleased to hear that Badoo may be downloaded from the Windows Store.
Tinder is one of the most established location-based dating applications available worldwide. The Tinder app is very simple, it displays pictures of people in your vicinity and allows you to either swipe right to “like” the person, or swipe left to continue searching. If there is a match, Tinder will notify you and you can begin sending messages to them. Tinder doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Badoo and instead, chooses to keep things simple for its users.
Popularity in Nigeria: The bad news is that Tinder doesn’t provide up to date information on the number of its users. However, Google Trends shows that users in Lagos and Abuja are searching for Tinder-related terms at a rapidly increasing rate.
Device availability: Tinder is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. BlackBerry users will be disappointed to find out that the Tinder app has not been made available for the BlackBerry OS. All the same, the new version of the Blackberry OS (Blackberry 10 OS 10.3.1) provides access to the Amazon app store. Amazon offers apps made for Android OS; so, if your BlackBerry has the new OS, go right ahead and download Tinder from there.
Verdict: 8/10 – Tinder is the perfect dating app for those Nigerians who want to keep dating simple.
Friendite makes it into third place on the list of the best Nigerian dating apps for mobile. The reason is that it is targeted at Nigerian singles. The founder, Emmanuel Okeke, was born and raised in Nigeria and started Friendite in order to provide a bespoke dating service for Nigerians and Africans.
Popularity in Nigeria: According to its website, Friendite is “the Nigerian most popular dating website among singles.” However, the Google Play Store shows that Friendite has had between 1,000 and 5,000 installs as of June 2016. No doubt, the low level of installation will disappoint Friendite, which has a huge following on Facebook, with close to 40,000 likes. Friendite will need to work hard on its app in order to reach its potential and expand its user base.
Device availability: A significant disadvantage of Friendite is that it is only available for Android mobiles at the moment. Users of BlackBerry, Windows and Apple phones will need to consider other options.
Verdict: 7/10 – Friendite is perfect for those who have an Android phone and want an authentic Nigerian dating experience.
Zoosk is an international dating app that has a user base of over 26 million as of December 2014. The app is available in 25 languages and in more than 80 countries. The numbers are impressive and so are the special features. One such feature is Zoosk’s “behavioural matchmaking engine” that uses a smart algorithm to identify users’ behaviours and match users, according to patterns of behaviour. Another feature is the “photo verification service” that aims to ensure that users are not using photos that show them in a flattering light.
Popularity in Nigeria: How popular is Zoosk in Nigeria? Google gives some indication: the term “Zoosk” attracted 1,000 average monthly Google searches in Nigeria as of June 2016, but this pales into comparison to Badoo and Tinder, which had 110,000 and 5,400 searches, respectively. In other words, Zoosk has a small following in Nigeria but not nearly as much as its two main rivals.
Device availability: Zoosk can be downloaded onto mobiles using Apple, Android and Windows operating systems. It’s now even available via the Amazon App Store. Unfortunately, Zoosk is not available for BlackBerry devices, unless they are using the Android operating system.
Verdict: 6/10 – Zoosk is Nigeria’s most underrated dating app. It’s got some incredibly sexy features and should be considered as a great alternative to Badoo and Tinder.
Like Friendite, NAIJing is a home-grown Nigerian dating app. Unusually, the NAIJing app is for mobile only and there’s no desktop version. It offers all of the familiar bells and whistles of dating apps such as the ability to “like” and communicate by messaging. NAIJing was launched in December 2014 and it looks like it is still suffering from a number of issues such as susceptibility to hacking and bugs. Hopefully, the guys at NAIJing will sort out these teething problems soon.
Popularity in Nigeria: According to the Google Play Store, NAIJing has had 100,000 to 500,000 installs. This is an impressive number when you consider that NAIJing doesn’t have a desktop version. Judging by the number of reviews on the Google Play Store (over 3,000), the NAIJing app is driving user engagement and gaining in popularity among Nigerians at a rapid pace.
Device availability: The NAIJing dating app is available for Android phones provided you have the 3.0 operating system and above. Unfortunately, the app is not yet available for iPhone and BlackBerry devices.
Verdict: 5/10 – NAIJing is let down by the numerous technical issues but the team can turn this into one of the best dating apps in Nigeria.
It’s perhaps surprising but Facebook has made it into the list of the top Nigeria dating apps. Hold on, we hear you say, isn’t Facebook a social network? The answer is yes. But in Nigeria, it’s also one of the most popular dating tools around. One page on Facebook, Hook Up and Mates in Nigeria, boasts almost 200,000 likes! Here you can find Nigerian guys or girls asking for advice on dating or looking for relationships, hook-ups and everything in between. Trust us, it is an addictive stuff.
Popularity in Nigeria: Facebook sees Africa as the future. Last year, it opened up its first office on the continent in Johannesburg. In fact, Reuters reported that as of June 2014, Facebook had 15 million monthly active users in Nigeria. This is a drop in the ocean when you consider that Nigeria has close to 90 million Internet users. However, each day, more and more Nigerians are joining Facebook and using it for sharing content, talking with friends and dating of course.
Device availability: The Facebook app is pretty much available on every mobile device, including Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows operating systems.
Verdict: 4/10 – You can have so much fun to snoop on other Nigerians’ love lives via Facebook! All that said, if you’re looking to find love, we recommend investing your time and energy in an actual Nigerian dating app.