Coffee Meets Bagel is a free dating app that aims to match you up via a mutual friend on Facebook. It’s available on the iPhone and Android. But here’s the million dollar question: Is Coffee Meets Bagel good, or should you go with another app like Bumble instead?
This Coffee Meets Bagel Review is packed with everything you need to know about the app so you can decide if it’s the right dating app for you.
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All About The Bagels
Coffee Meets Bagel has two main sections where you can browse profiles: Bagels & Discover.
The Bagels section is where you’ll go to look at your suggested matches, or ‘bagels’. Men receive up to 21 bagels each day at noon, which they can either “Like” or “Pass.” Women are presented with bagels who both meet their criteria and have already “liked” them.
The app’s founders embrace the idea that “men love selection and women are selective,” which has made CMB popular with women. They actually outnumber men 60:40, which inspired the app’s latest iteration: #LadiesChoice.
CMB tries to match you with people who share at least one Facebook friend, but when it can’t, you’ll still get matches.
Bagels are screened with limited criteria: gender, age, height, distance, ethnicity, and religion.
You have 24 hours to either “like” or “pass” on your bagel. If you both hit like, you can start chatting with each other.
But there’s a catch – the CMB texting platform is only available for 8 days.
This puts some light pressure on you both since you know you’ve only got a week to swap phone numbers or make plans to meet. Seems like a good thing when that’s the entire point of dating apps!
If you want to re-open an expired conversation for an additional 30 days, you do have the option to use “beans,” the app’s internal currency.
In the Discover section, you can browse through profiles of users that meet your criteria. You’ll also see whether or not they’ve “liked” you already. If they have, tap the conversation icon and start chatting.
If not, you can “like” the profile by tapping the orange heart:
When you “like” a bagel in the Discover section, that’s considered a “Take” and it requires spending beans (typically around 385 each time). Premium users can “take” up to 8 bagels a day without spending beans. Your profile will automatically show up in their Discover section with a note that you liked them.
More Beans, More Bagels
You also have the option to purchase beans, which you can then spend to do things like open expired conversations (as previously mentioned), extend the chat window, and see which mutual friends you have in common.
You earn coffee beans by using the platform regularly, inviting friends to use the app, sharing on social media, and completing tasks like filling out your CMB profile or giving feedback on why you passed on a specific match.
You can also buy coffee beans in increments of 100, 2,000 and 3,000.
Is a Premium Membership Worth The Cost?
Downloading the app and using the basic features is free. But if you want to know whether or not a bagel has read your message, you’ll have to upgrade.
An upgraded membership costs $35 a month, or you can get a discount by committing to 6 months or a year up front:
Premium members also have access to an “Activity Report” on each bagel, which can give you an idea of whether or not sending a message is worth your time and energy.
One drawback to the Activity Report is that it only updates every 72 hours, and every stat except for the “Active within 72 hours” is calculated on the most recent 10 connections for that bagel. So if your bagel is a newer user or doesn’t use the app a lot, the Activity Report isn’t very accurate.
Here’s what else you’ll get when you upgrade:
- 8 free “Takes”
- Message read receipts
- 15% more beans on all purchases.
Demographics: The Coffee Meets Bagel Age Range
The range of CMB skews towards the younger set, with the majority of the app’s users being 25-34 years old. Only 31% are 30+.
If you fall outside of that core range, upgrading probably isn’t worth it unless you’re in a big city like SF, LA or NYC. Otherwise, you may just be better off paying for Tinder or Bumble, and having access to a larger pool of local singles.
Creating Your Profile
Setting up a CMB profile is quick and easy because it’s all done through Facebook. With the click of a button you are immediately set up with a profile including your name, age, and photos from your Facebook profile.
If you want to become one of many Coffee Meets Bagel success stories, take the time to fill out the short profile questions. The answers increase your likelihood of being matched with people.
The profile page consists of three statements: “I am…” “I like…” and “I appreciate when my date…”
Users receive only a handful of matches each day, so your profile (or lack thereof) can have a big impact on your success rate. If she’s hovering between “Like” and “Pass” after checking out your photos, an attention-grabbing profile could seal the deal.
Here is a Coffee Meets Bagel profile example that packs a huge punch in just a few sentences:
Click here for some tips on how to write a profile that will make her “like” you every time.
Nailing Your Coffee Meets Bagel Icebreakers
You’ll have the opportunity to add up to 3 icebreakers. These are little tidbits of information that will be presented to your matches as a conversation starter:
Icebreakers are a great way to add a little intrigue and spark to your profile. When you ignite someone’s curiosity, they’re much more inclined to engage in a conversation with you. Here are a few icebreaker examples to get you pointed in the right direction:
Coffee Meets Bagel’s Photo Lab
CMB allows you to upload up to 9 photos. It automatically pulls from your Facebook account, but you can also upload them from your phone.
Since it’s almost impossible to look equally attractive in 9 photos, it’s best to stick to a range of 3-7. Your worst photo is the most memorable, and it could send someone straight to the “Pass” icon. For expert advice on choosing your strongest photos, check out this article.
Unbiased feedback is your best friend when it comes to choosing your most attractive photo array. You can crowdsource feedback on a site like PhotoFeeler, or you can use the app’s internal “Photo Lab” feature to help make your decisions.
Photo Lab allows users to vote on which of two photos they prefer. To access the feature, you’re required to participate in a few rounds of voting (which takes under a minute), and then you can submit two of your photos for judging. Once enough feedback has been obtained, you can “purchase” the results for 100 beans.
The Pros and Cons of Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is not the best app to try if you’re looking for a quick hook-up. And if you’re looking to find a serious relationship quickly, you probably won’t want to rely exclusively on the matches it provides.
On the flip side, it’s a great app for those who are looking for quality dates and don’t have a ton of time to invest in meeting people online.
Coffee Meets Bagel User Reviews
CMB’s user reviews on Yelp are a mixed bag. Many users praised the quality of the matches, and found serious relationships:
Other users encountered fake profiles and scammers:
CMB seems to attract young professionals and sophisticated women. If you’re looking for a quality relationship and aren’t in any particular hurry to find it, CMB is a good place to start. 70% of CMB users said they are looking for a relationship, while only 12% want a casual hook up.
But if you want to meet someone sooner rather than later, you probably won’t want to put all your eggs into the Coffee Meets Bagel basket. Who wants to wait around for their perfect date instead of going out and finding it?
If you’re too busy to manage multiple dating profiles at a time, consider hiring a virtual dating assistant.
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