The line between social media and dating apps is already blurrier than we would like to admit. After all, social media platforms are all about interacting with people, and it only takes a daring DM to turn a platonic interaction into a romantic one. By cleverly adopting many of the community features you’ll find on sites like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitch, Clover takes a look at how social media is already attracting lovers. It’s a dating app, so it’s normal to be thirsty on hand.
Getting started with Clover
Although it takes inspiration from a lot of social media, Clover (free, with premium options) is its own separate service with its own separate account. This is not Facebook dating. You can use your Facebook or Snapchat account to sign up, but you can also use your email credentials or Apple / Google accounts depending on the mobile operating system you are using. Clover is available on Android and iOS devices. I mainly tested on an iPhone 12 mini. Clover does not have a web version.
The sign-up process asks you basic questions about yourself and what you want from a partner. What type of relationship are you looking for? Do you smoke? What is your geographic location and your age range? Expand your profile by tagging interests, such as animals, fashion, and training. You must submit at least one photo of yourself before you can interact with other people.
The glossy photos and the sleek interface immediately give the app a high-quality feel, similar to Hinge. Some stock photographs are a bit objectifying, especially when it comes to different body types. Additionally, dividing the age categories into “18-23”, “24-29”, and “30+” should tell you who Clover considers their target audience. A first question asks how adventurous you are in bed. If there’s one place you shouldn’t hold back, it’s in a dating app.
Profiles and interface
Initially, the Clover vibe felt better suited to quick connections, like our pick of Tinder editor’s pick, rather than lasting relationships, like our other pick of editor’s pick. Although you slip many pretty faces, the app offers ways to get to know your potential mate more intimately. Profiles indicate whether or not the person is looking for a romantic affair or a serious relationship. By tapping on an interest in a person’s bio, you also get a list of other users who share those interests, so you can navigate more efficiently.
You can also play a game of 20 questions and compare your answers with those of others. These are more informal questions, closer to OkCupid prompts than eharmony’s analytical questionnaire. Are you messy or organized? Are you predictable or spontaneous? Do you prefer Mac or PC? When you decide to send that first message, you can opt for one of Clover’s pre-written icebreakers like “You’re super trendy!” Or “Hey baby, your place AND mine ???” If someone is a jerk, you can always block them and report it. If someone isn’t right for you, recommend them to a friend.
Arguably the trickiest aspect of online dating (especially in a COVID-19 world) is the transition from online to real life. Fortunately, Clover has some of the best built-in tools we’ve seen to help users plan actual dates. Users can tell whether or not they are interested in a date. You can also request a date directly. There is an entire tab to browse available dates, monitor pending dates, and schedule confirmed dates.
However, chatting and scheduling dates aren’t the only ways to interact with Clover users. You can also join the Mixers, community groups which are basically small forums where members post messages. Naturally, most of these forums are on the topic of romance. Socially awkward singles. Girls who want cool guys. But others are dedicated to certain interests. Perhaps you will find the love of your life in the wine community or among the Walking Dead Fans. Giving users different ways of approaching communication makes Clover’s overall ecosystem even more appealing.
Premium extras and social distancing
Clover is technically free, but to get the most out of it you’ll need the premium membership and all of the extra features that it includes. Most notably, free users cannot take advantage of the video chat feature which is perfect for safe virtual dating and social distance as the COVID-19 pandemic still rages around the world. Clover’s video chat capability puts it ahead of many other dating apps.
Other premium features include unlimited instant chat and date requests, the ability to include photos and other media in your messages, advanced filtering and sorting options, free weekly profile boosts, deletion ads and the ability to see who likes you. A Clover subscription costs $ 19.99 for one week, $ 74.99 for three months, and $ 119.99 for one year. It’s an expensive start, but the price quickly becomes more reasonable the more you commit. You also get a one-week free trial.
In addition to video chat, premium Clover users can also view and stream themselves in the same way as Instagram Live or a video game live streaming service. You can follow users and watch their broadcasts, or broadcast yourself. You can see one of your own matches live, but this part of Clover feels somewhat distinct from the typical dating features. Only POF offers something similar.
As with most live streaming services, these webcam feeds can sometimes seem a bit worn out. Clover insists users refrain from harassing and overly sexual comments, but Bumble remains the app of choice for female empowerment. As a streamer, you can earn gems from fans which you can then cash out for real money. That’s pretty cool, but it also makes it seem like some people are here more to boost their influence as a trendy influencer than to go out on dates. This is social media for you. Yet, this is yet another new way Clover allows users to interact.
Four leaves, four stars
Whether you want to schedule real dates, participate in online communities, or watch video shows, Clover is the robust dating app for you. Its fast, modern look and feel makes it comparable to our Editors’ Choice Tinder hookup choice. However, based on the number of success stories in the Clover blog, maybe it can also compete with Match, our Editors’ Choice pick for lasting love. However you use it, Clover’s variety of online dating features has something for everyone.