Metrodate: an innovative pioneer of many online dating tools singles have come to expect


The short version: Created in 1998, Metrodate was one of the first online dating platforms that also popularized many features common in today’s dating apps, such as local profile search and matchmaking. Users see a customized version of the website based on their location, and restaurants and businesses in those cities can post events, free of charge, to attract singles. Metrodate hasn’t changed considerably over the past 20 years, but it hasn’t needed to. Today, the platform is free to use and has more than 1 million members worldwide.

Metrodate was established early in the era of online dating platforms and helped set the tone for today’s robust industry. About 20 years ago, Metrodate began implementing several innovative features that daters now consider necessary not only for dating services, but also for most applications in general.

Those features, developed in 1998, include localized search, through which users can view profiles of members who live near them. Prior to Metrodate, most dating websites did not allow users to search by location; in fact, many dating and matchmaking companies used catalogs as a preferred method to help users find compatible singles.

Another feature popularized by Metrodate was the advanced search, which allows users to choose their desired age range, the type of relationship they are looking for and their location. In the same vein, Metrodate allows users to flag if they are not interested in a potential match.

“Metrodate was the first site to offer many of the features we take for granted on modern dating sites,” said Metrodate founder Brad Pliner. is easy to navigate, which helps users find local singles quickly.

While Metrodate was one of the first platforms to implement these features, it has not marketed itself as aggressively as other dating sites. Instead, it has grown organically over the past two decades as Brad has continued his pursuit of other business passions.

Shortly after creating the website, Brad set his sights on developing platforms outside of the dating world. Today, Brad, along with his wife, Debra, focuses most of his attention on developing and maintaining the TherapyNotes mental health support platform.

A pioneering site with more than 1 million members worldwide

Although Metrodate does not have a maintenance team comparable to other dating platforms, it maintains a popularity among users that other dating websites would envy. The platform has a presence in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and India, to name a few of the 200 countries Metrodate reaches.

“Metrodate has about 1.1 million members worldwide and is available in 13 different languages,” Brad said.

The platform skyrocketed in popularity when it switched from its paid subscription model to a free ad-based platform. While the website doesn’t have all the amenities of newer dating platforms, it has the features that users appreciate. These include video and voice chat to help users get to know each other. Chat rooms and forums are also popular features.

Metrodate has more than 1 million users worldwide.

For security, Metrodate places watermarks on users’ profile pictures to prevent scammers from using them. Users appreciate that fake profiles are removed from the site after they are reported to moderators.

Those features and security measures have helped many MetroDate users find the long-term romance they were looking for on the platform. Although Brad said he does not keep statistics on users who have found long-term relationships, the site has collected testimonials from users around the world.

A member from Northern Ireland shared a story of a successful marriage: “I met my soul mate through and I love him very much. We look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.”

Another user from Pennsylvania reports: “I met the love of my life on your site in July 2006. We have been together every weekend since then and got engaged last Valentine’s Day.”

Guides to restaurants and events for singles in many different cities.

One feature that has always made MetroDate stand out is its city-specific content. Based on the user’s location, the site searches for local matches, relevant singles events and restaurants in the area. For example, if you log into Metrodate from Orlando, you will only see singles living in your region, unless you manually perform a zip code search outside of your area.

If users live in small towns or cities without an active Metrodate presence, they may need to look outside their area to find potential partners. To do so, they simply need to change their zip code in the search bar.

Each location’s Singles Events page allows local businesses to list events that might be appropriate for a date. These events can include smart date night ideas, such as bar tours, concerts or nightlife.

Metrodate founder Brad Pliner is pursuing other commercial opportunities, but is still keeping the platform running.

The Restaurants feature allows users to search local restaurants where they want to look for a match on a first or second date. Traveling singles is another way for users to get out of their comfort zone when meeting other people.

If users want to contact other members in their area, they have several tools to initiate correspondence. If you are interested in a site user, you can send that person an e-mail or a “virtual flirt”. You can also contact users in your city through a local message board, which is a particularly popular way to let other users know that you are new to the area.

Metrodate users in a variety of dating situations turn to the platform, from casual dating to those looking for marriage, turn to the platform to improve their chances of finding a compatible connection. So, if you’re not interested in looking for a particular type of relationship, be more specific in your profile.

The more information you add to your profile, the more likely you are to find a suitable match and the more prominent you will appear in other users’ searches. For example, if you have a voice message as part of your profile, you will appear higher in search results, which will generate more interest in potential dates.

Metrodate anticipates major changes in the future

Over the past 20 years, MetroDate has grown and maintained a large fan base. Brad said the site may see some significant updates in 2018, and acknowledges that the platform has had, and will continue to have, an impact on the lives of its users.

“It’s great to hear when people have found someone special on Metrodate,” he said. “My cousin met his wife on Metrodate, so his kids are the best reminder to me that the platform has made a difference.”

Although Brad is involved in other ventures, he still wants to make MetroDate a competitive platform in the online dating world. He plans to develop it further, position it for the future and ensure that it nurtures its organic growth.


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