When Backpage closed its “adults” section due to unrelenting pressure from the government, critics, and select advocacy groups, few read much into it. The “dating” or personals section was untouched, so you could still post your hookup ads with remarkable ease and get timely responses.
But then barely a year later, a bill that proponents clearly stated targeted Backpage passed with bipartisan support, a rare occurrence from a heavily-fractured Congress. FOSTA/SESTA spooked Craigslist and they wasted no time in closing their “Personals” category. At that point, you could figuratively see the curtains closing.
Eventually, on 6 April 2018 the Feds shut down Backpage. Sure enough, alternatives abound for most of its sections. Craigslist is still much around and isn’t going anywhere soon. However, the same cannot be said for the personals section. This article itemizes the few backpage personals alternatives that remain. It remains to be seen if available options increase over time as the shockwaves from Backpage’s shutdown dissipates.
Admittedly, Backpage had a bit more color than Craigslist, but both shared the same design philosophy. Classified Ads more lively site-wide design represents a firm departure from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” unexciting design of Backpage (and CL).
Beyond the better design, you’d be happy to find out that posting in the Personals category is free. You have the option to create an account. However, it is not mandatory. The section comprises “Casual Dating,” “Men Seeking Men,” “Men Seeking Women,” “Missed Connections,” “Women Seeking Men,” and “Women Seeking Women” sub-categories. Furthermore, you can quickly respond directly to an ad from the ad page.
The reach of Classified Ads is unsurprisingly not as vast as Backpage, but it is seeing increasing usage. And in a post-Backpage world, it’d behoove you to take what you can get.
Unlike Classified Ads, Doublelist is a classifieds site specifically for dating and personals ads. You’d find no jobs, rentals, or items for sale ads on Doublelist. As a result, its Personals categories are a more fleshed out.
In addition to the standard hetero and gay connections, there are also sub-sections for couples’ connections. It also has a dating section with multiple sub-sections, from platonic relationships and friendships to serious relationships.
Although surfing the site doesn’t require an account, you’d need one to read the content of ads. Creating one is very easy. You’d enter your mail, you receive a link, then finish up by setting your password and preferences (you can’t change them later tho’).
Doublelist tries to coalesce cities instead of the more pinpoint locations of Backpage and CL in select cities. Therefore, you’d have to choose a nearest location. This is in an attempt to have a wide selection of ads in a large area rather than have many accurate locations with barely any ads. Eventually, as the user base increases, more cities will be split out of existing encompassing locations.
Grindr is an amazing dating app for the larger queer community. It used to be a lot niched to the male homosexual crowd, but it is now more expansive. It has one of the largest online communities of queer people, which means you have plenty of choice whether you’re looking for a casual hookup or something more serious.
It’s more than a dating app though, it also has a digital magazine that focuses exclusively on LGBT issues. That said as an app, you don’t get the eccentric classifieds feel, where you can post ads detailing what you want and receive responses without having to deal with profiles and the likes. But with dating apps becoming an integral part of the love lives of most people in the 21st century, you may have to make do with one as a decent alternative to classifieds personals.
Locanto looks every inch like a modern classifieds site and you’d appreciate its improved usability. Although its personals section at the city level looks limited, the section is actually extensive and well categorized. In addition to the usual, you have missed connections, couple hookups, trans hookups, and even a fetish encounters sub-section for those in the kinky camp.
You’d need an account though to post (or respond to) an ad. And in this way, it is a lot like Doublelist and a classifieds/standard dating site hybrid. It even has a “follow this user” feature, which is neat. Creating an account is easy and mirrors Doublelist’s signup process. Alternatively, you could use your Facebook or Google account to signup/login.
There’s not much to be said about Tinder, except that it is the de facto hookup app, although to be fair a good percentage of users are on the app for long-term relationships.
You may have this idea that Tinder is geared towards facilitating single hetero hookups, which is severely limiting compared to classifieds personals sections. But Tinder offers users the ability to choose between 40+ gender options on a profile and you can use it to get under the sheets with multiple partners (analog of couple connections on classifieds).
Download: iOS and Android.