DateInAsia is a free dating site focused on East and Southeast Asia, and very popular in the Philippines.
I have to confess a certain prejudice towards DateInAsia.com because that’s where I met my wife. Nonetheless, I was contacted by a number of scammers, and the site is far from perfect. Since I stopped using DateInAsia, I see that the site has undergone a serious upgrade. It no longer allows only one picture, and the search function and layout have been improve. Overall the site is better than it was, but how does it stack up against paid sites?
The user profiles allow the user to fill in a lot of details, including free writing about themselves and their hoped-for partner. Unfortunately, little of it is mandatory. It’s not even required to fill in the ‘About Me’ or ‘Looking For’ sections. This is the best way to know what type of person the user is, as well as their level of English, so it’s best if a certain amount of text is required. You’re able to see when their last login time was and whether or not they are online.
While DateInAsia is now allowing multiple pictures, the pictures cannot be made full sized on the screen. Clicking on a picture makes all pictures larger, and clicking again opens a larger lightbox. Fortunately, DateInAsia requires that pictures be a certain size. It is required that the main picture show a person’s face, and the face has to be shown clearly and of a certain size. The site has software built in that blogs images that are too small or in which a face can’t be seen clearly.
The messaging box is right at the top of the user profile with a friendly warning to keep all messages clean. Previously sent messages and replies are seen directly on the user profile page. There is no chat feature on DateInAsia, so messaging is your only way of communicating on the site. A lot of users try to use the messaging service as a chat feature, so you get a lot of messages just saying “Hi.” Since the site is free, there is no limitation on how many messages you send and who can read them. You also have the option of showing interest in someone, but that’s not much more use than sending a message.
Searching and Usability
DateInAsia.com has a very detailed search feature as well as a basic one. You can search for members currently online and sort members by when they were last online. It’s possible to search by city and country, but not by province.
Site support is almost non-existent. You can report scammers or inappropriate content, but that’s all that gets relatively fast action. The sites FAQs explain that since the site is free, they will only reply after 5-7 days, and if they think the request is important, so good luck. Since no payments are made, there’s not a lot you’ll need to contact them about other than scammers, which they claim to take seriously. Just be sure to get off-site contact info as soon as possible for any Filipinas you are interested in just in case you are no longer able to login.
As the name suggests, DateInAsia covers all of Asia, so how does it compare with Filipina dating sites? Quite well, actually. In the evenings, Philippines time, there is usually at least 11,000 users online. Of those, 1,700 are Filipinas. That is more than many of the popular paid Filipina dating sites. There are comparatively fewer foreigners on the site, though, so there may be less ‘competition’, though truth be told most women interested in international dating join more than one site. Other than Filipinos, the site is popular with Indonesians, and to a lesser degree with Thais. A smaller number of East Asians use the site. The user base is also very active. In the few hours I spent on the site for the purposes of this review, my profile was viewed dozens of times and I was sent 7 messages, all without contacting anyone myself.
DateInAsia has instituted a nice security feature which blocks users trying to log in to the site while using a proxy or VPN. I found this out by accident when using a VPN that’s detected only about 1/4 of the time. This feature allows them to block any scammers who have been banned on their own IP.
I’m curious how a site like DateInAsia makes money. There is one Google ad on each page, and that’s about it. Given the amount of resources a site of that size needs, and the cost of their upgrade, they must be spending a lot as well. In the days when I met my wife, I thought it was a forgotten relic of earlier years, but the upgrade makes it look like someone still cares for it. All that aside, it’s a good place to start if you’re interested in getting started in online dating, but don’t get discouraged if the first woman you meet is a scammer. There are plenty of good ones to be found also. DateInAsia.com has a big enough user base that you won’t have any trouble finding women to talk to. Since they are mostly the same women who use the paid dating sites, you can save quite a bit of money if you’re willing to give it some time.