You may or may not be aware that Craigslist closed its Personals section after the passage of SESTA in 2018.
Contrary to lawmakers’ assumptions, people used Craigslist for totally legitimate reasons, including meeting people in their area, whether for friendship, casual hookups, or dating.
Now that Craigslist Personals are no more, you may find yourself looking for alternatives in 2022. Well, look no further, as we’re about to share twenty of the best Craigslist Personals alternative websites so you can still meet people in your area online.
There’s quite a large variety here, so you’ll want to be sure to read through to find out which site or app may be the best choice for you. Also, you should be aware that some of these pages may have similar issues to the ones that plagued Craigslist (and ended up getting them taken down). So, please take into account the following disclaimer.
While most of these sites are perfectly legitimate, there are a few that may have scams and/or ads for illegal activities. In general, you should always exercise extreme caution. Remember to meet in a public place and always trust your gut.
That said, many of these sites can be a perfectly safe and easy way to meet people, so let’s get right into it!
1.) Reddit Personals
You’ve probably heard of Reddit. If not, it’s one of the largest communities online where people can post about anything and everything on what’s known as “subreddits.” One popular subreddit, which can serve as a Craigslist alternative, is r/r4r. Known as “Reddit Personals,” the subheading is “Activity Partners, Groups, Dating, Hanging Out, Soulmates, FWBs.” So, you can simply make your own ad here, let people know about yourself and what you’re looking for, and see if you get any kind of response. As Reddit is free, it’s pretty much a no-lose option.
When it comes to Craigslist Personals alternatives for casual hookups, Adult Friend Finder is definitely a top choice. Self-billed as “The World’s Largest Sex Dating Site & Swinger Community,” this might very well be true as they have more than 100 million people with accounts. Similar to Ashley Madison, there’s a limited free option as well as paid tiers. With a paid subscription you can get access to features such as “Stories,” which gives you a chance to discuss your ideal dating life so that other people can easily see if you might be a match based on your goals or general vibes.
Want more info about Adult Friend Finder? Check out our full review.
3.) Ashley Madison
It’s highly likely you’ve seen ads for Ashley Madison at some point, at least if you frequent *ahem* certain websites. That’s because Ashley Madison is bold about its purpose, as evidenced by its motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.” In essence, this is a site for connecting adults who are after casual hookups in a discreet fashion. For example, if you’re a paying subscriber, your credit card bill will simply read “Online services.” If you’re intent on taking advantage of all the features offered on the site, then you may want to be subscribe. There’s a handy feature, for example, called “Traveling Man” that lets you reach out to people from an area you’ll be visiting before you actually get there.
Need some more info about Ashley Madison before making a decision? Check out our full review here.
Locanto is very similar to Oodle and many other Craigslist lookalikes. For example, you have a category called “Casual Encounters” with a number of subcategories. There, you can post a personal ad to let people know what it is exactly that you’re hoping to find. As with Oodle, it appears to be mainly men posting in my area, with some of the female postings looking fairly suspicious. Be sure to use your best judgment, and Locanto could end up being a decent option for you to meet people.
Tinder likely doesn’t need a whole lot of introduction, as it’s become one of the most popular “dating” apps around. I put dating in scare quotes because, let’s face it, pretty much everyone knows Tinder’s reputation as an app for casual flings rather than serious dating. Not that that can’t happen, of course. Super popular with millennials and gen Z’ers in particular, Tinder is a fairly simple app. You see profiles of people in your area, then you swipe right if you’re interested or left if you aren’t. Then you’ll get matched up with people who you swiped right on who also swiped right on you. From there, you can start messaging and see what happens. There’s a basic free version as well as a paid tier called Tinder Gold that gives you extra features and unlimited swiping.
6.) Kasual (fka Yumi)
Formerly known as Yumi, Kasual is a nice alternative to Craigslist and the other sites mentioned here because it has a pretty unique premise. Instead of being matched up with other people by swiping or algorithms, Kasual connects you with other people randomly and you can just start chatting right away to see if you might be a fit. Available for iOS (iPhone) and Android, the app comes with a free version that’s pretty complete as is. You can always go for the Premium membership, of course, if you want to unlock more features. All in all, Kasual is kind of a cool alternative compared to Tinder and other dating sites because it’s primarily focused on casual hookups (hence the rebrand) and pairing people randomly.
7.) Plenty of Fish
POF, or Plenty of Fish, is a reference to the classic idea that there are “plenty of fish in the sea”—put differently, don’t worry about being single or getting broken up with because there are tons of other people out there to meet. POF works as both a website or app, which is nice as some of these are only available as one or the other. As a dating site, it’s pretty typical in that you get matched up based on shared interests. You can also use a video-date feature, which is a nice way to get a feel for someone before you take the plunge with an in-person date.
This is a great Craigslist substitute because it’s all about personal ads. Pernals gives you the opportunity to create your own personal ad for free. This means you can put exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s a serious relationship, casual hookup, even a friend, etc. Pernals advertises itself as a Craigslist alternative, which is relatively uncommon among many of these alternatives reviewed here. Just like Craigslist you have the same types of categories: women seeking women, women seeking men, men seeking women, etc. As of now it’s only available as an app, and you can download it for both iOS or Android.
Bedpage, as you might guess from the name, is more of a direct Backpage alternative. That said, it also has the same types of categories as Craigslist Personals had: women seeking women, men seeking women, etc. For casual encounters, you’ll want to check out the “Dating” and “Adult” categories. Just be careful, though, because a quick browse in my area revealed some people posting who are definitely scammers.
Doublelist is quite similar to Craigslist. One thing that’s a little frustrating is that you have to sign up to browse the site. Their motto is “Connect with straight, gay, bi and curious,” so it isn’t super hard to figure out what most people using this site are looking for. With more than three million users in the U.S., though, there’s a solid chance you might just find someone who’s a good match for you. As always, take care to watch out for scammers.
Oodle is in many ways very close to Craigslist’s old personals page, with the usual categories like “Men Seeking Men,” “Men Seeking Women,” etc. You can use some handy filters on this site, which can help you easily narrow your options down. At least in my area there don’t appear to be a ton of people using Oodle, so it might not be your best bet. Depending on what you’re into, there were more men posting than women, so it might be worth your time or it might not be.
Once again, Ebackpage is a clear Backpage/Craigslist copy. You can post and browse personal ads, with all the usual categories under “Dating” and “Adult” for people who are interested in casual encounters. The site doesn’t seem to have a large body of active users, however, so this might not be one of your best options. As with Bedpage and some of these other sites, you’ll need to be careful as there are some scammy looking postings on it.
13.) Classified Ads
Classified Ads is, well, exactly what it sounds like. This is a solid Craigslist alternative because it’s super similar. Simply select “Personals” on the front page and you’ll see the classic categories: “Men Seeking Women,” “Missed Connections,” etc. There’s not a whole lot to tell you about this site—it’s quite straightforward and either you’ll find some options in your area or you won’t.
Grindr is basically Tinder but specifically for gay men. In other words, there’s a focus primarily on hookups, but that doesn’t mean that that’s the only possibility. If you’re a gay man after casual encounters, this might very well be the only app or site that you need. If you’re not a gay man, however, Grindr won’t be of much use to you.
HealthyFling, like Ashley Madison, emphasizes discretion. As you can see on their website, their tagline is “Discreet Hook-Ups.” Like many of these sites, you have the option to post a personal ad so that you can get yourself out there and see if other people respond. You can also browse and see if anyone appeals to you. Unfortunately, you have to sign up in order to browse or post an ad. All in all, this is a decent option and has some positive reviews going for it online.
OkCupid has been around for ages and it’s survived until today, so it must be doing something right. You can download it for iOS or Android, which is always nice. Another solid aspect of OkCupid is that it doesn’t require a paid membership in order to look for matches or message people. That said, like most dating sites nowadays, you may be tempted to pay in order to unlock certain features. Another plus is that OkCupid tries to be as inclusive as possible, meaning there’s pretty much something for everyone on there.
17.) FetLife Classifieds
With over 10 million members, FetLife might very well be the biggest social network out there for kinky people. This is a nice draw as many people may feel insecure or ostracized by their kinks. Well, you can pretty much count on finding at least one other person who shares your interests on FetLife, which works as solid Craigslist ad if you want to find your freaky soulmate.
If you’re in Canada, you likely already know about Kijiji. It’s a platform where you can find just about anything, from pets and cars to services and vacation rentals. That said, it also works as a Craigslist alternative if you go to their “Community” section. There, you can check categories like “Friendship & Networking” and “Missed Connections” to post an ad or see if there are any there. That said, it doesn’t appear that these categories are nearly as active as others, so it might not be your best bet.
Alt.com is similar to FetLife in that it’s a site specifically for people who are into BDSM and kinks/fetishes. That said, its site has a kind of old-school vibe to it, and not in a good way. It looks rather clunky and the kind of thing you would see advertised on a porn site rather than the more elegant looking FetLife. It also looks like they take random fake profiles and put your city’s name underneath them on the home page in order to entice you (much like porn site ads often do). So, while you’re free to explore Alt, I would try FetLife first if you’re looking for people to get kinky with.
Wait, what? Didn’t Craigslist ban the Personals section? Yes. Nonetheless, people are always adept at bending the rules and finding workarounds. So, although there’s no “Personals” section per se, you can still find people posting in order to meet up on Craigslist. For example, you can try the “Activities” section or the “Missed Connections” section in your area and you might very well see postings by people looking to meet up for casual encounters.
Although Craigslist Personals were banned, luckily there are plenty of alternatives available. That said, there’s a lot of variety to these options (as you can tell if you read all the reviews above). So, ultimately, whatever you end up choosing to use will depend on what you’re looking for, where you are, etc.
For the most part, if you’re in the U.S. you may want to stick with one of the major dating or hookup apps—Tinder, Adult Friend Finder, AshleyMadison, etc. If you’re in Canada, then you can try Kijiji, but it doesn’t necessarily have a lot going for it as a casual hookup site.
The main thing is that you use good judgment and stay safe. A lot of Craigslist alternatives are loaded with scammers looking to take advantage of lonely people. It’s sad, yes, but true. Remember to follow basic common sense and never send anyone personal information or money before you’ve actually met them and verified that everything is legitimate. If you’re ever in doubt, you should probably recognize that and listen to your gut!
Ultimately, there are still plenty of ways for people to meet other people online via social media and the above sites. So long as you’re careful, there’s plenty of fun to be had.