I've been on and off IP for probably ten years. In the earlier days when I was on there were still scammers and pervs, but I could find a pen pal very easily. I would always have several people that I could carry on conversations with, nothing deep or long term, but satisfying none the less. I would have so many offers that I had to decline a few just because I was already busy with other pen pals.
Flash forward to today and my age (I'm in my 30's), coupled with the decreased number of *real* IP users, and a month of waiting, I didn't get so much as a single message. Mind you I was quick to lock in my filters, these filters allow you to block individual countries and select age and gender restrictions. It would perhaps be easier to select the countries you do want to hear from because sadly so many of them are flooded with fake users. That being said, I wasn't so restrictive that I blocked everyone, just the men.
This site, I believe, favors the young. The older you get, the fewer members you have to choose from. There are plenty of young users here. Many users are actually fake, they're fairly easy to spot, they often choose English speaking countries for their profiles but they speak in broken English about generalized topics. They like to steal photos from iStock or off of social media, a quick image search usually reveals whose faking.
There are many scammers looking for sex/nude photos, money or to give you a virus (the forums are apparently crawling with them). There are also weird people who want to marry you, push their religion on you, and one elderly woman even claimed that people were asking her to adopt them! Damn.
There are easily 20 profiles faked every hour, that adds up to a lot of users, so don't be fooled by the numbers when it comes to how many are "online". There are twice the number of men on the site compared to women, perhaps this is why so women feel hounded on IP? Do men no longer talk to other men?? The majority of people pefer to speak to Americans, the British, or the Japanese (apparently no one gives a damn about Canada lol). A lot of countries aren't considered desirable or popular, which I'm sure is a drag and might feel a touch isolating.
Sadly Interpals has become more of a dating site with most *real* users looking for love and marriage. Others use the site explicitly to boost their social media followers by linking to every imaginable platform including Etsy.
Aside from all of the above, the site is glitchy, my profile would disappear from search engines and then reappear for no rhyme or reason, which didn't help for being found by anybody. I also had very few people visiting my profile, and only ever when I was logged on. I never had offline views, and maybe averaged about 2 profile views a day (whenever I was online which was fairly frequent).
If you're interested in using Interpals make sure your pen pal requests are clear, set your restrictions, speak fluent English (enough to converse) or simply speak in your own language. Set boundaries and do not share your personal information! And I guess most importantly... Cultivate patience because it may take awhile.
Those who are genuine about exchange language and interacting with people in an honest way, and those who prey on those with good intentions.
The latter unfortunately, make up the majority of users on interpals. The genuine people quickly get driven away by nuisance messages from people who want to 'be friends' but cannot even be bothered reading a profile to get to know a person, scammers, people who want a free english tuitor and those who want a free peep show or an internet fling because they lack the social skills and/or personality to be able to go out into the world and form meaningful real relationships...or they want a meal ticket into your country by way of 'falling in love with you' after a three sentence exchange (does this method ever fool anyone? really?)
Also there are those that use this social platform to advertise how physically beautiful they are.
Enjoy it while it lasts, because once that fades, you'll have nothing. And fade, it will.
If you value your time and you're a good person, stay away from this site. It is pure unadulterated garbage that attracts and retains filth.
While sometimes the response rate can be less-than-spectacular, you can say that about most sites like this. Of course people are less likely to respond to you if there's no clear, obvious common ground between the two of you, or if half your message and/or profile is lamenting how nobody ever responds to you, or if you send a message that's only a few words long and your profile is basically blank.
While this might seem like I (and a lot of people who use Interpals) are basically raging narcissists who get off on being rude to people, you have to understand that the internet isn't always like places in the physical world. A lot more people will be trying to talk to you, so sometimes you just have to be a lot more selective about who you respond to, and you have to put a little bit of effort into making yourself stand out.
I mean, it's not too uncommon for me to get four or five messages from people I haven't spoken to before on a day when I've been on Interpals all day. This isn't a huge amount compared to the numbers other people get, but it's enough that you do have to make some decisions regarding who you respond to and who you don't. In my case, the people who just say "Hi, how are you?" and show no indication that they've read more than two or three words of my profile are the people who aren't getting a response.
I think there's a good chance that a lot of the people who want to complain about how Interpals is a haven for narcissists just aren't thinking about that aspect of things. Sometimes the case just is that you're going to have to decide between two people, and a lot of people are going to err on the side of responding to the person who sends a message that asks them a couple of questions about themselves and their interests rather than the person who just says hello.
I don't think that's indicative of people on the site generally being stuck up; it's indicative that people appreciate it when others put a bit of effort into getting to know them. It's not like people on the site are expecting a 2,000 word essay straight off the bat; most will be satisfied with a couple of lines about you and a couple of questions that you wanted to ask them based on their profile.
I think that's what a lot of the people here who are complaining about the bad response rate are failing to realise. You don't have to be writing long messages to people straight off the bat or resort to only saying hello--there a lot of middle ground between these two extremes, and that's what most people are hoping for.
Really, I think most people who complain about a bad response rate tend to be people who can't handle the fact that they're not always the kind of person people want to talk to, or they're people who don't realise that people online don't owe you their time.
There are some good, interesting people on Interpals who I've enjoyed talking to a great deal. While some of these conversations haven't lasted as long as I would have hoped, neither do some conversations I've had in real life; and neither do some of the friendships I've had in real life.
While as I said, the response rate may not always be as good as you hoped, that's true of a lot of places on the internet. Generally speaking, I've found that as long as you're willing to put some effort into your introductory message, you'll be able to find at least a few people who would like to be friends with you.
Interpals is an easy-to-use site that has a great mod team. While there have been obviously fake profiles that have been up for a surprisingly long time, the mod team will generally crack down on them fairly quickly once they've been reported. Usually the case is more that nobody's reported a problem rather than the mods are intentionally ignoring it.
Plus the mod team is just great in general, and rarely have I ever seen a mod team that's more even handed. Sometimes there have been cases where I've seen them make decisions I've disagreed with, but those tend to be the exception rather than the rule and I can usually at least see where they're coming from with the decision.
In terms of overall usability, Interpals is probably the easiest-to-use epal/pen pal website you're going to find, especially if you're like me and you don't want to pay to sign up. The site design is about as intuitive as you'd hope for. Plus, for the most part, Interpals doesn't really have the glaring on-site cultural issues that a lot of other sites of this nature tend to have.
Interpals is just overall a good site, and as I said, as long as you're okay with putting the effort into giving yourself a good introduction, you'll find some people who'll have a good conversation with you.
InterPals.net is a great please to meet new people, make new friends, and even to learn a new language. There are tons of people on this site & the only negative opinion I have about it is the script that makes them look like the have more users online then they do by making multiple copies of the same profile appear often in searches, and its done so badly you can easily notice it when you see the same face like 20 times on 3 different pages of searching. But this is not a good reason to avoid them because they actually have a lot of members who are real people with real profiles & their own pictures & content.
Would I recommend this site to others?
Yes, and I have for many years now.
Tip for consumers: When you make suggestions or have problems they are pretty good about replying back in a reasonable amount of time.
There are a lot of women on the site who will try to tell you that they love you without ever having had talked to or met you which really makes me mad, but that's what the block option is for.
All sites with membership have many types of people on them, and you really can not judge a site for that when they go out of their way to cut down on such members.
Ladies get over a 1000 messages upon a few weeks of creating their profile, especially if they are attractive. I was told of this fact a few times and I have reason to believe it is true. This gets the majority of the messages unanswered whether its coming from a guy or a girl. So, if youre a narcissist, this is your place to be to feel superior. From the guys perspective, it would be very discouraging to write any meaningful message since you almost always never get a response- however, at the same time, the few responses you may receive might create a craving for a dopamine surge and reason to continue the cycle.
It is extremely rare that you get a response or a first message if youre from a non western country or from a selected few eastern asian countries (Korea and Japan in particular). Your profile may get looked once or twice a month, and even most of the people who would bother to respond to you will not look at your profile (a sign of not interested). It is not for the rest of the world.
You almost always see in profile descriptions that they request you write in a certain fashion asking not to start conversation with hi or how are you? and other trite demands when contacting themanother narcissistic example.
Overall, this is like a dating site. The best proof is to browse through profiles and see who appears in their friends list. 99% of the time, it is people from the opposite sex. If youre a guy, this makes it awkward to write to another guy (who has all lady friends). This platform is designed like any other social media platform based on dopamine-driven feedback loops. It is designed to keep users stick to the loops without giving exactly what they are looking for- meaningful relationships - once formed which would make users not continue to use the site.
If youre genuinely interested in finding pen-pals, I suggest using sites which do not operate like social media sites with elaborated profiles with pictures and links. Chat sites specifically designed for language exchange are also very good for this, which would actually make users interact and form relationships.
Now its full on scammers, fake profiles and want people to learn English etc.....Also want more details e.g. current and past city, material status, education and what type of pen pal.
Its on top of google as they paid google, money (pay by click on the advert banner)
However my main problem is that seriously almost noone joins this site to find a penpal!!! Wouldn't that be the point of the whole thing?
It seems to me that for all people this is a damn frikkin dating site. Not sure why would anyone date with someone half a continent away ... but sure ... Not one who can hold a decent conversation, not one who is actually interested in what the other person does and such. Even though half of the profiles are full with introductions like "looking for long friendship, deep conversations etc etc" they NEVER actually look for that. If you are a girl, you will mostly be contacted by guys, which should be fine, I have plenty of male friends, but these guys are certainly not looking for that!
And what else can I say, men who think they are otherworldly gods and they won't be go so low to talk to you if you are not a goddess or just idk not their type.
I also wrote to women saying they are not looking for relationships, thinking that hey maybe that person indeed just wants to have a nice conversation. Turns out wrong, their friendlist is also full of men, only men, and they won't reply to you.
There are also loads of people who are only looking for an English teacher, hence if you are not native speaker they won't talk to you.
lol, I think the whole site is ridiculous, it is good for some occasional causal chat, that would only last 2-3 days, but honestly nothing more. I kinda lost faith in humankind. I am sure there are genuine people there too, like I am, but it's like finding the needle in the haystack ...
In the early days, it was a great place to meet interesting people around the world. I met many good friends who I am still in touch with to this day. One of those people became my current partner of 6 years, so fair play - it has its moments.
At least it used to.
In the past 5 years, I have made zero meaningful friendships through the site, and I have not changed my approach at all since I made 5 very good friends in 2007-2012. And yes, 4 of those 5 people noticed the same shift in the site around the 2012 mark and either left of abandoned their profiles.
The community has become a vapid cesspit of pervs, narcissists and scammers. As others have noted, the response rate to messages is low. In my own experience, my messages (polite, thoughtful, interested in their hobbies) have a response rate somewhere around 20% on a good day. And that's including the ones who chat with you for the day and then pretend you are dead.
So if you are a "good" penpal who writes long, well-thought-out messages to people who you believe you could become friends with, I'd advise not to bother. The simple fact that half of your messages never even get read, and of the ones that are, you get a response to 2 in 5, makes the whole exercise a colossal waste of time.
As for the language parasites that others have referred to (albeit more politely than I), the struggle is real. I have had dozens of people who I have been helping with their English for months or years (during regular conversation):
- Demand that I write an essay for them. That's right - they see you as a paid tutor (??)
- Become extremely angry that I was not available to proofread their report before submitting it, despite having no idea what their schedule is (and a life of my own offline).
- Completely ghost me as soon as they no longer need help with English. Some of these are people I considered good friends, so it sucks when they just don't want to give you the time of day once you have served your "use" to them.
Not worth the mental anguish that it used to cause me, where I wondered what I had said or done to deserve being dropped like a molten rock for no apparent reason.
To even have a shot at improving, the Interpals team would need to figure out a way to restore the community to what it used to be, because ultimately, it isn't the admins' fault that the people have turned sour.
Can it be saved? I don't even know where you would begin to fix it. In my opinion, the horse has well and truly bolted.
Tip for consumers: Be wary of anyone who flatters a lot to please you. Be careful with the Indian users on the forum. Indian people are not bad, but you will often find exactly that scammer, which will initially be flatter you a ton, and then begin to attack you from his fake accounts. So just be wary, dear friends!
Back in 2011, I met tons of people who I still talk to, few of them should I say, and back then it was nice and it seemed that people genuinely wanted to talk to you, get to know you and even learn your language, but here's when things kind of changed, from 2014 on I couldn't meet a single person, things got bored and it didn't have the sparkle anymore, you just would scroll up and down all day long and not a single soul would get back to you, which was very annoying, by the way.
All in all, it's worth trying and good to do some language exchance, but nothing more than that now, although you might be the lucky one and go past "hi, how are you?"
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As someone who has ised Ipals for over 7 years and is older than most posters here appear to be, I can say that it has been very useful to me. I have met many people over the years, some have become true friends and visited others will only ever be online, but áras close to me as people in the Real world. Yes there have been scammers, loads of them, even my user name came from a message from a scammer after I reported him, but that is what you do, report them! If they Really are scammers the site removes them. You have to remember this is a Free site and all the moderators are volunteers, so they do the best that they can. Also I would suggest that a lot of the people complaining here are a little inexperienced and naive., you can hardly blame the site for that. If you keep your wits about you and respond to people as you would in life, you can meet some great people that you would never meet in the real world and learn an awful lot. Also, dont complain if someone doesnt respond to "Hello" Its hardly an inspiring openong line is it? I find that the more you tell in your profile the better the response, the same for a message. How the hell do you answer Hello, especially if the progile is one line or word in each box, other than with "Hello" back and that is the end of the conversation. Its a 2 way street, you have to put in too, you cant just whinge that everybody is a weirdo. That would suggest that it is you that are out of your depth and would maybe happier on youtube or twitter. Also, as someone else has written You control who contacts you, by your settings. Of course I have no idea what goes on in the younger branches of the site, I stick firmly to my own age group, as I have nothing to say to younger ones, anymore than they have anything to interest me, but I felt I need to defend what for me has overall been a very good place to communicate.
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Hi, first usual suspects when one is being blocked/prevented from navigating onto a site can include, double check with your (internet service provider) ISP; whomever the company is that you rely upon to get online. Generally speaking, both in earlier times and still, tho nearly as common present day,so still, (a) company=ISP that is offering net access is the owner of their servers. Accordingly, again, as a general rule, as the providers, operators and owners of the servers, they customize whatever settings and the parameters therein, as they like. Other, out of the gate reasons one can be prevented, blocked, from visiting a site, 1 of the most common and still seen on a rare occasion (more so present day) may likely have something to do with the websites international laws versus some end users state, country location. Additional typical reasons, further, can be anything from a glitch? a tech error? to an oversight, say, if somewhere within the fine print there might be a proof of age needed, matter to any number of things that may also be easy to over look? to be altogether, unaware of readily. Depending on the type of website it is has the potential to cause such an issue. For example, age restrictions? (thus, there might be some documentation somewhere within the pre-intro page and mentioned in say, the fine print, so to speak. Also, the issue could have something to do with 1 or more unknown issues for the end users part e.g. unknown software issue(s) that say, may be running in the background and possibly causing the problem. Possible RESOLVES(?) Best place to start troubleshooting the mystery is definitively, to call your ISP (to include an affirmative suggestion to insist on speaking with someone in upper management (manager? supervisor? systems operator(s)?) and not say, first point of contact staff.
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