Craigslist Personals was a highly popular section on Craigslist. People used it to find dating partners, romantic partners, and platonic friends.
People could post a personal ad specifying the type of person or relationship they were looking for. For example, someone looking for friends in a new city could post that they were looking for someone to grab a beer with, while someone looking for a casual romantic relationship could specify the age range and qualities they were looking for in a partner.
People could also respond to personal ads.
What Happened To Craigslist Personals?
Craigslist still exists, and you can use it for things like selling and buying furniture and vehicles. You can also use it for finding employees or job positions.
However, Craigslist Personals has been shut down. This was done in response to a new law passed by Congress that gave internet sites liability for some things posted on the site.
The bills were called FOSTA/SESTA, and their goal was to combat sex trafficking.
Since Craigslist didn’t want to have any legal liabilities, they decided to shut down the personals section for good.
Unfortunately, it has impacted many people who used the personals section to find friends and romantic partners. Nevertheless, some good alternatives to Craigslist Personals still exist, and this article will show you the best ones.
Let us get into it.
Best Craigslist Personals Alternatives
Reddit’s Personals subreddit is perhaps one of the best alternatives to Craigslist Personals. Most people who use Reddit know that there are subreddits (which are like forums) for every topic under the sun.
However, not everyone knows that there are R4R subreddits in different locations. R4R stands for Redditor 4 Redditor (Redditor For Redditor), and R4R subreddits are meant to help people connect with other people on Reddit.
The main Reddit Personals section is Reddit R4R. However, there are also location-specific R4R subreddits, like the Great Britain R4R subreddit, the New York R4R subreddit, and the European R4R or Euro 4 Euro subreddit.
When posting on the Reddit Personals section, your posts will need to follow a certain format.
Usually, your headline will start with your age (or ages, if you are a couple) and it will be followed with whom your post is targeted at. Then, it will be followed by your location and a description of what you are looking for.
For example, a 21 year-old male looking for a female in France would write: 21 [M4F] France – Looking for a female for fun, etc.
Here are some other formats:
- Male looking for male [M4M]
- Female looking for male [F4M]
- Male and female couple looking for female [MF4F]
- Male and female couple looking for another male and female couple [MF4MF]
The Reddit Personals subreddit is incredibly easy to use, and it is a great alternative to Craigslist Personals. It is entirely free, and you can remain anonymous.
However, if you use Reddit often for other stuff, I would recommend setting up a separate Reddit account just for your personal ads. This way, you won’t be identifiable, and you can keep your anonymity.
If you see a Reddit personal ad you like, you can send a direct message to the person who posted it. Don’t leave a comment under the post like you would in a normal subreddit; just message the person directly.
Pernals is a personal app where you can post personal ads and browse ads posted by others. It was originally started a couple of years ago as Cragly, and it was intended to be a replacement for Craigslist Personals.
However, in the face of a lawsuit from Craigslist Personals, Cragly rebranded itself as Pernals. The name Cragly was obviously copied from the name Craigslist, and Craigslist wasn’t happy about that, so they sent a request for Cragly to change its name.
Pernals is purely a personal ads app. It is not a swiping dating app, and it does not allow you to post ads about selling stuff or finding employees.
After posting a personal ad, people will be able to chat with you in the app. You can also chat with people who have posted their own personal ads.
The categories on Pernal are very similar to the categories that existed on Craigslist Personals. Some of the categories include:
- Strictly platonic
- Women seek women
- Women seek men
- Men seek men
- Men seek women
- Misc. romance
- Casual encounters
Unfortunately, unlike Craigslist Personals, Pernals is not a website you can access on your desktop computer. It is solely an app that you can download from the Google Play Store or the iOS Play Store.
Pernals also complies with all FOSTA laws. There are certain things that you can not post on Pernals.
BedPage is an alternative to Craigslist for those who miss the old Craigslist that had a Personals section. BedPage works in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, Australia, Oceania, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Here are some of the categories available on BedPage:
- Lost and found
- Women > men
- Men > women
- Men > men
- Women > women
- Sugar babies
- Phone and websites
- Household items
- Biz opps
Keep in mind that this is far from a complete list. I have not listed all of the categories, and the categories that I did list have many more subcategories that I did not list.
Why use BedPage? If you have used Craigslist Personals in the past, there is a good chance you may have used Backpage as well.
Unfortunately, like Craigslist Personals, Backpage was also shut down. In fact, Backpage didn’t close down itself like Craigslist Personals; it was seized by the US Department of Justice, for the same reasons I mentioned above (the FOSTA bill).
However, Bedpage is designed to give you the full Backpage experience. It basically copied Backpage so that you feel like you are still using Backpage.
Nevertheless, Bedpage is not involved in any illicit ad posting.
Bedpage is free to use. You can post any ad for free or browse ads for free; you will never have to pay to use Bedpage.
Oodle is an online marketplace that still has a personals section. It has a very different interface than Craigslist, but I actually found it easier to use.
Here are the categories available on Oodle:
- All Vehicles
- All Rentals
- Office Space
- Vacation Rentals
- Real Estate
The personals section is easy to use, and you can even filter by age range! That is something that you can’t usually get on a personal ads site.
Here are the categories available in the personals section:
- Men seek women
- Men seek men
- Men seek both
- Women seek men
- Women seek women
- Women seek both
In addition to being able to filter by age, you can also filter by the following:
- Has/doesn’t have kids
- Marital status
- Hair color
- Eye color
You can chat with people on the website by clicking the Chat button on the top of each personal ad.
Oodle claims to have over 15 million monthly users each month (across the entire marketplace).
Locanto is an excellent alternative to Craigslist because it still has a personals/dating section.
The main Locanto website lets you post ads for stuff like:
- For sale
- Real estate
Click on the Personals option in the main menu to be taken to the personal ads. There, you can find a whole range of Personals categories.
You can search for personal ads posted under Long Term Relationships or those posted under Casual Encounters. For both, you can choose between different gender options (for example, a man looking for a man or a woman looking for a man).
Under Casual Encounters, you will also find categories like Virtual Adventures, Couples Seeking Woman, Couples Seeking Couples, Transgender Adventures, and many more.
In addition to all those categories, you can filter personal ads by tags, such as girlfriend, serious relationships, soul mates, LTR (long-term relationship), and much more.
The Personals section has ads all across the USA, especially in major cities. For example, there were 999+ ads in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and many other major cities across the United States.
That’s all in the Personals section. However, in addition to that, there is a Locanto #Dating app, which you can use on your mobile device by downloading it from the Google Play Store or iOS Play Store.
The Locanto dating app functions more like a regular dating app as opposed to a personals section, so you may not like it if you are used to using personals instead of dating apps like Tinder. With the dating app, you match with people and then chat with them on the app.
With Locanto, you can even set up email alerts when new ads are posted. You can set up both email and web push notifications, and you can have new ads related to your searches sent to you every day, every week, or as soon as they are posted.
ClassifiedAds.com is another good Craigslist Personals alternative I recommend. It’s not nearly as big as Craigslist Personals was, but it still has a personals section.
There are tons of general categories on ClassifiedAds.com, including:
- For Rent
- Items For Sale
Under the Personals section, you can browse ads under these sections:
- Casual dating
- Men seeking men
- Men seeking women
- Missed connections
- Women seeking men
- Women seeking women
The Missed Connections section is particularly interesting because it fulfills a void that many other personals sites don’t. For one reason or another, people lose contact with people they once knew.
Perhaps it was an old flame from pre-internet days, and you can’t find your old lover’s Facebook (perhaps they aren’t on social media). Perhaps it is an old co-worker you are looking for or a long-lost relative.
Perhaps it is an old friend from high school you are looking for. You may even be looking for an old hookup who never told you their name.
Regardless of why you are looking for someone, there may be someone on the internet who knows them. For example, if the person you are looking for moved to Atlanta, Georgia, years ago, there is a good chance that someone in Atlanta knows them.
All you need to do is post a Missed Connections ad in Atlanta, and you may get lucky and find that person.
It is free to use ClassifiedAds.com. Just enter your zip code into the search bar at the top of the screen to find ads in your area.
I do want to mention that one of the ways ClassifiedAds.com earns money is by including promoted ads. These boosted ads will be clearly marked as ads, however.
YesBackpage is one of the best Backpage alternatives that popped up after Backpage was shut down. It’s also a great alternative to those who used to use Craigslist Personals.
Although YesBackpage was designed to look and function exactly like the old Backpage, it offers the same services as Craigslist Personals did.
YesBackpage works in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Just find your state and your city.
Here are some of the main categories available on YesBackpage:
- Real estate
- Local places
- Real estate
If you are reading this article, however, you are probably interested in the Dating Services category or the Adult Services category.
Under the Dating Services category, you can browse ads in the following sub-categories.
- Women > Men
- Men > Women
- Women > Women
- Men > Men
I’m not going to mention the sub-categories under the Adult Services category, as they are NSFW. However, you can see them yourself on the YesBackpage site.
Right now, I’m getting into Backpage clones as alternatives to Craigslist Personals. On that topic, here’s another clone: iBackpage.
iBackpage looks rather similar to YesBackpage, BedPage, and the next site I will mention. That’s because they are all Backpage copycats, designed to give you the same look, feel, and experience of Backpage after Backpage shut down.
iBackpage actually looks closer to BedPage and eBackpage than YesBackpage. In fact, it would be hard to tell some of these websites apart if not for the different color schemes on their homepages.
eBackpage is another Backpage clone. It looks almost exactly like iBackpage, at least on the homepage, except for a slightly different color scheme, but there are some other differences as well once you get off the homepage.
Of course, the ads are different as well, since it is an entirely different site, despite the very similar name.
Since it offers the same services like Craigslist and Craigslist Personals, it can be a great Craigslist Personals alternative.
OneBackPage is a Backpage clone and Craigslist Personals alternative that doesn’t look exactly like Backpage did. Nevertheless, it does offer similar services, so if you are looking for a Craigslist Personals alternative, you can use OneBackPage.
However, it wouldn’t be one of my top recommended alternatives, as the site is a bit buggy, laggy, and more difficult to use than iBackpage or eBackpage, for example.
11. Ads Encounters
Ads Encounters is a good Craigslist Personals alternative because the entire site is dedicated to personal ads. You won’t find any other types of ads – for example, you won’t find any rentals or buy/sell ads.
There are quite a few categories that you might be interested in, including Events, Friendship and Activities, Dating and Romance, and Casual Encounters.
12. Mega Personals
Mega Personals is another great site that replaced Craiglist Personals. It’s a simple site that is incredibly easy to use.
On the home page, you can choose to browse ads in the following categories:
- Women seek men
- Men seek women
- Women seek women
- Men seek men
Keep in mind that while MegaPersonals.eu is based in Europe, it does work in the USA and Canada. Before you browse any personal ads, make sure to choose your country, state, and city.
When using Mega Personals, you don’t message people directly on the platform. Instead, you find their number or email address in their ad and message them that way.
If you are using Mega Personals to post ads, I would recommend setting up a burn number with an app like TextMe or TextNow so that you don’t give away your personal number to the entire world.
13. I Got It
I Got It is another classified ad site that works in the USA. It has categories like Jobs, Services, Community, and For Sale.
If you are looking for a Craigslist Personals alternative, look for the Adult section. It’s not nearly as extensive as Craigslist Personals was, though you can find some things that people used to use Craigslist Personals for, like escorts.
How To Stay Safe When Using Personal Ad Sites
Personal ads allow you to meet people in a new city. They are also great for meeting new people discreetly, without making your personal information known to the public.
However, how safe is it to post a personal ad or respond to one? And what are some steps you can take to help yourself stay safe when using personal ads online?
Here, I will give you some basic tips you should keep in mind when using personal ads to stay safe.
1. Protect Your Data
Use a website that lets you chat on the website itself. If you need to leave a number, sign up for a burn number on an app like TextMe, TextNow, or Hushed so that you don’t give away your real number.
2. Meet Up In A Public Space
I know you might want to be discreet, but it is essential, for your safety, to meet up in a public place. It doesn’t have to be a place that you frequent often.
If you don’t want to be seen by people you know, set up the meeting on the other side of the city, where you don’t know anyone. However, just make sure there are people around – it could be in a busy park or in a small café that is kind of hidden but which is still popular among those who know about it.
3. Trust Your Gut
If you feel that something is off, whether before meeting up with the person or after, extricate yourself from the situation. Your sixth sense is your brain telling you that something is wrong with this person – listen to your gut.
4. Tell Someone
Tell someone you are going out to meet someone new, if possible. Tell them where you will be going and that you will be texting them at a certain time.
This way, if you don’t text them, they can check up on you.
5. Don’t Disclose Your Address
Don’t take strangers to your home, whether you are meeting up for a platonic friendship or a romantic encounter. Continue meeting up in public places until you are comfortable with them and can trust them.
If you need a private place, you can always rent a hotel or motel room for a night (you may even find places offering hourly rates in your area). It’s safer than letting someone know where you live.
Wrapping It Up: What Is The Best Site Like Craigslist Personals?
Reddit’s Personals section is perhaps the safest and best place to go for personal ads. That is because you can click on the profile of the poster and see their previous posting history (though keep in mind that many people set up second accounts just for personal ads).
Other good alternatives are Pernal, BedPage, and ClassifiedAds.com.