Tinder is the biggest dating app in the world – here’s how to use it, what are its features, and are Tinder Plus & Tinder Gold worth it
There is a lot of competition out there, but Tinder is still the biggest dating app in the world and is not likely to go anywhere.
Whether you are a Tinder veteran who wants to update their profile, or a beginner who is dating an application that tries to find out how everything works, this comprehensive guide to all things Tinder is where you need to be.
What is Tinder?
Tinder is an online dating application that matches couples based on their physical attraction to each other. This tells you to other Tinder users who are in a certain age and gender range and are within a certain distance from your location, and it lets you know if you have mutual friends.
You decide whether you like or don’t like someone’s appearance: if you like it, good; otherwise they will never know. If you are both interested, the Tinder message function offers you a private chat to talk and get to know each other better. This is very similar to being introduced to a hot friend from a friend in a bar, but it removes the clumsy, drunken, and curiosity matchmaker wanting to curl up and die from the equation.
How do I get Tinder?
Tinder is available as a free application for Android or iOS; just download it from the App Store or Google Play.
Previously you would need a Facebook account to log in, but after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Tinder added the option to create an account using only a telephone number. It will prevent you from using some application features, such as pulling photos directly from Facebook, and showing you when you have friends together or like other users.
How do I use Tinder?
Below the picture are the hearts and crosses icon – tap the heart if you like it and the cross if it doesn’t – or swipe right if you like, and left if you don’t. If you like someone who also likes you, Tinder will let you know that a match has been made and open a simple message sending function.
You must also fill out your own profile. Tinder draws some information from your Facebook profile, such as your work and education, but you can choose what to display and write a short bio about yourself. You also need to choose a few photos to include – you can take them either from your phone’s image library or your Facebook account.
Tinder will also do their best to help you thanks to a feature called Smart Photos. If you choose to activate it, it will continue to assess how well people respond to each of your profile photos, and automatically order them so that your most popular photos appear first – erasing all guesswork about the photo you like the most.
One of the newest additions to Tinder is Prompts. This is a quick conversation – a start that can be added directly to your profile – as are many older dating sites and several other dating applications that are used.
- One thing that I won’t accept anymore …
- I talked to my pet about …
- Why hasn’t someone found …
You can choose several requests to add to your profile, and write your own answers to those who are suitable to argue with you in chat. They will appear mixed with your photos on your profile, so people will see your request when they swipe your photo.
To find the confirmation, tap the profile icon at the top right of the application, then open ‘Add media’ and ‘Text prompt’. Tinder will also continue to add new prompts from time to time, so check back every now and then for new options.
If you want another way to animate your profile, see Loops. This is a two-second looping video that you can add to your profile, and like Prompts, the video is mixed with your photos.
Whether you want to catch a hairpin, dance moves, or just shoot with your pet, this is a pretty good way to get someone’s attention when they swipe.
You can find the Loop in the ‘Add media’ section of your profile, the same space where you can add photos or confirm.
Super Likes and Improves
Since Tinder was launched, it has added several new features to give hopeful singles several choices. The first is ‘Super Likes’ – you can Super Like someone by tapping the blue star icon or swiping their profile – unlike regular attempts to match, this will immediately send a notification to them that they have Super Liked and the possibility to see your profile. This is a more open way to try and match someone, but be careful because some users can see it is a little too advanced. With a free account you can also only use one Super Likes per day, so use them wisely.
One other latest feature is Boost. This is a paid option that pushes your profile to the top of the queue of each nearest Tinder user for 30 minutes, so you will most likely get a match for the next half hour. One increase costs £ 3.89, so they are not cheap, but you can get it at a discount by buying a package of five or ten. You can find Boosts by tapping the purple lightning icon.
If you seriously want to use Tinder to make a match, you might want to consider investing in Tinder Plus. This is a premium, paid rate, which offers several benefits in return for a monthly fee. There are several benefits to the Plus: for one, it makes Tinder ad-free. It also gives you one free Upgrade per month, and five Super Likes per day, not just one.
A plus-exclusive feature is the ‘rewind’ button so you can go back to the last swipe if you accidentally made a wrong turn, and the ability to change your location – this is useful if you are planning a trip and want to match several people before you arrive.
Arguably the biggest benefit of Tinder Plus is that it raises the ‘right shear boundary’. Normal users can only swipe so many users per day before they have to wait 12 hours – a way to prevent people from trying to match each profile they encounter. There is no fixed amount of friction allowed, because it is determined by the algorithm based on your typical behavior, but however, Tinder Plus users can swipe their hearts.
So how much does Tinder Plus cost? Once again, there are no easy answers. Prices are determined for each user with the Tinder algorithm, with prices based on most of your age: the younger you are, the cheaper the cost will be. These can be reported to range from as low as £ 1.49 per month to £ 14.99 per month – with a discount if you commit to the previous six months or a year.
To make things even more confusing, Tinder has a separate paid tier called Tinder Gold, which offers all the features of Tinder Plus, and two big additions: Likes You and Top Picks.
Like you doing what sounds – it allows you to see who has swiped at you, so you can be sure to pay special attention to the profiles of people you know like you before committing to swiping back. You can see a complete list of each profile that likes you so you can browse and swipe them in any way while knowing they are interested in you.
Top Picks is a newer Gold feature, which shows you the daily profile options chosen especially for you by the Tinder algorithm. You will see several choices every day (but they disappear after 24 hours), with each including highlights taken from their profiles – things like ‘Doctor’ or ‘Adventurer’. You can also pay extra to access additional options every day.
In addition to these two great features, Gold also offers several granular controls for who you see, and who sees you. You can use the default algorithm to select a profile or ask the application to prioritize accounts that are recently active. In turn, you can also limit your profile so that it doesn’t show your age or distance, and even limit it so that only people you like see your profile.
In 2020 Tinder added several new safety and security features to the application to help users feel comfortable using the application without risk.
First, accounts can now be verified, with a blue check mark appearing next to the user’s name if they have. Verification is optional, and sees users asked to re-create a series of positions in new photos to prove who they are, with human moderators then checking whether their photos match the photos on the user’s profile. This won’t solve the problem of users who have changed a little since their photos, but it will help reduce the risk of fishing in the service.
Depending on the country you are in – only in ‘selected markets’ – Tinder has also added a feature that will try to detect impolite messages. If you receive a message marked by the system, it will ask if the message is bothering you, and if so will report the user.
Finally, in the US Tinder has been paired with Noonlight to give Tinder users free access to security applications. You can access Noonlight through the same menu that allows you to attach a GIF or picture to a message, but must register and connect your account. After doing so, you will be able to record any plans to meet new partners in Noonlight from Tinder.
If an emergency arises during that date, you open a separate Noonlight application and hold the button to trigger an emergency. The application will request a PIN to delete the alert, and also try to call and send text messages to you, and if there is no response then the mobile app’s emergency services. Users who are connected to Noonlight also get a Noonlight badge on their profile – hopefully a deterrent to anyone who will be a threat.
Tinder might be one of the first dating apps to move people away from clunky websites, but everything has become a full circle when Tinder itself moves to your browser.
The company is launching Tinder Online, a web-based version of an application designed to give people access to Tinder even if they don’t have a smartphone – or just happen to not have access to one of them right now. Go straight to Tinder.com and log in to your account and you can use all of Tinder’s normal features – including Super Likes, Boosts, and Rewind – chat with your partner, and even edit your profile.
Best of all, there is a ‘work mode’ – a button that gives rise to a fake Google Drive document that’s half-convincing if your manager takes the wrong moment to walk past your desk.
You might remember that a little while ago Tinder made a big fuss about adding an additional functionality called Tinder Social, which allows you to join several friends to form groups, and then swipe other groups to find the person you want to match for group chat.
If you are looking for Tinder Social in your own application, don’t bother – the company stopped the feature in 2017, claiming that while it works, it “doesn’t fit in with our future direction.” RIP Tinder Social.
Why am I not interested in Tinder?
Tinder is a two-way street – you can’t just register, forget the application and hope that people will come to you. Because the messaging system is opened only when both parties have confirmed their interests, you will not know anyone likes you unless you like it too. So if you want to see the results, open the Tinder application and participate.
What happens if I like someone and they don’t like me?
No need to hide your face in shame. The only way someone will know if you like them on Tinder is if they like you too, then a match is created and the message sending function between you two becomes active. So set your eyes as high as you want – no one will call you to that.
Will someone know if I don’t like it?
Likewise, Tinder will not tell someone who thinks that the feelings are not mutually beneficial. That person might finally succeed when a few weeks have passed and the match hasn’t been made, but chances are they like some people at that time and won’t hang all their hopes on you. This is a very gentle way to disappoint those you don’t like without hurting their feelings.
Will I meet with psycho at Tinder?
Only people you like are allowed to contact you on Tinder, so there’s no chance you’ll get lots of unsolicited messages; and users that you allow can be blocked if they are annoying or a little scary. But you still need to apply the same rules to Tinder as you do with online dating sites: You will never really know who you agree to meet until you do.