In the short time since Tinder’s launch in 2012 it has changed the world… at least the world of dating. Through the creation of its popular app, Tinder turned the word ‘swipe’ into common lingo synonymous with dating. Although Tinder started as a dating app, since 2017 it now functions as a online based site as well. Tinder is a success story, from its quick rise to fame, to how it made dating “cool” again. While people who met on the match.com of the past would joke about needing a fake story to conceal their dating site use, Tinder users don’t seem to feel the same shame. It’s not uncommon for friends to use Tinder together while at social events or even play matchmaker for one another. However, some users still have a complicated relationship with the app. Specifically, is it a ‘hookup’ app or a place to meet your one and only? Past and current users swear by each. However, anecdotal research and even a New York Times article indicates that marriage might be a side effect of using the site (a.k.a., some users like one another… a lot)!
Unlike dating sites which hint about users finding happily ever after through “science based” algorithm infused personality tests or other features, Tinder’s webpage simply states, “Meet new and interesting people nearby.” while the app’s headline is “Match, Chat & Meet New People”. This is because Tinder focuses on connecting users through methods such as mutual Facebook friends and likes, and geographic location- perhaps proving that being location accessible is an important supplement to chemistry. The app lets you know how close (or far) each user is- about a mile being the closest it will show. Messaging on Tinder is more like texting than email, especially on the app.
Tinder has taken a strong stand against cyber bulling, harassment, nudity, and (more controversially) against photos of hunted animals. It will delete users who break those guidelines or who post photos that might be related to human trafficking of children, etc.
After its 2012 launch, the app became popular with millennials first and then Gen X’ers. Tinder helped create the successful style of ‘swiping’, or using one’s finger on a smartphone with a touchscreen to ‘swipe’ right for ‘yes’ and left for ‘no’ on each user. In 2014, 2 years after its launch, Tinder already had around one billion swipes per day. By 2017, it was the most downloaded app, followed by Plenty of Fish and Bumble.
Started by 2 long time friends, Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, along with a group of 4 others, the site first made a splash on college campuses. In 2013, Tinder received the “Best New Startup of 2013” award from TechCrunch. In addition to swiping yes/ no (a.k.a., right/ left), further features include a backtracking on mistakenly left swipes and Super Likes (which are what the name sounds like). Tinder also added other features such as Tinder Boost, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Online. In 2018 Tinder (via parent company, Match Group) filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Bumble, a comparable swiping app started by one of Tinder’s former founders, Whitney Wolfe (along with Badoo founder Andrey Andreev). Bumble counter-filed its own lawsuit against Tinder, alleging they stole trade secrets. Tinder had already paid Wolfe in 2014, after a sexual harassment settlement of over 1 million, amid allegations that Mateen harassed her after their breakup- which led to Mateen resigning from the company.
Pros & Cons
- Since Tinder first ‘swiped’ into new terrain, it has been trying new things, some of which have become commonplace in most apps. First, it allows you to (optionally) connect your Spotify or Instagram accounts to your profile. The plus, in case location matching doesn’t draw you to another user, is that perhaps compatible music interests will. It can be nice to look at someone’s Instagram page, which they use authentically, without only dating in mind.
If you like technology and speedy matches, Tinder is ideal. Once you match another user, it is easy to un-match after a bad message or even a bad date.
Although you will encounter people who are the opposite of what you’re looking for- say, shirtless men doing gym selfies or women with too many Snapchat filtered kitty cat profile pics, the good thing is that swiping is fast and effective. Paid features, like Boost, can increase matches. Why is this a plus? Finding a match is often a numbers game and, on Tinder, you will encounter many users. It’s not surprising that Tinder connects through Facebook’s login, as Tinder may be the real book of faces, in regards to dating. Since Tinder is popular, it has daters aplenty!
Another plus is that profile descriptions are straight forward and to the point, with interests, personality and hobbies listed in a self written paragraph. This can be more interesting than autofilled profiles.
- It can seem harmless to see someone’s Spotify and Instagram linked to their Tinder profile, but now imagine someone viewing yours? Linking the accounts is optional, but one drawback is people you don’t match with can also view your profile. This means that someone could follow you on Instagram without you ever having matched them. Consider safety and privacy first.
Another privacy concern is that users have the option to share your profile with a friend. Tinder even suggests sending profiles to friends to, “See what they think of ___insert name here__” This allows you to message a link of any profile, to a friend via iMessage or text. Once your friend receives it, they will follow the link to that user’s profile (if they are a logged-in Tinder user). If they don’t use Tinder already, the app will suggest they connect with Facebook and log in/ sign up at tinder.com.
Since Tinder has added a limit to the number of right swipes one can make in a given period, some users feel that their matches have gone down in quality. If you don’t find the matches you want and don’t want to sign up as a paid us
Tinder works fine without signing up for the paid features, but it works a lot better if you do. Below is the following pricing:
Tinder Plus: Operates through recurring billing
- 1 month: $19.99 per month
- 6 months: $12.50 per month
- 12 months: $8.33 per month
Tinder Gold: Operates through recurring billing. All the features of Tinder Plus, as well as seeing who likes you before you swipe.
- 1 month: $29.99 per month
- 6 months: $18.83 per month
- 12 months: $12.50 per month
Boost: You will be shown to other users, in your area, at the top of the line for 30 minutes per use and get more matches. Although you will receive a ‘boost’ once a month with Tinder Plus, you can buy additional boosts
- 1 boost: $3.99
- 5 boosts: $300 each
- 10 Boosts: $2.50 each
As with most all dating sites, you will be billed for the option you choose all at once.
Ease of Use
Tinder’s app didn’t become number one without doing something right. The app is easy and fun. The options are simple and to the point. It’s one of the best ‘free’ sites to use and the paid Tinder Plus options only add to your experience. The interface is clean and you won’t waste time clicking through endless icons trying to figure out what they do. The website is equally easy to use. On the website you can also view your messages while you browse and swipe. Anyway you slice it, whether you dread dating or love it. Tinder does its best to be enjoyably modern. If you don’t enjoy swiping, have someone do it for you.
Go to the ‘person’ icon and click the tool bar labeled ‘settings’. Scroll down and go to Help & Support. There you can look at a guide to Tinder, view their something’s not working section, or safety, security, and legal.
How does This Work?
Download the app or go to the Tinder website to sign up. You will then create your new Tinder account by connecting it with your preexisting facebook.com account (though the app will never post to Facebook). However, some warnings about that disclosure: though Tinder does indeed not post to Facebook, while using the app you will be able to see ‘mutual Facebook friends’ that you and others user have, which might lead to others knowing that you online date. If you do not have a Facebook account or don’t want to link the two sites together, you can sign up with your phone number. However, Facebook plays a hand in this type of sign up too, through Account Kit (powered by Facebook, as it verifies phone number).
Tip: If you plan on using the Tinder app with your phone number, download it FIRST and sign- up before using the online site. Otherwise, the app may not allow login with the same phone number as a pre-existing account.
You will enter your name and birthdate, or -if you connected through Facebook- some details will have auto generated. Similar to OkCupid, Tinder has multiple options for gender, if the basic male or female doesn’t fit your gender identity.
Upload a profile picture.
If you’ve connected with Facebook photos will automatically load. Otherwise, you can upload from your phone/ computer.
Tip: Don’t make your main photograph a group shot, as then users won’t know who you are and might swipe the wrong way!
Since Tinder works through location matching, if you don’t allow location share, you will need to edit your phone or computer settings. Once you have, your first swipe is moments away!
You will be given a brief tutorial (with graphics) of paid options and features on the site. When it comes to successful ‘swiping’, most users first look at photographs. If they are on the fence about a match, or just want to know more about the person, they then select the ‘i’ icon (or simply press on the user’s photograph), for information in the profile description (which is self entered, in up to 500 characters).
How to edit your profile:
The website makes this pretty self explanatory. If you are using the app, click the ‘person icon’ at the top of your screen. Select ‘edit info’ and change or delete as needed. If not already synced through your Facebook account, you can add job title and schooling. This is also where you will connect your Instagram and Spotify accounts. If you have signed up for Tinder Plus, you can select if you want to hide your age or distance. To exit your profile click ‘done’ and then select the red ‘down’ arrow.
Matches: If you want to view your matches, click the ‘fire’ (think of the name, Tinder) icon. You can slide the user’s image right or left to say yes or no. If you prefer not to swipe and to use press button (or computer mouse) options, look to the bottom of the screen. The yellow circular arrow gives you the ability to ‘rewind’ a match if you swiped incorrectly. Once you are viewing another’s profile (through either the ‘i’ icon, or by taping on their photo) you can view additional photos by sliding left. This sometimes leads to a user error of making incorrect left swipes, so proceed carefully! Swiping ‘up’ will let you “Super Like” a user (again, if you don’t like swiping, press the blue star at the bottom of page to accomplish the same).
To un-match another user:
You can do so through the ‘flag’ icon in their message, or through the flag icon in the upper right hand side of their profile when reviewing your matches!
After selecting the ‘person’ icon, click the settings toolbar. You will see advertisement links for Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus, as well as an option to get “Boosts” to increase your matches. You can also edit your location, age range for matches (auto-set to younger and older, but can be edited 18-55+), the gender looking for, and the maximum distance for matches (auto-set, usually, to 50 miles- but can be edited one mile to 100).
“Show me on Tinder” is a free option. If it is turned off, you can still see and chat with your matches, but you will not be shown to new users. Another free option is to add a web profile ‘username’, customizable to anything you like (so long as available). You will then receive a web profile and URL you can post on other sites, showing that Tinder wants dating to be comparable with social media.
- How the features work:
- Tinder Plus will allow you to use the following features and here is a description of their use:
- Don’t show my age: Found in the edit info section of your profile, available for Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold.
- Don’t show my distance: Found in the edit info section of your profile, available for Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold.
- Rewind on a swipe: Select the yellow circular arrow at bottom of the page. Select this option immediately after the mistaken swipe and tap until you see your mistake. Keep your Tinder account open or you will lose your chance to correct the swipe. Sign up before you need the feature. If you exit your incorrect swipe to sign up, you will lose the ability.
- Swipe anywhere: You will be able to select a location anywhere around the world where Tinder operates and find matches that way.
- Turn off ads.
- Unlimited rewinds: So you have the opportunity to correct all mistaken swipes.
- Choose who sees you: The opportunity to only be shown to people who have liked you.
- Free Boost: Get one free boost a month and get shown first when people swipe!
- Super likes: Receive 5 per day and you’ll be 3x as likely to get a match!
- Right Swipe: As a free user you are limited to a certain number of likes per day. Paid accounts gets unlimited ‘likes’ or right swipes!
- Tinder Gold will allow you to use the following features and here is a description of their use:
- Everything included on Tinder Plus, along with the the option of only matching with people who’ve already liked you.
Though dating sites and apps try their best, ‘bots’ pass through the cracks. Some users encounter suspected bots. Especially for men, it is common to see prostitutes and profiles that try and get you to link to their adult pages, etc. The main complaints online about Tinder are the continuous billing. If you sign up, even for a month, you will need to cancel membership before it renews. Some complain the person they met doesn’t look like their profile photo, but that isn’t an exclusive complaint to Tinder.
Tinder is worth trying. In general, the app will be portable and worth your time. The website is a great new addition for those who aren’t fans of dating on their smartphone or want to use both. Ask questions before you meet a match. Since matching is done quickly on Tinder and not based on long profile reads or algorithms of personality, those who meet in person might find they have less in common without advance scrutiny.