Tinder has taken the dating world by storm and has helped make online dating socially acceptable. The dating service has so many users that everyday profiles are viewed over 2 billion times, which results in 26 million matches.
Tinder offers a simple way to meet people online. You sign up with your phone number or Facebook account to ensure some level of identity verification (your membership is not announced to your Facebook friends via your page, feed, etc.). The app then matches you to other Tinder users in the area around you – whether you’re at home, at work, in a bar, or on a trip.
Tinder Makes It Easy to Start Dating Online
The app is free to download (it has been downloaded more than 340 million times), and only takes a few seconds to install. Tinder is also now available online via their website so if you’re on your desktop or laptop you can now check your messages and matches from your internet browser.
There’s no real profile creation with Tinder beyond the basics. If you signup with Facebook, photos along with other information is automatically pulled from your account (the app allows you to delete whatever you don’t want available). Or, you can click the plus sign on the top right of your Profile page to check your phone, Instagram, or album photos from Facebook for other pictures to include. You can also say a few words (up to 500 characters) to describe yourself. The settings tab allows you to choose whether you want to be matched with men or women or both, how far away you are willing to search (i.e. 10 miles or 50 miles from your current location), and your preferred age range. You can include up to nine photos and looping videos.
The matching process is easy. Pictures of potential suitors pop up on your screen one by one (Tinder calls this the card stack) along with their ages, and whether you have Facebook friends or mutual interests in common. You can see more information about them by tapping the “I” button underneath or simply tapping on the photo. Then you can see how far away they are from you at this moment (i.e. 2 miles or 10 miles), as well as an “about” section where people can leave a little information about themselves (or not much at all besides “hi”). If you have common interests or friends on Facebook, those will appear below the photos. You can scroll through various matches if you’d like, touching the “X” for no or swiping left (meaning you’re not interested) and touching the heart on the right for yes, or swiping right. Once you mutually approve of each other, you and your Tinder match can communicate.
Even Celebrities are on Tinder!
Celebrities are joining Tinder along with the millions of other daters downloading the app. It’s become a part of TV shows about single people, including Girls and The Mindy Kaling Project. As The Huffington Post noted, Tinder has become so popular “it is now a verb.”
Part of its appeal is the fact that Tinder is not a lonely endeavor like online dating can be, where you sit in front of a computer sorting through profiles and creating your own. In fact, most people use Tinder with their friends in social settings, so when you’re meeting friends for a drink chances are one or more of you is logging in. “The last few times I’ve gone out, I haven’t not noticed someone using Tinder in a bar. People aren’t ashamed to use it. It’s lightweight and fun,” says Mateen.
Unfortunately, Tinder doesn’t take into account your relationship status. If you’re married or in a relationship, you can use Tinder without any members having knowledge about the fact you have a significant other. So, it enables people to cheat if they feel so inclined.
Many people view mobile dating apps like Tinder as nothing more than hook-up apps, because it’s free to use and there isn’t much of a filtering process outside of whether or not you like someone’s photos. But plenty of women and men are both gravitating to this app, so its appeal is only growing. Dating apps like Tinder are here to stay, and are an important part of the new dating landscape.
Tinder Profiles and Sign-Up Process
The Tinder app is found on Google Play and the Apple App store. It is the #1 top grossing non-game app in both stores and has 10’s of millions of downloads. You can also access the Tinder service directly from their website (it uses the same account as the Tinder App). The Tinder service on the app and the website is very similar, for this review we will concentrate mainly on the app since this is how most users will experience Tinder. After installing the Tinder app and launching it you will be asked to create an account either by connecting your Facebook account or by your phone number. If you use your phone number a text with a verification code will be sent to verify it is correct. During the signup Tinder will ask for the following information:
- Start by connecting your Facebook account or phone number
- Enter your First Name, Birthday, Your Gender, Sexual Orientation, and the University/College you went to
- Upload at least 1 photo (My best pic is)
- Allow Tinder to access your location. This is required by Tinder or you cannot use the service
The Tinder signup process is very simple and quick. Once finished, you will be brought to the Discovery section where you can then go through your card stack of matches swiping left or right on profiles you like or not. On the top bar on the left you can click on the profile icon to access your profile and settings to change and update your information further.
Tinder Photo Verification
To protect users from fake profiles, Tinder now allows members to self-authenticate through a series of real-time posed selfies. These are compared to existing profile photos using human-assisted AI technology. Verified profiles will display a blue checkmark so members can trust that the photos are accurate. This feature will be available to all markets by the end of 2020.
Tinder offers a feature rich membership which is free that includes messaging. They also offer 2 main paid subscription options (Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold) along with the ability for free and paid members to purchase additional features. A Tinder Select subscription is available to celebrities and other elite members.
Please check Tinder for most recent pricing. All prices in USD unless specified otherwise. Prices may differ based on location, time of purchase, or access point (this can include device used and/or if accessed from a website or app)
- Creating your profile
- Including up to 9 media items (photos and loop videos)
- Connecting your Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram accounts
- Viewing other members profiles
- Using the Discovery Section to access your card stack to Like or Pass on matches. You can only swipe left or right on a certain number of profiles a day
- Switch between Local and Global Mode for matches in your Discovery Section
- Access to the Top Picks to view up to 10 profiles a day. You can only like 1 profile a day from Top Picks
- Send and receive messages from your mutual matches
- Everything from the Free Membership
- No Ads
- Control what your profile displays (make your age and distance invisible)
- Unlimited Likes (swipe rights)
- Unlimited Rewinds – Allows you to return to the last person you left swiped on so you can change your selection
- Read Receipts – Be notified when someone reads your message. Includes a setting to dsiable people finding out about you reading their messages
- Passport – Lets you change your Tinder location to match with people in a destination of your choice. Allows browsing of matches outside your city. Passport includes a Travel Alert safety feature (see Story)
- Boost – Puts your profile ahead of others in Discovery for 30 minutes to be seen first by members near your location. 1 per month
- Super Likes – Get 5 a day to highlight your Like when the member views your profile
- Option to only have your profile be shown to people who you have liked
- Everything from Tinder Plus
- Full access to the list of Top Picks. Can like as many Top Picks as you have in the list
- See the “Who Likes You” list found in Messages. Can like these members back right away instead of saying Nope
Currently offered in select markets only
- Everything from Tinder Gold
- Message before matching by attaching a message to your Super Like
- Have your Like prioritized over others with Priority Likes
- An invite only service for elite and celebrity Tinder members
- Users of Tinder Select can toggle back and forth between both services
- Tinder has not commented much on Tinder Select so little is known about it
If you are Tinder Plus subscriber you can upgrade to Tinder Gold at any time and just pay the difference in the cost. You can also downgrade from Tinder Gold to Tinder Plus
Subscriptions automatically renew for the same term. Subscriptions can be canceled anytime to prevent future charges while you still continue to use the remaining time on your current subscription.
Safety on Tinder with Noonlight Integration
Noonlight has now been integrated into Tinder for members in the United States. This will allow you to share details about upcoming dates via Noonlight’s Timeline feature, including who you are meeting, where and when, with the ability to easily and discreetly trigger emergency services if you are feeling uneasy or in need of assistance via the Noonlight app (installed separately).
The Noonlight Safety Platform gives Tinder users access to a panic button allowing them to quickly get help in any situation, without requiring a 911 call or the ability to talk or text.
Searching and Matching
There is no searching in Tinder for members that you might want to date. You can only search for members you are already matched with in the messages section. Tinder only provides matches for you. There are 2 matching options called Discovery and Top Picks.
These matching options use an algorithm that Tinder developed (see Story) which use a number of factors to determine what matches to show you. This includes your location (which can be disabled if Global Mode is enabled OR changed if you are a subscriber and use the Passport feature to pick another city), how active the member is, and the type of members you previously have Liked and Noped. Some match preference settings can be changed under your Account Settings. This includes the gender you want to view, the maximum distance (proximity) from your current location, and an age range. Tinder states that modifying these settings does not guarantee you that all matches will fall within your parameters.
This is where the famous swiping of profiles comes from. You can find the Discovery section by clicking on the Tinder flame icon on the top bar of the app (or website). With Discovery, you are shown one match at a time and you can either hit the red X icon or swipe left to say Nope about the match, or tap the green heart icon or swipe right to Like the match. You can also Super Like a profile, this is done by tapping the blue star or by swiping up. You only have a limited number of Super Likes everyday but more can be purchased if needed.
Tinder has a lot to offer its users at every tier. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons:
- Free to download and use with your phone (iPhone or Android). Service is also accessible via Tinder.com
- Easy to get started with minimal profile information required
- Easy to use, just swipe left or right to reject or approve a match. Swipe up for a Super Like
- Fun to use in social situations with friends
- Can start connecting with people more quickly than traditional dating sites
- Constantly matching you with new people because it’s location-based
- Low investment – if you only want to hook-up, very appealing platform. No money required to spend and very accessible
- Tinder Lite app available to those who want to reduce data usage (available in only certain countries)
- These are the parts of Tinder which needs improvement.
- Does not consider someone’s Facebook relationship status to be able to use it (married, in a relationship, or single)
- Not much information provided about the match before you meet – sometimes none at all if they don’t include a bio
- Can’t search for matches with similar interests – have to scroll through each match given
- As a free member you can’t “look back” and reconsider someone because you have to choose Like or Nope to move on to the next candidate. When you reject, they are gone
- Membership upgrades use an age-based pricing model. For older singles Tinder is a lot more expensive to use
- Tinder Photo Verification not required
Tinder is one of the best dating apps in the world for a good reason— it has almost everything you need to get a potential match. Definitely worth signing up for, even with just a free account!