With nearly 1.7 billion swipes (passes or likes) and 26 million matches a day, Tinder has overtaken the likes of OKCupid and Match.com as the go-to dating service. The location-based app for iOS and Android serves up matches close by to make it easier to meet someone in your area. It also taps into your Facebook account.
Dating is intimidating enough without having to struggle with an app’s instructions. So here's how you can use Tinder to find a match.
How To Get Started
2. Create an account. You can sign up with your Facebook account or phone number. If you go the Facebook route, be aware that Tinder will pull information from your Facebook profile, such as your friends, photos and likes.
The app won't post to Facebook without your permission, so none of your friends need to know you're on the app if you don't want them to know.
While signing up on Tinder, you’ll need to fill out basic information about yourself, including your name, gender, location and age. Tinder will also ask you to upload your “best photo” to set as a display picture, which will help you get matches.
Set Up Your Profile
1. Tap the gear-shaped icon to access your Settings. The button is located right under your display photo on the main menu.
2. Adjust your Discover Settings. You get a say in who shows up in your Tinder matches. In the Discovery Settings section, users can update their location, maximum distance for potential swipes, desired gender and age range. There’s also a “Show me on Tinder” option you can turn on and off so you can enter or leave the card stack at will.
3. Claim your ID. Tinder offers a Web Profile setting where you can claim a username that will be viewable by the public. You don’t have to get selective with this feature since Tinder will let you change your username to a new one at any time.
4. Manage Notifications. If you want the app to notify you immediately about New Matches, Messages, Message Likes and Super Likes, just tap the notification switch to red. And if you want you ever want deactivate notifications, simply tap the switch back to white. Tinder also provides notification options for In-App Vibrations and In-App Sounds.
5. Access your purchases. Tinder has monthly subscriptions for users who want enhanced features like Unlimited Right Swipes or Hide Ads. (Tinder Plus starts at $9.99 a month or $19.99 a month, depending on your age.) Regardless of which membership level you get, you can access your in-app purchases on different devices by selecting Restore Purchases.
Editing Your Profile
1. To glance at your profile as is, select your display photo on the main menu.
2. Change your profile as needed by selecting the pencil-shaped icon to Edit Info. This button will also be located right under your display photo. You can find another Edit Info button if you scroll to the bottom of your profile.
3. Manage your photos. Tinder lets you upload six photos total. The first photo will be used as your display picture. If you’re indecisive about which photo to use, Tinder has a Smart Photos feature you can turn on, which “continuously tests all your profile photos and picks the best one to show first.”
4. Write a clever bio. In the About section you have 500 characters to write about what you’re looking for and who you are as a person. If you’re serious about matching, share qualities you find unique.
5. Add in other details. You have the option to share your Job Title, Company and School.
6. Integrate with other apps. Tinder lets you connect your account to Instagram and Spotify. When connected, your Instagram photos will be on display, as well as My Anthem, a song you add to your profile from Spotify that will play for a few seconds. A My Top Spotify Artists section will also include info if you choose to link to your Spotify account.
7. Identify yourself how you want. If “Man” or “Woman” doesn’t fit your identity, Tinder provides an I Am feature where you can select from various gender options or type one in manually. Or you can turn off the “Show my gender on my profile” feature as a whole.
8. Hide details about yourself. Tinder also provides Don’t Show My Age and Don’t Show My Distance features, however those can only be accessed by Tinder Plus subscribers.
9. Hit Done at the top right when you're satisfied with your profile.
Browsing and Matching
1. Alternate between tabs. At the top of the main menu lie person and flame-shaped icons. The flame takes you to your potential matches, while the person icon takes you back to your customizable profile.
2. Survey users. When you’ve selected the flame icon, Tinder presents user profiles in a stack of photos. Each picture is accompanied with a first name, age, number of shared friends (if you’ve connected to Facebook) and likes you have with them. If you need more information before deciding whether you like someone, you can click the small info icon at the bottom left corner to see more details and pictures on their profile.
Depending on what you find, you may want to select the Recommend To A Friend or Report buttons at the bottom of their profile. You can find these same buttons contained inside a three-dotted symbol at the top right corner.
When you’re on someone’s profile, an X, star and heart are visible at the bottom of your screen. Selecting the X rejects the account you’re viewing, while the star signifies “Super Like” and the heart signifies a regular “Like.”
3. Swipe left to pass, swipe right to match. And if you’re really eager, swipe up to Super Like a profile. An animation will pop up when you’ve successfully matched with someone.
If that's too confusing, colorful icons are available to Unlimited Rewind, Nope, Super Like, Like and Skip The Line (which lets you be the top profile in your area for 30 minutes to get more matches). Note: The Unlimited Rewind and Skip The Line are only accessible to paid subscriptions, so be careful with your swiping if you have a free account.
Note: Free accounts have a limit of 100 likes every 12 hours.
4. Send a Message. After you've matched with someone, you can start chatting. Select the chat bubble icon that’s to the right of the flame one to see all your matches. You can only talk with people you like who've liked you too. There’s a search button you can use to find a person if you have a lot of matches.
5. Break the ice with a sticker. If sending a message out of the blue is awkward for you, select the profile you want to chat with and swipe down. This opens up a series of stickers you can send, like beating hearts, laughing emojis and applauding hands. Gifs are another option.
6. Show your support. Tinder allows you to like messages with a green heart to let your match know they’re on the right track.
7. Unmatch when needed. Sometimes you’ll come across a not-so-great person on Tinder. If your conversation goes sour or you just change your mind, you can cancel your match by selecting the profile in the chat feature and tapping the flag icon, followed by the Unmatch button. Under that same icon is a Report button for users that violate the Tinder Terms of Service.
Paid Membership Accounts
Pursue Plus: With Tinder Plus, members get access to premium features like Rewind if you accidentally reject someone you wanted to match with, or Passport, which lets you match with people anywhere in the world. Other perks includes Boosts and unlimited Super Likes. Tinder Plus memberships range from $4.58 to $9.99 per month depending on your chosen subscription, but this pricing is only available for users under the age of 28. Users over 28 are charged $19.99 per month.
Go for Gold: Tinder’s latest premium addition, Tinder Gold, has all the same features you’d find in Tinder Plus, as well as exclusive access to Likes You. This allows subscribers to see who swiped right on them before making a final decision. Tinder Gold memberships range from $6.92 to $14.99 per month depending on your chosen subscription.
Can you match with a celebrity?
Tinder issues verified accounts to public figures, but your chances of getting matched with Leonardo DiCaprio or Angelina Jolie are slim since there’s an exclusive Tinder Select app for the rich and famous.
Editors' Note: This article updates the original 2014 post by Cherlynn Low with new information.