Tinder is still everywhere. Fact. In summer, a survey by uSwitch showed that nearly one in five of us used the dating app during a festival, which is a staggering 2.5 million millennials swiping their way through the crowds. And, cuffing season sees an even bigger spike.
But what is going to make a potential hook-up banish you into the abyss of the left swipe? According to a new study by Tinder, wearing glasses in your profile photos will reduce your chances of a right swipe. Yes, seriously.
Instead of having specs appeal, wearing glasses could reduce the chances of finding ‘true love’ by 12 per cent, which is a pretty substantial percentage for something we had never really considered before. But why would this make people think twice about swiping right?
Dating expert Dr Jessica Carbino, who studied the findings for Tinder, explained that it’s all to do with being able to see the eyes of a potential partner – something which is crucial to finding someone attractive or not.
‘Seeing the iris gives us clues as to whether you can be trusted,’ Dr Carbino explained, which kind of makes sense seeing as eyes are the windows to the soul and all that. But, come one, would you pass up on this…?
Ok, so just what is the big deal with Tinder? If you’re single, you’re probably on there. If you’re happily coupled up, you’ve probably helped your single girlfriends swipe through the reams of desirable – and not so desirable – potential dates. Either way, you cannot escape it.
Research shows that there are 50 million active users on Tinder who check their accounts 11 times per day and spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the app. And if you’re all too familiar with the perils of Tinder, we’ve charted the 12 most soul-destroying things about internet dating.
But, if all of this means nothing to you, then here’s everything you need to know about the dating app everyone is talking about…
What is Tinder?
It’s an online dating app. When it first came onto the scene, it was used more as a hook-up/no strings sex app because it finds you potential matches based on their proximity to you. But now almost everyone seems to be on it.
How does Tinder work?
It finds your location using GPS, then uses your Facebook information to create your profile but don’t worry – nothing about Tinder will ever be posted to Facebook. Your Tinder profile is made up of your first name, age, photos of your choice and any pages you’ve ‘liked’ on Facebook. You can also include your education and occupation in your bio.
Tinder then finds you potential matches near your location (you can narrow it down by age and distance, too) and if they take your fancy, you swipe right to ‘like’ them. If not, go left to ‘pass’. If they’ve also ‘liked’ you – then bingo, it’s a match and you can start messaging.
Can you use Tinder without Facebook?
The short answer to this is sadly, no. You need a Facebook profile to be able to use the app.
How to create the perfect Tinder profile
We know what you’re thinking: how on earth are we meant to create the perfect Tinder profile (right-swipeable obvs) to lure in our soul mate?
A new algorithm alternates the photo first seen by others when you show up on Tinder and notes each response to put your best foot – or picture – forward to new people. Clever right?
It has seen a 12% increase in matches. So spend less time ordering your pics, and more time swiping for Mr or Mrs Right.
Just remember according to a new study by the University of Iowa, the secret to success on dating apps comes down to making sure that your profile pictures aren’t all too pristine.
Those pictures that are perfectly posed and highly filtered were deemed less socially attractive and less trustworthy, so the more natural your photos the better.
It showed that you’re better off presenting your actual self rather than your idealised self if you want to attract a date. Doing otherwise, the study explains, ‘might be coded as bragging, which is associated with negative social consequences and reduced liking.’
The study also found that ‘warrantability’ is important. Transparency online ‘increases viewers’ beliefs that a person presented in a profile corresponds with the person creating the profile,’ explains the study. The result? No nasty surprises.
So the key to getting people to swipe right – be yourself. Put up photos which represent you how you really look (not photos from travelling circa 2005, then) and include links to your social media accounts so that potential dates can do their background research.
How to get more matches on Tinder
We had a chat with Rosette Pambakian, Tinder’s VP of Comms and the woman who helped launch the world’s most successful dating app, to ask how to get a swipe right every time. Here are her top tips…
Stop pouting and start smiling
‘A lot of people think their serious, hot photo is going to get them a lot of swipes, but we’ve found that when you’re authentically smiling it actually increases your chances of getting a swipe right by 14%.’
Keep group photos to a minimum
‘I like seeing who someone’s friends are because I think that says a lot about a person, but one group photo is enough – don’t make it your first photo, and certainly not all of them.’
Don’t neglect your bio
‘As a guy, you’re 98 per cent more likely to not get swiped right if you don’t have your bio filled out. Girls like reading and if you don’t take the time to tell us a little bit about yourself that says a lot.’
Integrate your Instagram
‘It’s a great way to keep your profile fresh, and give your potential matches insight into who you are.’
Get your pet involved
‘You need a talking point – activity photos, like skiing or surfing, are good talking points. And pets always seem to do well. Who doesn’t like an animal?’
Don’t let matches get stale
‘It’s best to send messages instead of leaving that match idle. Say something interesting about something you saw on their profile. I have a huge owl in one of my photos and it’s 90 per cent of the time the thing they comment on!’
‘Spend time chatting with your match to see if you guys are really going to be compatible – then you should have a good sense of whether you’re going to hit it off when you meet in person.’
What is Tinder social?
For those who want a wingwoman, this is for you. This option allows you to meet potential dates in a group situation as you can invite your friends too – way less awkward.
What is Tinder Boost?
Feeling like you’re not quite getting the Tinder love you used to? Well, that could be about to change thanks to Tinder Boost. Yes, with a name that does exactly what it says on the tin, the new Tinder update gives your profile a push in the right direction – boosting you up to be one of the top profiles in your area for 30 minutes. This results in x10 profile views and more chance of a match. Winning.
‘Boost mode’ can only be activated while swiping in Tinder mode. If you have upgraded to Tinder Plus, you will get one free Boost every month. If you become insatiable and want more, or if you don’t have Tinder Plus, simply buy a Boost any time you like.
Tinder Boost has launched worldwide and the premise is: be seen by more people, get more matches. It really is that simple.
Celebrities on Tinder
It even seems that some of our favourite celebs are happily swiping away. Thought that guy you swiped left for bore an uncanny resemblance to your favourite Hollywood celeb? Well, it just might have been your A-List beloved – particularly if his or her name sat next to a little blue tick. Yes, Tinder has introduced verified profiles for “notable public figures, celebrities and athletes” – much like Twitter and Facebook.
Alongside the likes of Leondardo DiCaprio, Dave Franco and Hilary Duff, Betches recently discovered that Coach Carr from Mean Girls has also joined the popular online dating app – and his profile is SO fetch.
Dwayne Hill, who found fame in the 2004 comedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, describes himself as a 6’5 Emmy-nominated actor. Adding ‘if you’re a good cuddler, I might let you join my gang’ in his bio.
Dwayne can been seen sporting a fully fledged beard and man bun in his pictures, though with the possibility of a Mean Girls sequel on the cards he might not want to ditch the tracksuit just yet.
Would you swipe right?
Instagram on Tinder
Tinder recently integrated Instagram, meaning you can see the 34 most recent snaps from your potential date’s Insta account to get a better idea of whether they’re right for you. Another exciting new feature means Tinder will show you matches it thinks you will swipe right on, based on past swipes.
So, what’s the verdict? Here’s our Tinder review:
What’s good about Tinder?
No agonising over a profile for hours. You can be up and running in about a minute.
The mutual friends function means people almost come with references – if you’ve got 10 Facebook friends in common with a match, chances are you could be on to a winner. In addition to common friends, Tinder now shows you when you and your match are in the same social circle, too.
Easy to use
The app’s designed for mobile users, and it shows. The layout’s clear and it’s simple to use. Perfect to fill minutes when you’re waiting for the bus.
Embarrassment factor is limited
Say you ‘like’ a Jamie Dornan-esque hottie. He’ll never know, unless he ‘likes’ you too.
No unsolicited emails
On most dating sites, anyone can message you. But with Tinder, only someone you’ve ‘liked’ can make contact.
What’s bad about Tinder?
We’ve found it’s rare for guys to actually start up a conversation once they’ve matched with you, leaving you with lots of matches and not much else.
Casual hook-ups not long-term love
It is still very casual sex-focussed. Many men are only on Tinder for a quick hook-up, so if it’s a serious relationship you’re after this app might not be for you…
Hard to focus
The game-style of Tinder means it’s really easy to keep playing and forget about that hottie you were messaging yesterday. If you’re serious about finding someone, you’ll need to stay focussed.
You have been warned.
Top tips for using Tinder:
- The best times to use Tinder are Spring and Autumn, according to online dating coach Ivana Franekova. She calls this the ‘hunting season.’
- Mix up your photos. Tinder allows you to have six photos. Make sure these show you have a full and interesting life.
- Try and be creative with your messages. Don’t just say ‘hey’ – you need to stand out.
- Be on the look out for clues about height. On Tinder, age is the only vital stat you get, so it can be a bit of a height lottery.
- Be safe. It goes without saying, but, if you do go on a Tinder date, let someone know where you are and always meet in a public place.
Beware of Tinder scams…
A new problem facing Tinder is a wave of scams. The latest one involves being messaged by what seems like a match, who’ll then ask you if you’re verified on Tinder, and tell you that in order to be verified you just need to click a link and enter a code. The ‘verification’ service is actually a porn website and will charge you £90 after you enter your credit card details for ‘age verification.’ Which definitely wasn’t what you wanted.
Bad Tinder Dates
Of course, once you’ve met your match there isn’t a 100% guarantee that you will get on like a house on fire. Best case scenario? You’ll mutually agree you’d be ‘better off as a friends’ after one drink and call it a night. Worst case scenario? See below…
Relationship and dating writer Lauren Crouch, who runs a Tumblr blog entitled ‘No Bad Dates Just Good Stories’, has outlined a recent encounter she had with a man she met on Tinder.
The two met at a tube station (she wanted to meet at a pub but he said no). After refusing to go to a nice independent coffee shop because he had to cross the road, the man insisted on going to Costa (who said romance was dead?), then invited her round for dinner. Lauren quite reasonably declined, as they had only just met. He then said he had to go home to be there for his Ocado delivery.
It could have ended there and been just another disastrous Tinder date to write off. But then things took a turn for the worse, as you can see in the text exchanges below (Lauren’s are in blue).
What are the most popular jobs on Tinder?
In September 2016, Tinder revealed the most right swiped jobs on the app i.e. the professions which gained the most interest from prospective dates. And the result? Well according the research, teaching is the most right swiped for females and lawyers were top for males. See the rest of the list, below:
Enough to put you off Tinder? Here are 11 of the best online dating sites for you to try out.
However if you’re committed to the original hook-up app, then enjoy it. Have fun coming up with flirty/hilarious opening lines, picking your most natural pics for all those swipe rights, and let the fun begin.
But when meeting a match, always remember to be safe.