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. And the app has revealed its latest update which allows users to add info about their gender identity.
How does the Tinder app work then?
It’s really very simple and easy. It finds your location using GPS, then uses your Facebook information to create your profile (don’t worry, nothing about Tinder will ever be posted to Facebook). A 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.
You can share your favourite music with potential matches via Spotify. Users can broadcast a song through Spotify, share what they’re currently listening to on the app, and find out who shares their taste in music. A great way of discovering common interests you might share with your matches.
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.
There are Tinder trends you can follow, too. A recent analysis of 12,000 profile photos of both men and women showed that 72% of them wore neutral colours in their pictures, as opposed to eye-catching bright colours or a garish prints, with the colour black overwhelmingly popular for people’s chosen outfits.
How to guarantee a swipe right
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 when you’re authentically smiling, it actually increases your chances of getting a swipe right by 14%, which is a significant percentage. Head shots from professional modelling photos don’t work either – they tend to be a bit of a turn off. I would say leave them at home and choose a photo that shows your personality.’
Stand out from the crowd
‘The majority of people wear neutral colours in their profile photos – black, brown, white, or grey. So if you really want to stand out, wear a bit of colour.’
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. I don’t have the percentage of swipes in relation to girls’ bios, but I do know that as a girl your chances of being swiped right are increased if you fill it out.’
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?’
Link your Spotify
‘You can choose a song to set as your anthem or you can integrate it. It’s been a huge success for us – sharing the same taste in music is a big thing.’
Don’t let matches get stale
‘It’s best to send messages instead of leaving that match idle. We introduced GIF integration recently because we get asked a lot of questions, particularly from the guys, about what do I say, how do I get the conversation going? Don’t say hey or hi, you know immediately they’re going to say hi back, so 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.’
Keep the date simple
‘I like going for a drink or a coffee for the first date. It’s simple and keeps it light. But everyone has their own preferences – I mean I’ve heard of love at first swipe stories where they go on these awesome trips. One couple went to a wedding together in a different country for their first date and they really hit it off – I mean more power to you if you can do that.’
And if the date’s not going well…
‘Call me old fashioned but I think honesty is best – say it was good to meet you and end it early. Everyone has different tips about leaving an awkward date, but I think you usually know right away and that’s why I say keep it to drinks – it’s casual and you’re not committed to a long, uncomfortable dinner. And the great thing about Tinder is if you decide you don’t like them you can just unmatch them and you never have to see them again – and they’re not stuck with your phone number!’
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.
But how does Tinder Boost work?
‘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 week. If you become insatiable and want more, or if you don’t have Tinder Plus, simply buy a Boost any time you like.
Whilst Tinder Boost is currently in beta mode, just launching in the UK and Australia, the Tinder Powers-That-Be are looking to roll the update out to the whole world very soon. Be seen by more people, get more matches. It really is that simple.
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?
Don’t panic – it turns out that Tinder has the answer. In order to suss out which photos create the most matches, the app has introduced a new algorithm that alternates the photo first seen by others when you show up on Tinder. The app then notes each response as others swipe on you and reorders the photos to show your most popular ones first. Clever right?
Known as Smart Photos, the new update has proved pretty successful, with Tinder seeing a 12% increase in matches as a result of its introduction. What’s even better is that the more you swipe and are swiped on, the smarter the results become as Smart Photo establishes a ‘swiping pattern’ for each individual that makes it easier to know what people find attractive.
No more agonising over which is your best side then. Phew.
Or alternatively, you could turn to science for the answer. 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.
The study found that profiles with a high level of ‘selective self-presentation’ (i.e. perfectly posed and highly filtered images) were deemed less socially attractive and less trustworthy than those with a low level of self-presentation. Simply put, the more natural your photos then the more attractive you are.
To find these results, researchers created profiles which combined ‘selective self-presentation’ and ‘warranting’ (providing Googleable details about yourself which would be hard to manipulate). Participants were then asked to rate profiles on qualities such as trust and social attraction, as well as outcomes such as whether they’d like to meet up and date them.
The study concluded that ‘users generally appreciate flattering information but are less attracted to others who display an exclusively positive persona.’ Put simply, 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.’
As well as finding out that we’re less attracted to idealised online versions of people, 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.
Tinder has recently integrated Instagram into its free, core offering. This means you will now be able to see the 34 most recent snaps from your potential date’s Insta account, meaning that you can 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, and thanks to a fancy new algorithm.
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?
So, what’s the verdict? Here’s our Tinder review:
- It’s quick. No agonising over a profile for hours. You can be up and running in about a minute.
- It’s natural. You ‘like’ people in the same way you would in a bar – on whether you find them attractive at first glance. A little shallow, yes, but let’s face it, it’s what we all do on a night out anyway.
- 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.
- It’s easy to use on the run. 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.
- The embarrassment factor’s 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- It’s 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.
- It’s addictive. 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. Don’t have any of you in a bikini – this will probably only attract guys who are after one thing.
- Try and be creative with your messages. Don’t just say’ hey’. Each person will have dozens and dozens of matches – 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.
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:
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).
Enough to put you off Tinder? Here are 11 of the best online dating sites for you to try out