Here's everything to know...
Tinder is still on top as one of the most popular of all the best sex apps, with research showing that it boasts 4.1 million subscribers, but it was its new safety features that made it a talking point these past few months.
Just months ago, Tinder announced its new safety feature, Traveller Alert.
But what is Traveller Alert? Well, it’s a feature designed to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community from the inherent risk of using dating apps in the nearly 70 countries that still have discriminatory laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ status.
The Traveller Alert will be visible when the app is first opened in one of the said countries to educate and warn users of the potential dangers.
‘We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love who they want to love - and we strive to reflect this in everything we do at Tinder. It is unthinkable that there are still countries with legislation in place that deprives people of this basic right,’ explained Elie Seidman, Tinder’s CEO. ‘We serve all communities - no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation - and we are proud to offer features that help keep them safe. This alert is an example of the many steps that we are taking to protect our users around the world.’
Tinder’s collaboration with ILGA World has helped them source data to help establish where the alert should be sounded.
Speaking of the collaboration, André du Plessis, Executive Director at ILGA World, explained: ‘We hope that this development will raise awareness amongst all Tinder users, and help protect people of diverse sexual orientations in the 69 countries around the world that currently still criminalise same-sex love.’
The statement continued: ‘We support Tinder’s dedication to improving security features for their users. We work hard to change practices, laws and attitudes that put LGBTQ people at risk - including the use of dating apps to target our community - but in the meantime, the safety of our communities also depends on supporting their digital safety.’
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.
Can you use Tinder online?
Yes. Thanks to an update, we have Tinder Online which you can now use on any device - including your laptop or, dare we say it, work computer. So if you need a break from spreadsheets and fancy a scroll, it's totally possible without being glued to your phone. Perfect.
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.’
Another study also found that people wearing glasses in their profile picture were much less likely to get a right swipe. And a recent Reddit thread revealed that the phrase you should never use in your Tinder profile is: 'I made this account as a joke'. Makes sense, right? The other tip was: don't state the obvious. 'Love travelling, cheese and wine' and 'I enjoy nights out as much as nights in' are not likely to get you a match. Must do better.
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 gold?
A members-only subscription service that costs around £4 per month and allows you to see everyone who has swiped right on you. Genius, right? It also allows you unlimited likes - and crucially, the power to undo them - and the passport feature allows you to like anyone anywhere in the world. It's basically Tinder at its maximum. And worth the fee.
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?
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.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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