This dating service is most widely known for being an app, but it’s also available online. Tinder lets users swipe on other user profiles: left to pass and right if you’re interested. The app largely popularized the term “swiping” in reference to selecting a mate digitally, and it almost feels like a game while you’re doing it. In 2017, the Washington Post reported the market intelligence firm AppAnnie collected data and found Tinder is one of the most popular platforms people are using to find love.
Tinder’s website works the same way as the app, with the addition of a small button you can click that will immediately open a document titled Meeting Notes with a graph and a schedule. This document is, of course, fake. We imagine if you’re off task at work and browsing dating profiles instead of doing your job, you can open the fake notes if someone walks behind you.
A Facebook account and cell phone number are required to set up a Tinder account. Once you’re on and specify what gender you’re interested in matching with, the app lets you upload up to six photos and write a short paragraph about yourself. You also have the option to link your Spotify account so potential matches can see what kind of music you like, or your Instagram account if you’d like to display even more photos. The whole setup process took our reviewers about three minutes and was far less comprehensive than sites like eharmony and Plenty of Fish.
Your success with Tinder is going to depend on where you live and what you’re looking for. Using your phone or computer’s location services, the app’s search radius only goes as high as 100 miles from where you are so you’re going to be looking at people relatively nearby. A 2017 Forbes article says that while Tinder helped kill the stigma of online dating, it's largely seen as an app used mostly by people seeking short-term flings as opposed to long-term committed relationships. Despite that reputation, Time reported that same year that Tinder said 80 percent of its users “are seeking a meaningful relationship." In short, Tinder is for brief encounters as well as those looking for their soulmate. The key to successful online dating is being honest about what you want.
In our tests, we set up three fake accounts. Because matches don’t show up unless both parties swipe right on each other, we liked the first 30 profiles we saw for each of the three accounts. We got an average of nine matches over 24 hours with all three accounts, though the man seeking woman account brought the average way down with only one response. This could have to do with the area of the country we were testing in or simply the day we tried it. Of the matches we got, 7 percent were "super likes," which Tinder users can use to show they really, really like the user. Tinder gives you access to free messaging with your matches, and our accounts got an average of six messages in 24 hours. The messaging feature doesn't allow for photo messaging.
Using Tinder is free but you can upgrade to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold if you want extra features like unlimited re-dos on profiles you’ve passed up and increasing your visibility on the app. The downside to Tinder is it doesn’t really ask what you want in a mate, so you have to rely solely on what people write in their bios, which can range widely from a couple of words and emojis to multiple paragraphs. Deactivating your account is easy to do whenever you like, and you can also report any inappropriate behavior easily.