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Our comprehensive guide to using Tinder

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Our comprehensive guide to using Tinder

Tinder is the biggest dating app – here’s how to use Tinder, including the new Tinder Explore section, and whether Tinder Plus, Gold & Platinum are worth it

There’s plenty of competition out there, but Tinder remains the biggest dating app in the world and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.

Whether you’re a Tinder veteran looking to upgrade their profile, or an app dating newbie trying to figure out how everything works, this comprehensive guide to all things Tinder is where you need to be.

What is Tinder?

Tinder is an online dating app that matches couples based on their physical attraction to one another. It alerts you to other Tinder users who fall within a specified age range and gender and are within a certain distance of your location, and it lets you know whether you have any mutual friends.

You decide whether or not you like the look of a person: if you do, great; if you don’t, they’ll never know. If you’re both interested then Tinder’s messaging function offers you a private chat thread in which to talk and get to know each other better.

It’s very much like being introduced to the hot friend of a friend in a bar, but it removes the clumsy, drunken matchmaker and the want-to-curl-up-and-die cringeworthiness from the equation.

How do I get Tinder?

Tinder is available as a free app for Android or iOS; just download it from the App Store or Google Play

Previously you would need a Facebook account to log in, but in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal Tinder added the option to create an account using only a phone number. That will prevent you from using some of the app’s features though, such as pulling photos directly from Facebook, and showing you when you have mutual friends or Likes with another user.

How do I use Tinder?

Tinder is a really simple app to use. Just download it, set up an account or log in with your Facebook profile, specify the gender and age range of the people you’d like to meet, and how far you’re prepared to travel to meet them. When Tinder finds people who match those criteria it places cards on your screen that show a large photo of the person; tap this to see a short description they’ve written along with more photos.

Below the picture is a heart icon and a cross – tap the heart if you like them and the cross if you don’t – or swipe to the right if you like them, and to the left if you don’t. If you like someone who also likes you Tinder will tell you that a match has been made and opens up a simple messaging function.

You’ll also have to fill out your own profile. Tinder pulls some information from your Facebook profile, such as your job and education, but you can choose what to display and write out a short bio of yourself. You also need to pick a few photos to include – you can pull these either from your phone’s image library or your Facebook account.

Tinder will also do its best to help you out thanks to a feature called Smart Photos. If you choose to activate it, it will continually assess how favourably people have responded to each of your profile photos, and automatically order them so that your most popular photo appears first – taking out all the guesswork as to which photo you look best in.

You can also link your Tinder to both Instagram and Spotify. The former will show your most recent Instagram photos on your profile while the latter will let you show off some of your staple songs.

Why aren’t I getting any interest on Tinder?

Tinder is a two-way street – you can’t just sign up, forget about the app and hope people will come to you. Because the messaging system is opened up only when both parties have confirmed their interest, you won’t know anyone has liked you unless you also like them. So if you want to see results, open up the Tinder app and get involved.

What happens if I like someone and they don’t like me?

There’s no need to hide your face in shame. The only way someone will know if you’ve liked them on Tinder is if they like you too, then a match is made and the messaging function between the pair of you becomes active. So set your sights as high as you like – no-one will call you on it.

Will someone know if I don’t like them?

Likewise, Tinder won’t tell someone who fancies you that the feeling isn’t mutual. That person might eventually work it out when several weeks have passed and a match hasn’t been made, but the chances are they’ve liked a few people in that time and won’t be pinning all their hopes on you. It’s a very gentle way of letting down those in whom you’re not interested without hurting their feelings.

Will I meet a psycho on Tinder?

Only the people you’ve liked are allowed to contact you on Tinder, so there’s no chance that you’ll get a bunch of unsolicited messages; and those users you have allowed can be blocked if they get annoying or a bit creepy.

But you do still need to apply the same rules on Tinder as you would with any online dating site: you’ll never really know who you’re agreeing to meet until you do so.

Our comprehensive guide to using Tinder

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