How To

What is Tinder and how does it work?

We all talk about it, some of us use it - but what exactly is Tinder and how does it work?

By Holly Royce
These days it can feel like more couples are meeting online than in 'real life'. Meeting through a match-making website or a dating app does not carry the same negative social stigma it once did.
If you're not signed up to some kind of dating website or dating app, chances are at least one of your friends is.
Rather than making things more simple, the concept of online dating can be overwhelming and can actually make things more complicated for a lot of us.
Tinder remains the most popular dating app into 2017, in fact the company claim to have 1.6 billion swipes and 26 million matches every single day, in over 190 countries.
We want to know, what exactly is Tinder, how does it work and how can we use it?

What is the Tinder app all about?

First things first - Tinder is a dating app which uses an algorithm to provide you with potential matches.
Currently, the app is only available for download on your phone, but Tinder online will be released sometime later this year.
As with most online algorithms - the company like to keep the exact formula a mystery.
What we can tell you for certain is that Tinder matches couples based on their physical attraction.
You'll be presented with a list of potential suitors who will all fall into an age range, gender and distance of your location which your preselect.
As each profile comes onto your screen, you touch and swipe right to mark them as a yes or swipe left to mark that person as a no.
Each user creates a profile which contains photos of them, a bio, other links, mutual Facebook friends (if your app is connected through Facebook) have in common.
If you both swipe right on each other, you'll be displayed as a match, and you can start talking to one another in the chat section.

What does it mean to swipe left?

Swiping left means that you're saying no to a potential match on Tinder.
When you swipe right, you're saying yes and potentially, you want to meet up with that person in real life and see if the chemistry transfers.
But be careful! If you swipe left on too many people Tinder will see you as too picky and you'll be shown to less people.

How does Tinder order your matches?

While no one is 100 per cent sure of the exact process, the company has confirmed they rank users with a Tinder desirability rating.
Internally the company refer to the ranking as an ELO score and they use it to make sure you're being presented with the most compatible matches possible - not just based on proximity to your location.

Does the way you swipe affect how your profile is shown?

Yes, and it also affects the algorithm for other users.
In 2016 a then Tinder data analyst, Chris Dumler, confirmed that your swiping affects the entire algorithm of the application.
He told Fast Company, “This person is more desirable than this other person. Every swipe is in a way casting a vote: I find this person more desirable than this person, whatever motivated you to swipe right. It might be because of attractiveness, or it might be because they had a really good profile.”
These profiles are then presented to Tinder engineers who aggregate the various categories of users.

Does how people swipe on you effect your ranking?

As mentioned above, Tinder has confirmed that there is an aggregation process which ranks you, your profile and your 'attractiveness' based on how many right swipes you receive.

How much is the Tinder app?

It's free to join the Tinder dating app - though you can pay for a membership and receive Tinder plus.
In our opinion, Tinder plus is not very useful unless you want to change your location or hide your age.

How do I change my Tinder profile?

You can easily change your Tinder profile by hitting the icon on the top left-hand corner of the main screen, selecting your profile photo, and then tapping 'Edit'.
When you're here you can add photos and edit your bio - you can even connect Instagram, Facebook and Spotify.

How does Tinder work with Facebook?

You can connect the Tinder app with your Facebook account which automatically creates a profile and links into categories you make have liked in the past.
For example, say you liked tennis on Facebook, the Tinder app will make sure to match you with other people who have also liked tennis.
It's a great easy way to create a more in depth profile with minimal effort.
And there you have it!
The Tinder app is constantly changing and updating but all information was correct at the time of publishing.