How Does Tinder Work? What is Tinder?

Christen da Costa Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you’re single, lonely, and don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend, then you’re probably wondering to yourself “how does Tinder work” and “what is Tinder?”

Yes, Tinder is one of many dating apps available on the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.  But Tinder is the biggest, with currently over 50 million users, 10 million of them active every day.  That’s some pretty bonkers statistics.  And while it’s hard to fathom, the good news is that there is likely a match out there waiting for you. So you better get swiping.

How Does Tinder Work: Using Facebook

So you’re thinking about jumping aboard the Tinder (Download Tinder here) train but wondering exactly how it works.  It’s actually quite simple.

Provided you’ve downloaded the app to your device (iOS or Android), you simply just need to sign up.  But instead of creating a Tinder profile from scratch, you’ll actually just link your Facebook account to Tinder, and wallah, you’re all signed up.  Well, almost.  And while that may sound like a questionable idea, there are actually many more positive aspects to using Facebook for your Tinder profile:

  1. Facebook just about ensures that the profiles you’re viewing are real, as the company is one of the best at removing fake or bogus profiles.  Dating and talking to real people is always a good thing, unless you’re the starring character in the movie “Her”.
  2. It pulls in your latest photos and saves you time.  You can still edit, remove or change the order of the photos. Moreover, any new photos can automatically be added to your profile, keeping things fresh and attractive to the right mate.
  3. The Tinder Facebook login also pulls in your info, again saving you time and ensuring accuracy for both yourself and those that you’re interacting with.
  4. You can also see who is a friend of friend when you login to Tinder with Facebook.  That means you can validate the person, to some degree, before you actually get coffee with them, in the real world.
  5. And speaking of safety, that’s another upside to logging in with Facebook. As mentioned, Facebook is good at removing fake profiles.  So when you finally go out with that mystery man or woman, you can rest assured knowing that they are who they say they are, especially if you’ve got mutual friends.

Once logged you’ll need to tweak your profile a bit in the settings menu, and tell Tinder what sex you’re attracted to, your ideal mate’s age and what proximity you’re willing travel to go for that special someone.  If you so choose, you can remove or rearrange pics at this point, but if you want to get onto the actual dating part, keep reading. And since music is also such an important part of life, as is dating, you should invest in any of the best Android apps for music, and the best part is that most of them are free.

How Does Tinder App Work: The Swipe

One of the reasons Tinder is so popular is something that is commonly referred to as the “swipe”.  The swipe, or swiping indicates if you like or don’t like someone.  You swipe left on their picture if you don’t like them.  Or you swipe right on the person’s profile if you do like them.  After each swipe, you’ll be presented with another profile.

But that’s not all.  Within a person’s profile, you can also view additional photos, view their Instagram, and ultimately make a more concerted to effort to see if it’s a true match (i.e. are we both into traveling and eating monk fish).

How Does Tinder Match People and What’s Next

Tinder Match Card
If both Tinder users swipe right on the other person’s profile you’ll be presented with a Match Card.

So you’ve swiped right on a few profiles and nothing has happened.  In the wise words of a movie character, patience grasshopper.  Swiping right effectively raises your hand and says “I find that person attractive”.  And this is the beauty of Tinder: that same person also has to swipe right on your profile.  If they do, you’re a match – no really, the screen will display a card that says “You’re a Match”.  It’s actually a some what exhilarating feeling and quickly makes you realize how much of a drag it is to approach guys or girls at bars or the supermarket.

I’m A Match, Now What

Tinder Messsage
Once you’re matched with that special someone, you’ll be able to chat with them within the app, much like text messaging on your phone.

Once you’re matched with that special someone, you’ll be placed into a chat room that is analogous to that of a text window you find on your phone.  However, you can only text; no images (Bumble allows image upload) or videos can’t be exchanged.  What you can do those in engage in conversation and see if you guys have similar tastes and more importantly if you can engage in a conversation.

I suggest opening with original lines instead of the usual “hi, how are you?” as that quickly becomes redundant.  In short, it won’t call attention to you as you’ll likely be competing with others for that person’s attention.  That’s right, you won’t be the only match in town.  So consider witty, smart, or insightful opening lines, and don’t be afraid to push the envelope a bit to make yourself stand out.

For women, I suggest more playful speak. Guys, include emojis, and don’t be afraid to be a bit sassy or tease them.   But again, make sure you use those wink faces otherwise you’re “pokes” might be taken a bit too seriously.

Exactly What is Tinder

In short, Tinder is a dating app that has exploded in popularity across the globe.  It’s used in the US and all over the world by more than 50 million people, with 10 million of them active daily, sometimes checking the app 11 times per day.

The app is the brain child of IAC, or Interactive Corp.  They’re headquartered out of New York City and currently hold over 150 brands under their built.  That being said, IAC isn’t new to dating, as it owns and operates,, Plenty of Fish (recently bought for more than $500 million), OkCupid and HowAboutWe.

The Good and Bad About Tinder

No dating app is without its caveats. And the bigger the app generally the worse the dating app can seem.

  • Zero Match Frustration: While it may seem like you’re getting zero matches, just remember that Tinder is one of the largest so it’s important to keep in mind that people are fairly discerning because they have many options. Make sure you spend time curating your images. Don’t be misleading, but lead with your best, not your worst (e.g. not your morning hair).   Because of this Tinder can feel nebulous but like anything: what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.
  • Hit it or Quite It: Tinder is, unfortunately for its parent company, branded as the hookup app; people looking for a quick “hit it and quit it” scenario.  And while that’s not always true, you do need to look out for those types of people, unless of course, that’s just what you’re into.  So call this one a positive and a negative – just keep in mind that’s what it’s known for.
  • Privacy: Tinder does a pretty good job at keeping your privacy intact.  But the more info you add, and the more accounts you connect (Instagram), the more you’re putting out there. It does indicate how far away you are.  So the moral here is just be mindful of what you do with Tinder, what images you show.
  • Limited Right Swipes: This feature, if you can call that – more like frustration – was added in 2015.  Why?  Too many people we’re just swiping right on everyone.  This has lead to a few account holders that have been deemed narcissists, or perhaps even those that need self-affirmation, as the more you swipe right the more matches you’ll get, even if they’re not right for you.  They’re also a host of apps out there that allow you to mass like profiles.  So this feature was instituted to remove that bad practice, though paying for Tinder forgoes this caveat.
  • People Attention: This is par for the course on any dating app, or really any bar or social spot.  So don’t be surprised if you meet people that aren’t interested in going beyond chatting on Tinder, or worse, just getting matched.
  • Lots of Users: This is good and bad.  Good because that means there are plenty of fish in the sea for you.  Bad, because this in effect can diminish quality as it means it’s more mass market.
  • All Around the World: Tinder is used world wide.  So if you’re traveling this can be a great way to meet new people, garner tips about the local fair, and more.

What Are Some Cool Tinder Features

Tinder offers some unique features, though they’re quickly spreading to other dating apps.


Tinder Moments
Once you match with someone, you can shared “moments” with them, which are pics that you capture.

Tinder moments are a bit like Instagram.  It allows you to snap a photo and upload it.  It will only be shared with those that you’ve matched with.  Think of it as another way to engage a bit more with your matches.  And those matches can swipe left or right on your Moments.  If they swipe left it’s discarded (this doesn’t mean much).  If they swipe right they can access the photo again.


Tinder Instagram
Tinder allows you to easily integrate Instagram into your profile.

Not too long again Tinder made it a point to allow Tinderers to link their Instagram feed directly into their Tinder profile.  Those who do this are able to present more photos of themselves to their potential matches and further express themselves.  Just remember, if you link your Instagram profile to your Tinder profile you could be putting more out there about yourself than you want, and in turn negate some of the privacy that Tinder does offer.

Tinder Passport: Liking When You’re Not There

Tinder Passport
With Tinder Passport, part of Tinder Plus, you can transfer your profile to another location. Ideal for traveling and before you arrive.

If you pay for Tinder (more info on this down below), you can transfer your profile, virtually of course, to another location.  This is very beneficial if you plan on traveling somewhere for work or vacation and want to meet friends or singles before you arrive. Even if you don’t plan on meeting someone physically, it’s still an excellent way to garner tips about local cuisine, places to go, or things to see. And while traveling and you get bored, you may need some of the best free Android games that include word teasers, shooters, puzzle games, and trivia games to pass time.

Super Likes

Tinder Super Like
Tinder Super Like allows you to tell someone you really like them before they swipe.

The Super Like feature is fairly new.  It in effect allow to tell you someone that you like them before they swipe left or right on your profile.  Everyone get’s one Super Like every 24-hour period so they must use them wisely.  And since everyone knows this you have a greater chance of matching as you’re garnering more of their attention. Paying (Tinder Plus – more info below) will get you up to 5 Super Likes per day.

Unlimited Likes

If you pay for Tinder (more below) you’ll be signing up for something call Tinder Plus.  A small portion of the Tinder community actually pays and pricing varies depending on age, location and sex.  Hard to believe, but that’ the truth of the matter.  Nevertheless, paying allows you to Swipe Right on an unlimited amount of people.  If you don’t pay you’ll be limited to a set number of Right Swipes, so you’ll need to make a more concerted effort to pick people you like.


Tinder Rewind
Tinder Rewind lets you go back in case you accidentally swipe left on someone.

Another great feature about Tinder Plus is that you can actually reverse your Left Swipes.  So say you by mistake indicate that you don’t like someone.  Well, Remind you can shake your handset or device and it will present you with an option to go back to that person’s profile.  As it happens, this feature is free on Bumble, though with that app you’re limited with the amount of Rewinds you can perform in a given time frame.

Tinder Free vs Paid

Until 2015, Tinder was free to all.  And to this day it continue to be.  However, in attempt to make money, Tinder has limited certain aspects of the app that are only accessible by paying a monthly fee.

It’s called Tinder Plus, and costs between $9.99 and $19.99 in the United States, depending on the user’s age.  Yes, if you’re older, you’ll pay more for Tinder.  For example, those above 30 will pay $19.99 a month, though this figure is variable, or so it would seem, depending on your sex – pricing for females is said to be cheaper.

Provided you sign up for Tinder Plus, you’ll get the following features:

  • 5 Super Likes per day
  • Unlimited swipes to the right
  • Tinder Passport
  • Rewind

What Devices Does Tinder Work With

Tinder App
The Tinder apps work with Android and iOS only.

Tinder, believe it or not, works with just about any mobile device you can think of.  However, it’s limited to just iOS and Android devices.

Unfortunately, Windows Mobile and FireOS is not supported at this time.

Tinder Tips

Tinder, like any other dating app, or just dating in general, can be optimized.  Sure, you are you, and there is nothing you can do physically, aside from plastic surgery and exercise, to change that.  But there are ways to increase your odds of matching with someone.

  1. Optimize for Time: Tinder users make a decision in a few seconds and you need to optimize for that.
  2. Choose Good Photos: I know this sounds obvious, but many people don’t take time to curate their pictures.  Choose pics that represent not only how you look, but convey your personality.  Into Football?  Then dawn a jersey.
  3. First Pic: That said, your first pic is the most vital because that’s what everyone sees.  This is like the front of a restaurant or a shop; you want to entice the customer in and get them looking.
  4. Too Many Photos With Other People: Tinder users aren’t there to date your friends, they’re there to date you. Too many photos with friends, especially of the same sex will make it difficult for other Tinderers to tell who you are.
  5. Be Honest: Lying gets you know where, unless you’re a rug (get it – you lie like a rug).  Why?  Once you meet that special someone and they discover you weren’t telling the truth, which will happen fairly quick, they’ll probably say goodbye to you and block you on Tinder.
  6. Write Something Humble:  Don’t be cocky or too involved in your profile.  Like your pictures, convey who you are and don’t be afraid to tell Tinder who you like, and the things you’re into.

Some Fun Stats About Tinder

  • Number of Matches as of November 2015: 9 billion
  • Number of Daily Swipes: 16 billion
  • Number of Daily Matches: 26 million
  • % of Single Tinder Users: 54%
  • Largest Avg Tinder User Age: 25-34
  • Number of Tinder Swipes Per Second: 16,000

Hopefully you’ve learned how tinder works and what tinder is. Now go get out there and start swiping.

Christen da Costa Profile image