Social media pro: Tinder
PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER — JUST SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT.
COUPLE PHOTOS, SHARED Netflix subscription, not drinking alone — these are just a few of the things you have to look forward to after meeting that special someone. But alas, finding your one true love won’t be easy — it might take years, even decades to find the yin for your yang. While internet dating isn’t new, many sites charge a small fortune to access them, not to mention the amount of time you’ll spend tweaking your profile. Tinder is one of the newer dating services to change all that. Through swipebased matching, you’ll be speaking with potential wedding candidates in no time. However, like any dating site, it’s important to be aware that the internet doesn’t discriminate who uses the service, so be smart and safe when it comes to meeting up with others in the real world. So without further ado, follow us as we guide you through the weird and wonderful app that is Tinder.
SIGNING UP: Setting up an account is pretty simple. Start by deciding whether you want to sign up with your phone number or Facebook account. Using Facebook will allow Tinder to automatically pull certain bits of information such as your interests, current job (which you can choose to hide) and mutual friends — everyone seems to know everyone these days. If you prefer a little more privacy, signing up with a mobile number means you can add most of this information manually.
SWIPING: Finding a future partner is done by repeatedly swiping left or right. On the discovery page, you’ll find something that resembles a deck of cards featuring members of the opposite (or same) sex awaiting your approval. Your level of interest in a person is indicated by the direction you flick — swipe right to like a person; swipe left if you’re not interested. A match only occurs when both parties indicate they like each other. It’s important to achieve a balance between swiping right too little and too often — try not to be too picky, neither too keen. For free accounts, you only have a limited number of right swipes per day — exceed this and you’ll be forced to wait a traumatic 12 hours before you can continue on your hunt for ‘the one’.
BIO: Looks aren’t everything on Tinder. While you might have chiseled abs, 6-foot stature and a Colgate smile (ie. not me), it’ll only get you so far. Your bio is an important indicator of character and personality — screw it up and you’re unlikely to get many matches. While you have up to 500 characters, less is more on Tinder — this isn’t the place to be telling people your 10-year plan. On the contrary, a Tinder bio should be short, humorous and creative. It could be a funny quote, important life lesson or a brief overview of your passion for veganism. You can make amendments to your bio by tapping the edit info button on the profile tab.
PICTURES: Probably most stressful is selecting the photos other users will see. Tinder allows you to select up to six images that people will browse through before choosing yes or no. It’s important to think about how the images you upload could be interpreted by other users. For example, posting a stream of gym selfies may suggest that you’re nothing but a narcissist. Instead, choose photos that show you in a variety of different environments and situations — humour is your friend here. Note that the first picture should only feature you — don’t force swipers to try and pick you out from a photo with 10 friends. Images can be changed or rearranged by tapping the pencil icon on your profile screen.
STEP IT UP A LEVEL
CHATTING: Whilst easy for some, actually talking to the people you match with can be quite challenging. Never start your conversations with a mere “Hey” or “‘sup” — it’s important to be creative with your opener. Patience is also critical — if it looks like you’re having a conversation with yourself, stop! Most importantly, don’t be a sleazy creepe — it’s much easier not to bother responding than it is to reply to rude or arrogant messages.
UNMATCHING: Looks can be deceiving on Tinder. Sometimes, it takes only a few minutes of conversation to realise a person isn’t who they seemed. Try not to be offended if
someone unmatches with you — people sign up to Tinder with a very specific criteria in mind. If you yourself are struggling to see a potential relationship forming, you can unmatch by tapping the flag in the right-hand corner of a conversation.
GIFS: It’s not always easy communicating how you feel with actual words. In addition to text, you can send animated GIFs to your matches. Simply tap the GIF button next to the text box in a conversation and start searching. It could be a humorous cartoon, celebrity strut or simply someone waving.
REACTIONS: It’s not hard to overhear other people’s bad Tinder stories. Respect is something that seems to lack when it comes to the messages sent by certain users. Tinder has attempted to reduce this by introducing a series of both positive and negative animations you can use to indicate your reaction to a person’s messages. These can be accessed by swiping up on a conversation.
SEARCH CRITERIA: It’s not uncommon to sign up to Tinder with an idea of what you’re looking for. While it’s important not to be picky, matching with someone 150km away, aged 20 years your elder is unlikely to be what you’re after. From the settings page, you can specify the age range and maximum distance you’re willing to swipe for.
HEARTS: Feeling special after receiving a non-cringe-worthy compliment from your match? Tinder lets you show your appreciation by hearting messages. You can do this by tapping the heart icon next to a chat bubble.
SUPER LIKES: If you really like a person’s profile, you can let them know by tapping the blue star (or swiping up). The other user will see that you’ve super liked them before they swipe on your profile. Note that Tinder users have mixed feelings about this feature — some see it as flattering, while others view it as try-hard. Remember to keep your cool...
TINDER PREMIUM: Similar to other dating sites, Tinder has two premium options to further enhance your swiping experience. Tinder Plus lets you undo accidental swipes, change your location, boost your account to appear as a top profile in your area, and gives you additional super likes. In addition to these features, Tinder Gold lets you see
KARMA ACCUMULATES BASED ON THE NUMBER OF UPVOTES RECEIVED FOR CONTENT YOU POST TO THE SITE.
the people who’ve flicked right on your profile before you even begin swiping.
INVISIBLE ACCOUNT: It’s not uncommon to occasionally grow tired of the constant stream of matches and messages. While you can delete your account from the bottom of the settings screen, you can also temporarily disable your profile so it stops appearing to new users.
SMART PHOTOS: One of the cooler features available involves trialing your profile picture to see what people find most appealing. After turning the feature on, the app will automatically alternate between your photos to determine which one gets the most right swipes. Smart Photos can be turned on from the profile editing screen.
REPORTING: Tinder users vary far and wide in terms of personality. While you might come across some less-than-usual characters, you still deserve to feel respected and safe when chatting. If you ever feel uncomfortable or offended by something a person says, don’t hesitate to report them by tapping the red flag in a conversation.
FEED: At the time of writing, Tinder was testing a new Facebook-like newsfeed featuring updates from the people you match with. In your feed, you’ll see when a match adds new photos, posts to Instagram or updates their Spotify. Tapping the speech bubble lets you send them a private comment. You can change what updates people see about you in settings.