Tinder can be a scary place, and like doing chores, you can only avoid it for so long before you must give in like everyone else and participate. Tinder, however, doesn't exactly come with a manual other than "swipe left, swipe right". Yet after using the app on and off for a year, and getting a girlfriend and a couple of dates out of it, I figured out the tricks you need for success. Just fair warning though, not everything in this article is going to be in the best taste or moral alignment.
(1.) Swipe Algorithms: Either be attractive, or fake it.
Guess what? Tinder has complex algorithms. There's patterns you'll notice the programmers built in. Let's get to the points first, then discuss. Here's how Tinder works:
(1.) Those with the most matches/right swipes (usually the most attractive people) are shown first on everyone's "deck". Those with the least matches are shown last.
(2.) Those who swipe right too much OR too little (inactive) are also bumped last.
(3.) Those with negative unmatch reviews (harassment, spam) are bumped last.
(4.) Those who give their hard-earned money to Tinder are bumped closer to the front.
(5.) When opening the app again after some time, Tinder will always show you someone who swiped you right (if you have a right swipe) within the first few cards. Usually the first or third.
Alrighty, now let's expand upon this further and give you some tips.
Using the "more matches" technique to bump you to the front.
This was me after only a week and a half of using tinder and maybe swiping 15 girls per day. I'm not an attractive guy, but managed to cheat the system and bring myself to a good number of matches without much effort.
When you first open Tinder (or Bumble, which is a clone copy). you're going to be shown a ton of attractive profiles. The reason why is those who have the most matches (or just those who are swiped right the most) are shown first. Partially to lure people into the app. Don't fall for the trap. Unless you know that you're attractive, don't waste your time swiping right super hot people. They'll never see you anyways and the goal is to just get matches NOT to optimistically swipe right every 8+/10 you come across.
In fact, your beginning strategy after first opening the app should be to swipe those you're most likely to match with. Especially if you're new and average looking, you're not going to match with those hotties. Sorry, you're at the back of the line and there's plenty of Instagram models in front of you that they're probably going to end up with.
So, in that case, here's your strategy in the beginning:
(1.) Only open the app once or twice per day, and only swipe maybe a dozen or so people. Try not to swipe everyone right. Your goal here is to be on enough that tinder still considers you "active", but you don't want your swipe/match ratio to get too high.
(2.) Set your swipe range to something small first, like 5 or 10 miles. Tinder still shows your profile to those outside your preferred range, so it's easy to spot who right swiped you when their profile has them located out of your range.
(3.) If you know they will match with you, go ahead and swipe right on the overweight, unattractive, and spam profiles. It doesn't matter if you like them or not, all that matters in the beginning is getting matches. Just don't message them.
(4.) Improve your profile for success (will discuss later).
So far this probably seems a bit cold. I mean, I did just tell you to swipe those who were fat and ugly right even if you didn't care (see all those matches up top? I only had 5 convos going for a reason).
However, you also chose to join a site where the only dating mechanic is judging people on their physical appearance and 3 tweets worth of information about themselves, so who's really the shallow one here?
Moving on, it truly is important not to get yourself too swipe happy in the first week or two. If you manage to swipe to the point that you either ran out of likes or ran out of people to match, you're doing it wrong. That means you are NOT getting matches, and you'll be stuck getting the "scraps" at the end of the line. The goal is not to be the most attractive person on the site, but rather, to fool the app into thinking you are. You accomplish this by both getting matches and maintaining a low swipe/match ratio, and you do this by swiping a dozen or so a day only.
(2.) Improving your profile and knowing your goal.
What really matters at first is your main picture. This is the first impression and chances are someone is only going to look at it for 0.30 seconds before deciding to swipe. So, either choose your best photo, or let Tinder choose it for you. Tinder now has a feature called "Smart Photos", which tests your pictures to find the one most well liked (and the most hated one to send to the back). According to Tinder they found that users would get up to 12% more matches using it. Don't worry if you don't have a good photo up, I personally have two up there that I couldn't care less about. Chances are these will be moved to last place anyways and if someone didn't like you already based on your other photos, they weren't worth worrying about anyways. Use Smart Photos.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BIO. It's a common misconception that nobody cares about the bio, and there is some truth to it based on Tinder's "card" mechanism. However, having a good bio can be essential for getting matches that were on the fence or were looking for something specific. Your bio shouldn't be so small and empty that it's useless, but not taking up all 500 characters either. 200-300 characters is a good ballpark range of where you should be. All you need to really include is things that will make you look better, but not exaggerating or being too stale. Think of your bio like your resume, but now condensed to a sticky note, and a bit less serious. What traits do you have that others would like to see? Here's some common ones:
(1.) Height: Both guys and girls like to show off how tall (or sometimes for girls, short) they are. This is also helpful in finding a suitable person who'd like to swipe.
(2.) College, Major, and Job
(3.) Hobbies, but try to only pick 3 of your best ones as to not overload.
(4.) What you are looking for. Be honest and try to be humorous. Example: Instead of saying, "Looking for a boyfriend", say, "Looking for a guy who's willing to let me use his hoodies the next few years."
(5.) What animals you like or have as pets.
(6.) What your favorite music is.
Okay this is where you need to be honest. What are you really on Tinder for? Everyone thinks Tinder is a hookup app, and that seems to be the way, but Tinder was created and has shown to be so much more. There's Tinder Social now, for groups of friends who want to meet groups of friends. A lot of people are just on there to meet new people and find those with similar interests. Some (mostly women) just want validation that they are attractive to the opposite sex. Some say they "don't want hookups" (again, mostly women) but just want to bang. Some are looking for legit relationships. Heck, I found my ex by chance because she super liked me after realizing I wasn't like every other guy on there. You don't have to include this in your bio, but if you do be honest. I didn't include it in mine but due to other things in my bio it was easy for women to see that I wasn't there to bang.
(3.) Lastly: Have fun and have patience!
This was after I removed those "throwaway matches" above. Once you've gotten a good number of matches and ran out of people in your range, it's time to start fresh and play the waiting game. REAL matches can take some time. You must wait for your card to appear and most people only get on for maybe 10-20 minutes total a day. Be patient. It can take over a month or more to find a good date on Tinder. I live in a populated area and over the summer I only got one date out of it and she really wasn't even worth it (this was BEFORE I figured out the Tinder Secrets I'm sharing with you now). Messaging is important. Just a hint, girls don't like name puns of GIF's. Have a good icebreaker, don't just say "Hey! How are you?". Say something like, "I really love your <Insert physical trait>! It looks so good!". For the fellas, I tend to compliment girls on their makeup or ask them about what interesting things they've learned in their major.
Don't take Tinder too seriously. It is a dating app, but it's mostly just for fun, validation, and trolling. However, it is currently the best dating app out there because there's a ton of people on it. Where Bumble fails is not by being a "feminist dating app", but rather that Bumble has a population that is a fraction of Tinder's, same with okCupid.
Have fun and thank you for reading!
Also, don't forget to enjoy some of the weird stuff!