Download Tinder free and dive right into the top dating app available on iOS and Android. Tinder has been around a while now and yet still, somehow, there are those out there who haven’t dabbled with the online dating service. Even those that have managed to avoid setting up a profile and getting stuck into Tinder have most likely heard of it. It’s become a ubiquitous symbol of modern romanticism and has users from 18 right up to 80+, making it one of most inclusive dating apps on the market.
You can download Tinder for free right here, but for those of you who’ve been living under a hermetically sealed rock in a Martian crater and have never heard of Tinder, let me give you a quick introduction to the mythical mobile app.
What exactly is Tinder?
Tinder is a free dating app available to download to your mobile device, essentially it’s a modern tool aimed at assisting you on the age-old quest to find love, sex and companionship or at least get some pretty good stories after interacting with some strange folks online. Tinder functions as a social search for those who’re single, horny and alone. Like all mobile social software though, you need to understand how to operate it and how to get someone from swiping right on your user profile, to clicking add friend on Facebook. Before you go off in the deep end, let’s talk quickly about getting set up with Tinder and how it works.
Setting up your user profile on Tinder
The easiest way to set up your user profile on Tinder is to link it to your Facebook and Instagram accounts, that way a lot of your basic information will be filled in automatically and you’ll have access to all those lush photos that you’re going to need to lure in a potential mate from the social media pool of Tinder. We’ll get back to the issues of photos later on with our Tinder guide, but for now, here’s a brief idea of what you’re getting into.
Probably the easiest way to think about Tinder is to think of it as a deck of cards and each card represents a potential romantic partner, each with their own profile where they can post some photos and details about themselves to give you a better idea if you’d be a good match.
There’s a section where you set out what you’re looking for – a relationship, a companion, some long nights of dirty deeds done in darkness etc – where you’re based, what age range you’d be interested in chatting to etc. It goes on, but Tinder is a remarkably simple app and it doesn’t take long to get your user profile set up, although it will take a bit of time to figure out which photos and what details in your bio you want to focus on. Remember, you have a limited number of characters when writing your bio and only five slots in which to choose pictures.
Your job, as the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, hopeless romantic is to swipe through the deck of strangers’ profiles – now, listen up, this bit’s important!
The direction you swipe signals whether or not you want to match with a person on Tinder – to try to match with someone, you need to swipe right, but for those unfortunate candidates that don’t do much in the way of stirring up any feelings in the loins, you swipe left to ignore them.
Don’t worry – I know this can sound brutal, on the surface it’s a bit like the dating equivalent of judging prize hogs at the county fair, but Tinder isn’t that cruel to its users, obviously nobody can see if you’ve swiped left on them and chosen to disregard them and the potential romantic entanglements that may have come with them.
If you swipe right on someone, but they’re just not that into you and have swiped left on you, then you won’t match with them and so you won’t be able to make contact. However, this is when the mobile app can whip up a storm of dopamine in the brain and part of what makes the thrill of Tinder so addictive – if you’ve swiped right on someone and they’ve also swiped right on you, then it’s a match and this is where your blossoming romance begins – this is where you’ll start to chat.
So I got a match on Tinder, now what do I do?
Great work! This proves once and for all that you’re not an unlovable clod of human meat and that there’s hope for you yet in the wild world of dating in the 21st century. What you do next will determine whether or not you’re dealing with a soul mate sort of situation or a hookup or, if things all go thoroughly sideways, a complete and utter rejection. Let’s try to avoid that, but again – more on that later.
So you’ve set up your user account on Tinder, you’ve added a bit of information onto your bio, you’ve uploaded the hottest photos of your last trip to the beach, you’ve double checked to make sure you’ve not uploaded that picture where your dangly bits were hanging out of your swim shorts and after a little bit of swiping, you’ve found a match! Also, remember – Tinder functions as a media sharing app as well, so you’ll be able to send and receive videos from potential lovers… just saying.
The joy! The unbridled feeling of jubilation that accompanies being judged so positively based solely on five photos and a short introduction! The feeling that someone is rating you based solely on these minor details soon turns positive when it turns out that folks are rating it positively. Don’t worry, your first match will most likely not be your last and you’ll get more used to the sensation of strangers basically telling you that, in a pinch, they’d probably have sex with you. It’s still a pretty great feeling though, so as you get deeper into Tinder, you’ll start to match with a variety of other users and this where all the chat happens.
Rules of engagement when chatting on Tinder
The section entitled, Your Matches, is going to be where you have to step up to bat and really put your best self on display. Sure, they may have liked the concise witticism of your bio and the stunning photos you’ve uploaded of yourself, but if you can’t enjoy a good chat together then chances are it’s a doomed relationship.
Here are a few pro tips to help you not make a total ass of yourself while chatting away to strangers on Tinder:
When you’re using Tinder, it’s a lot like any other social media platform, except the aim for you here is to convince the person your chatting to that they would enjoy the chance to get naked with you, which – yes, there are a lot of websites, online dating services and social networking services where you might want to fornicate with the folks you’re talking to – is kind of the whole point of Tinder.
It’s all geared towards finding you a reliable source of romance and gleeful copulation, so if you’re going to download Tinder, brace yourself for a lot of attention in that particular respect. This isn’t Facebook or Instagram – it’s a dating app. People use Tinder with pretty specific intentions if you hadn’t already figured that out.
Either way, whether you’re on Tinder to find long time loving or just in it to enjoy a few dalliances with some of the ladies or gentlemen about town, it’s always best to be upfront and honest about your intentions. Tinder is an easy place to break hearts and you don’t need that sort of negativity weighing on your conscience – especially not when it’s as easy as telling someone that you’re not looking for a relationship.
Still, Tinder might be a hookup app for some, a romantic travelogue for other, neither of those people are going to want unsolicited pictures of your genitalia, so definitely avoid sending those to anyone, ever, on Tinder or any other social network. Be polite, conscientious and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do on any other social media service and you’ll probably be ok – yeah sure, there are some desperately weird people lurking in the crevices of the internet and some of them will filter through to Tinder, but that doesn’t mean you need to be one of them.
Make your Tinder user profile stand out from the database
This can’t be emphasised enough! While the global average usage of Tinder is about 28 minutes a day, that’s not a huge amount of time for you to stand out from the crowd and although you’re not up against every single one of the 57 million Tinder users – how could you be? They’re spread across the world and 62% are men, leaving 38% of them to be women – but don’t let these numbers fool you! What’s good about Tinder is the realism – it’s only people in your area that you’ll be able to see and there’s usually an awkward moment where you see one of your friends on there.
The algorithms that keep the cogs of Tinder twirling mean that you’ll only be seeing those in your area and to make matters worse, you’ll start out with a bit of beginners luck on your Tinder adventure, but the longer you use the dating app, the fewer matches you’ll start to get as you literally exhaust the possible human companions to be found in your area. Best get that driving license if you want to find more romance than is currently on offer in your area!
As such, it’s crucial to use the right wording, the best photos and aim to match with people who you’re actually interested in taking home at the end of a night – given that your number of right swipes are limited each day when using the free version of Tinder. Tinder is essentially all about sexuality and computing – balancing the carnal desires for earthly pleasures against the limitations of the social software you’re using, which applies to all dating apps and online dating websites.
With this in mind, it’s definitely best to treat Tinder as a wholly separate beast to Facebook, Instagram or any other social networking services – with this particular hybrid of social network and online dating app, you’ll need to create a unique bio that stands out. Be funny, be smart, state your intentions and keep it light – you don’t want to scare people off by telling the whole Tinder database that you’re desperately seeking the mother or father of your children because your biological clock is ticking dangerously close to midnight.
Choosing the right pictures is vital to surviving Tinder
Ok you ask, so what are the right pictures? Here’s a handy list of do’s and don’ts to help navigate you through the potential minefield of choosing the right photos to best represent you on your online dating voyage. Tinder is full of bad examples when it comes to this, so even a cursory glance through the app will show you examples of what I mean. Sadly, there’s no social graph or peer to peer results page that’ll let you see where you stand or how your rating fares against others, but if you pay extra for Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, then you get a few more insights.
- Show your pretty face – pictures where you’re obscuring your face or have taken the photo from a crap angle will do about as much to get you laid as carving “I despise you” into your forehead with a penknife.
- Try to include an honest reflection of your physical appearance – it’s no good if you were half your weight and more fresh-faced ten years back, people need a recent, unedited glimpse into what they might be spending the rest of their life with on Tinder.
- Hook your Instagram account up to your Tinder user profile – this lets people get a more representative look at you and sort of frees you up from that pesky five photo limit on Tinder.
- Choose photos that reflect your interests – but keep it varied enough to show people that there’s more to you than just a chronic addiction to oxygen and selfies.
- Upload just one photo to Tinder and expect it to work – if you’ve only seen one artsy silhouetted photo of someone from behind, would you really want to take the chance that they haven’t got a face like a bag of smashed crabs? Be wise, use all five slots on Tinder.
- Choose any photos that confuse people – your dog might be adorable, but don’t make it look like you’re getting frisky with it. Your friends are probably lovely, but picking you out from several groups of people can be tricky for strangers and for the love of all that’s good and holy in this world, please – no goddamn anime pictures!
- Come across like an ass – this may seem obvious, but bragging about the dimension of what dangles between your legs, the car you drive, your salary or how much you can bench-press is a guarantee to send people scuttling back to their caves.
- Forget what you’re looking for – if you’re on here for a love that’ll last a lifetime, probably best to keep that in mind. Simultaneously, it’s worth remembering that if you came to Tinder to hookup then it’s a good idea to make that a little more obvious, since Tinder’s not the same party for everyone.
Is Tinder going to be one of those incredibly addictive social media networks?
In short yes, but most likely not in the long-term. Think about it, Tinder is one of the few apps that’s sole aim is get you off the app (pun intended) – once you’ve met that certain special someone, you’ll no longer need Tinder. Again, it depends on the psychology that you’re approaching Tinder with, because mentally you’ll be in a different place if you’re looking for love or if you’re in it for the lust.
Those looking to get in on the hookup culture are more likely to find themselves using the app more frequently and for a longer time, whereas – this is kind of obvious – if you’re hoping to meet that one person who gets your heart rate jack-hammering like a quarterback on prom night, you’ll most likely find yourself abandoning the app once you’ve found a suitable mate.
Naturally, a dating app as ubiquitous as Tinder has had a lot of media coverage, with some critics stating that the psychology of Tinder users changes following extensive use of the app, although there’s no data to support this and many argue that Tinder is realistically just a formalisation of what goes on in our heads anyway – our own psychology given app form. Whether we like to admit it or not, we subconsciously and consciously judge people based on their appearance, which is the primary means of telling whether or not you want to chat with another user on Tinder.
This psychology of searching for a physically attractive sexual partner is older than the bible so it’s not exactly the degradation of society that Tinder’s bringing about in this respect, besides, whether you look like Brad Pitt’s younger brother or an especially ugly watermelon, if you can’t chat with folks online, it won’t matter. Tinder forces users to judge strangers on their appearance initially, but then it reverts to very similar tropes of any social media service with a messaging feature. It’d be genuinely hard to say that Tinder represents a threat to social psychology or public health, it is after all, just a dating app.
Where did Tinder even come from and where is it going?
Tinder started out with fairly humble beginnings back in 2012, founded by Hatch Labs, who in turn are owned by Match Group – the companion apps creator who’ve got a whole slew of online dating services. Tinder just happened to chime nicely with a key demographic and spread due to some pretty crafty marketing.
What was ingenious about Tinder’s domination of the market was that their advertising was essentially non-existent, instead opting to create a mystique and a sense of exclusivity, with one Tinder executive travelling America stopping at every college campus on the way. What said Tinder exec then did was meet with chapters of college sororities, convince as many women to install Tinder and set up user profiles.
Then the rather cunning Tinder exec would simply head on over to the fraternities at the same college, where she could show the male students all the hot girls that were already on Tinder, which of course prompted them to download it as a means of finding some sort of chance to get to know some of these luscious ladies.
It was a ploy that worked so well and cost very little. It didn’t rely on endorsement from celebrities, it didn’t create viral videos or rely on any traditional marketing methods, and instead it reached a point where it went viral on its own, purely down to word of mouth. The celebrities were soon enough talking about the new online dating service of their own accord, giving Tinder plenty of media coverage, for free.
This is the abridged story of how Tinder conquered the global dating market and emblazoned itself forever in the public’s consciousness. Sure, many swiping apps have popped up following the wildfire success of Tinder, but few companion apps, dating services or dating apps have managed to capture the hearts, minds and genitalia of millennials with such a firm, lubricated grip.
Besides, Tinder managed to forever alter the collective psychology when it came to the business of online dating services. It’s definitely still a little embarrassing to explain to friends that you’re using an online dating service, but Tinder became cool instantly, meaning dating apps were no longer the death of a user’s social status.
This, perhaps more so than any cunning marketing scheme, is what has given Tinder the strength in the dating app market. By coupling online dating services with hookup culture, Tinder was able to create a highly successful dating app that, to an extent, has even taken over from more conventional dating means. It’s easier, cheaper and arguably safer to sit at home using Tinder than it is to go to a bar and chat to random strangers in a bid to find romance, since Tinder is free.
But not all of the online dating services’ features are free and while you can download Tinder free and make full use of it without ever spending a penny outside of going on dates, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold – not to mention advertising on the free download of the app – are how Tinder has monetised the social software. Taking simple limitations that apply only to the free download of Tinder and allowing users to pay premiums to remove them has proven exceedingly profitable for Tinder, with Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold realistically offering you little more than unlimited swipes, the ability to see who has liked your user profile already and a few other fairly gimmicky features that marginally enhance your chances of finding love and companionship in this godless universe of ours.
Conclusions – should you download Tinder?
Well, if you’re single and ready to mingle, lonely and ready to bone or just in need of finding out how attractive people in your area think you are, then yes, Tinder is easily one of the best dating apps available, plus it’s free.
Yes, it runs the risk of altering your psychology somewhat, possibly rendering you into a superficial validation-junkie who’s as shallow as a puddle and about as fun to spend time inside of, but in the weird world of modern online dating apps, this is just the minefield you have to run across naked and blindfolded.
Besides, it’s bound to get your heart rate racing when you see a slew of semi-sexual desirous men or women considering you for their next congenial genital coupling ceremony, so why not download Tinder? It’s free, simple and fun. Download Tinder free here.