51% of Tinder Reviews Are 4 or 5 Stars: The Reason for the Split

Kaitlyn Short

Last Updated: May 15th, 2021

Online dating seems to be a polarizing experience for users — especially for those on Tinder. Some people have an extremely positive experience and find their soulmate, and other individuals feel like they’ve signed up for a scam. How can two users have such a different experience on the same platform? The answer lies in the unique themes found throughout the user reviews. 

We’ve analyzed Tinder’s customer reviews to learn more about the user experience and how Tinder competes against the hundreds of online dating options. Using our Best Company reviews, we’ve found four major themes in the Tinder user experience that explain the reason for the split. 

We’ve also outlined ways to create a better connection between reality and expectation when using Tinder. Tightening the gap between these two will help users have a more fulfilling experience on the app. 

Infographic of Tinder Review data included in the article text

Our review findings

  • Types of users on the app 
  • Purpose of the app
  • Ease of use
  • App safety

Type of users on the app 

As online dating has become more popular, users have also become more diverse. The culture of each dating site continues to change as more users join the platform. Users on a dating app may be part of a specific niche or live in a general area. Picking the right dating app will help you find the best pool of potential partners. 

For example, Christian Connection hosts users with a similar Christian background. You probably wouldn’t join Christian Connection if you didn’t care about religious values in your relationship. Generic online dating apps serve as a general platform for finding a variety of personality types and dating goals. Bumble and Tinder are popular generic dating sites that connect individuals from different industries, beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, etc.

Some users find potential partners or friends and others do not. Based on our reviews, matches and user interactions have a strong impact on your overall perception of the Tinder app.

Infographic of Tinder Review data about type of user included in the article text

These findings contrast the diverse experience of each user. The Tinder experience seems to be heavily reliant on personal interaction within the app. Because Tinder shows individuals based on location, people’s experiences will be dependent on their surrounding user base. Your profile also influences who you match with and how often you match with others.

Here are two reviews focused on the type of Tinder users: 

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Customer Review: Mykahla

“I did not like tinder. The boys on this site were super creepy. I would not recommend!”

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Customer Review: Alyssa

“Tinder is super fun! There are always super cool people on the app and the app always provides the distance from others, which is super helpful when setting updates! Perfect for singles!”

From five stars to one star, we went from super cool to creepy. We found that location and personal interactions play a big role in determining a user's overall experience.

Purpose of the app 

Following its creation, Tinder was viewed as the dating app for "hookups" and casual sex. As the app has grown in popularity, the user base has diversified to include individuals with a wide range of intentions. The app includes users looking for new friendships, casual hookups, and long-term relationships. However, the app's swipe process of judging individuals based on a Tinder profile photo and bio creates a shallow environment for connections. Tinder's main function has made it difficult for the online dating site to completely step away from the "hookup" stereotype.

Users who rated Tinder with one to three stars were most likely to focus on the app's hookup culture. Users who gave the app four to five stars also mentioned that the app provides a platform for hookups, but these reviewers had different perspectives on this purpose. 

Infographic of Tinder Review data about purpose of the app included in the article text

Whether users had a good or bad experience on the app, reviewers were just as likely to mention hookups on Tinder. The major difference is whether the user was expecting the hookup app culture. 

In the one-star review below, this individual was disappointed to find that other users were searching for casual dating opportunities.

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Customer Review: Remington

“This app is an absolute joke. Too many people don't take this seriously they don't try to match they just try to hook up. I'm honestly disappointed just a waste of my time."

Looking at a four-star review, we can see that some people saw the hookup app culture as a positive. 

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Customer Review: Sarah

“Whether your looking for a relationship or a quick hookup Tinder has it both. I found my boyfriend on here after weeding out some individuals out. All the men I met on here were very respectful and was straight to the point on what they wanted.”

Both reviews had similar observations, but different attitudes towards the hookup culture. Individuals with a 4-star or 5-star review appreciated that the app caters to a wide variety of users. With correct expectations and goals, individuals with a positive experience were able to take control of their profile and find other users with similar intentions. 

Ease of use

Dating apps are meant to take the pain and work out of dating. Tinder has reduced the dating process to four easy steps: swipe, match, chat, and date. With tinder, you get to bypass all the awkward scenarios of asking for someone’s number or trying to find them in-person to ask them on a date. A portion of our reviewers agree that Tinder provides an easy-to-use platform with a straightforward swiping method. 

Infographic of Tinder Review data about ease of use included in the article text

People who gave the app a higher rating were more likely to focus on its user-friendly features. Individuals who mentioned “ease of use” had at least a three-star rating. 

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Customer Review: Stephanie

the app is. It’s very user friendly. I didn’t have a lot of success on the app, I think I was just looking for different things than the majority of the people on the app, but it was a very easy app to use.”

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Customer Review: Luis

“Tinder is the best dating service out. It is such an easy app to use. User friendly and truly tries to help you find love.”

Ease of use is a big factor for individuals looking for a simple dating method. Apps with user-friendly interfaces will attract users who want to date but don’t have time to figure out complicated app features. Luckily, Tinder has made it easy for users to sign up and find potential matches in the area. You will have a hard time finding another dating app as simple as Tinder.

App safety

Online dating puts individuals in a vulnerable situation. Upon joining an online dating site, you are often asked to share personal information in hopes of finding a potential match. Unfortunately, the internet is full of scammers that seek to take advantage of uneducated members. 

Tinder’s safety was discussed in both positive and negative reviews. Some of the positive reviews noted that Tinder is a great platform for finding safe individuals. Negative reviews were more likely to discuss the fake profiles and lack of safety measures. 

Infographic of Tinder Review data about app safety included in the article text

Individuals were much more likely to bring up safety concerns in a negative review. Positive reviews either did not mention feeling unsafe or highlighted feeling safe throughout the whole dating process. 

Here is a positive and negative review mentioning safety:

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Customer Review: Ellie

“I met my husband on here!! Tinder has options for everyone and what they are looking for! It’s super helpful in finding what you’d like and making you feel safe throughout the whole process. I highly recommend for anyone looking for anything.”

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Customer Review: Jason 

“I don't like Tinder that much for online dating because I can sometimes feel unsafe and uncomfortable.”

Once again, this difference may be attributed to location and personal experience. You can avoid unsafe situations by following online safety guidelines. Whatever dating app you choose, be selective in the users you decide to contact and meet up with in-person.

Overview

Tinder is a popular dating app with over 7.5 million users in the United States. Tinder receives an overall rating of 8.6 by bestcompany.com and ranks number one in our online dating category. Our rating system is based on a user’s review index score and market index score. Metrics that affect the overall rating include average star rating, number of reviews, recurring fees, one-time fees, subscription length, brand search volume, and time in business. 

Methodology

In our data analysis, we took a random sample of 85 Tinder reviews out of a total of 200+ reviews. Reviews were randomly sampled based on their star rating. Seventeen reviews were randomly selected from each star rating category. About 52 percent of reviews were from Utah, 10 percent from Florida, 5 percent from Texas, and 0 to 4 percent from other states. 

Our advice

Have reasonable expectations before joining

The truth is some people find a match and some people don’t. There is no success rate or statistic that will apply to your unique situation. Join Tinder with an open mind, but don’t go into it with high expectations. You might be sorely disappointed if you put a timetable on finding a match. 

Jennifer Hickson, a writer at choosingtherapy.com, offers advice on how to build a healthy approach to Tinder. She says, “I think one of the biggest ways people misuse Tinder is by giving unrealistic deadlines and having unrealistic expectations (i.e. If I'm not engaged in three months, I'm deleting my profile). 

Again, patience is the key and in everyday life, most people wouldn't rush love, so virtually it shouldn't be any different. Be honest and upfront about what you bring to the table as well as your expectations. There's no 100 percent guarantee that anyone will find love on Tinder, but what you can do is guarantee yourself that you'll be open to it, give it your all, and have fun in the process!"

People who are looking for a match, as well as friends, have found Tinder to be a useful tool in connecting with other individuals. Set low expectations from the beginning. You will have a more positive experience once you realize that Tinder might not be the end-all solution to your dating journey. It’s simply a tool that can increase your chances of running into a potential partner. 

Set boundaries 

In general, spending too much time on social media or our smartphones can negatively affect our mental health. Online dating coach from ProfileHelper.com, Eric Resnick, suggests setting a time limit for Tinder swiping. He says “One of the best things you can do is to set a timer. Tinder is designed to keep you engaged and pull you into a time suck of swiping. If you are actively messaging with people that is one thing, but if you are just swiping, stop after 5–10 minutes. After that, you are just pushing yourself toward burnout.”

Wasting time is a concern for many online daters. About 12 percent of our 1–3 star Tinder reviews point out that Tinder is an addictive app designed to pull users in. We crave the dopamine response when the screen flashes “It’s a match.” But tinder swiping can quickly consume our thoughts and free time if we let it. Setting personal boundaries and goals can help you avoid the “Tinder Trap.” 

Be upfront with your intentions 

Unlike other dating apps, Tinder does not give you a meter to gauge your readiness for a relationship. This means extra work for you. In messaging other users, be upfront with your intentions. Find ways to be direct but also welcoming about your intentions. You can also mention in your Tinder bio what type of relationships you are open to. This will help set correct expectations for those swiping through.

Whether you are looking for a hookup, a friend, or a long-term relationship, you can find other users with the same intentions. People with highly negative experiences usually encounter people with the opposite intention. Repeated encounters with individuals who just want to hook up when you are looking for a long-term relationship can be frustrating. 

If you find yourself attracting the wrong people, take another look at your profile. Does your Tinder bio and profile photo correctly portray your personality? If not, try optimizing your profile. Keep in mind that location impacts the number and quality of your match results. Don't be afraid to take a break from Tinder and come back after more users have joined in your area.

Optimize your profile

Because there is no Tinder algorithm, you will be the architect of your own matchmaking system. If you aren’t getting enough of the right matches, consider updating your Tinder profile. Studies show that certain photos and bios get more matches than others.

For example, get rid of photos with obvious filters. The first photo should be a clear photo of you alone. Big group photos deter other users because it takes too much effort to find which one you are. Include humor, your height, social media accounts, and hobbies in your Tinder bio. Be honest and open, but also quick and to the point. You want to leave a potential match wanting more and asking questions. This will give you more to talk about as you start messaging other users on the app.

You may even try having a friend write your online dating profile. Getting an outside perspective can help you recognize areas of improvement. We all have a personal bias that can be hard to cut through without outside opinions. Be open to including different pictures or changing your bio.

Is Tinder worth it? 

The question is whether or not you should download the Tinder app or look for love elsewhere. Since Tinder offers a free basic membership, you can try the app without payment. The free account allows for unlimited swiping and messaging. Start a conversation with any of your matches. Give yourself some time to get comfortable with the platform and accumulate matches. Then you can decide for yourself if Tinder is worth it. 

The good news is you might have more control over your user experience than you initially thought. Online dating sites are meant to improve your dating options, not create frustration. Downloading Tinder with reasonable expectations and setting clear personal boundaries will help improve your Tinder experience. 

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