Tinder is an online dating app that was first introduced as a social network dating site on college campuses in 2012. The app uses location data to connect local singles who anonymously review member profiles and decide whether they are interested. Members are only connected when both parties mutually swipe right to like each other. Like several other big-name online dating sites, Tinder's parent company is Match Group, the parent company of match.com. 

Typical dating sites require no introduction or approval before another member can begin messaging you. Tinder uses a double opt-in to reduce feelings of rejection, albeit digital. Before a line of communication can start between two Tinder members, both must swipe right — expressing interest in one another and giving consent for messaging.

While Tinder does not release exact statistics about its popular dating app, here are a few key points for people to know:

  • 340+ million downloads
  • 190 countries
  • 40+ languages
  • 5.9 million paid subscribers
  • 50% of members are ages 18–25
  • 1.5 million dates per week
  • 26 million matches per day

This app caters to people who want quick, easy connections. However, you can set up your online dating profile to look for all kinds of relationships. 

Keep reading to learn more about how Tinder works, view pros and cons, or skip straight to user reviews. 

How do you sign up for Tinder?

You can access and sign up for Tinder either online via the Tinder for Web platform or by downloading the mobile app on Android or iOS. In less than five minutes, you can have your account set up completed and already be swiping through local singles. 

To set up your Tinder account, you need to provide the following things: 

  • Your first name
  • Birthdate
  • Profile photo
  • Email
  • Phone number or Facebook verification
report_problem

Attention: Tinder's user signup no longer requires a Facebook account.

Before August 2019, Tinder required a Facebook account to sign up. Now, you have two options when you register your new account: either associate your account with Facebook or your phone number. 

Next, as with all dating apps, you need to provide more information about yourself and who you want to meet: men, women, or everyone. There are over 30 pre-set, inclusive options to identify your gender.
 
Examples include the following:
 
  • Man
  • Woman
  • Agender
  • Androgyne
  • Androgynous
  • Bigender
  • Female to male
  • FTM
  • Gender fluid
  • Gender nonconforming
  • Gender questioning
  • Gender variant
  • Genderqueer
  • Male to female
  • MTF
  • Neither
  • Neutrois
  • Non-binary
  • Other
  • Pangender
  • Trans
  • Trans man
  • Trans person
  • Trans woman
  • Transfeminine
  • Transgender
  • Transgender female
  • Transgender male
  • Transgender man
  • Transgender person
  • Transgender woman
  • Transmasculine
  • Transsexual
  • Transsexual female
  • Transsexual male
  • Transsexual man
  • Transsexual person
  • Transexual woman
  • Two-spirit
You have the option to choose up to three sexual orientations to express your interests: 
  • Straight
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Asexual
  • Demisexual
  • Pansexual
  • Queer
  • Questioning

Users can choose whether or not to have their orientation displayed on their Tinder bio. 

That's all it takes to set up a Tinder profile. Next, you can browse through dating profiles, and change your Discovery settings to vary your deck of potential matches. Discovery settings include the following: 

  • Your current location
  • Maximum distance radius (1–100 miles)
  • Gender (seeking)
  • Age range

To return to your Tinder account, you can sign in with the following credential options: 

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Phone number

What can you do for FREE on Tinder?

Tinder's dating platform allows members to do quite a bit for free. On this site, you can even send and receive messages with other members for free — no credit card or free trial signup needed. You won't be able to do the same on eHarmony or match.com. 

For free, you can do the following on Tinder: 

  • Create a dating profile (up to 6 photos and 500 characters) and connect it with social media accounts
  • Browse and swipe through your daily potential match deck
  • Like up to 100 profiles every 12 hours
  • Send and receive text messages with matches
  • One Super Like per day
  • One Tinder Pick per day

How do Tinder subscriptions work?

Although you can use the free version of the Tinder app to connect and message with local singles, upgrading to a paid subscription offers additional benefits. Subscription options include: 

  • Two subscription levels: Plus and Gold
  • 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month subscription durations

Here are a few premium features that you should know about: 

  • Rewind — Undo your last Like or Nope.
  • Super Like — Express extra interest in someone by tapping the blue star. When you come to the top of their deck, your profile will be highlighted in blue.
  • Boost — Get bumped to the top of people's Discovery queue for 30 minutes, for more immediate matches.
  • Passport — Check out singles in other cities and countries.
  • Likes You — See a list of other members who have Liked your profile, before you swipe yes or no on their profile. 
  • Top Picks — Featured member profiles that are selected for you based on occupation, education, hobbies, and other interests.

 

Free Tinder

Tinder Plus

Tinder Gold

Ads

Ads

Ad-Free

Ad-Free

Likes

100 per 12 Hours

Unlimited

Unlimited

Rewind

 

Super Like

 

5 per Day

5 per Day

Boost

 

1 per Month

1 per Month

Passport

 

Likes You

   

Top Picks

1 per Day

1 per Day

4–10 Picks Daily

 

Subscribing to Tinder Plus starts at about $9.99 per month for people under 30 and $19.99 per month for users over 30. Tinder Gold pricing starts at $14.99 per month and increases for users over 30 years old. Exact pricing for each membership varies based on your location and age. If you opt for the 6- or 12-month subscription terms, you get a per-month discount for paying up-front, so it will cost you less in the long run than a month-to-month subscription.

Keep reading for pros and cons of using this dating app or skip straight to Tinder reviews from real users.

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The Good

  • Easy to Use
  • Location-Based Matching
  • Tinder U
  • Only Message Mutual Matches
  • Free Messaging
  • Large Pool of Users
  • Tinder Top Picks
  • Safety Measures

Easy to Use

Tinder is an extremely easy-to-use dating app with a game-style approach to matching online daters.

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Customer Review: Seth from Dallas, Texas

"Great way to meet new people, make some friends, and help you get back in the dating life. Very easy to use and great for you to get back in the social life."

Each member sets their interests (in men or women) then swipes (scrolling left to right) through local Tinder member profiles. Profiles display multiple photos and a brief introduction or pick-up lines. Users swipe right to like another user's profile and swipe left to reject profiles. 

Tinder U

If you are a college student in the United States, Tinder U can help you connect with other single students at your school. It's available at four-year accredited college and university campuses. 

You must log in to Tinder while you are on campus and verify your profile with your .edu email address, for an added level of security. 

Location-Based Matching

Tinder helps you quickly contact local users. Matches are based on your location and GPS data. This helps to combat one of the most significant issues that users have with online dating sites: long-distance connections. If you want more than a pen pal, Tinder helps users find someone that they could reasonably connect with IRL. 

Adding GPS location data to Tinder's emphasis on profile pics adds to its reputation as a hookup app. However, users state what type of relationship they are looking for. While it is useful for local hookups, you can also find a large pool of local daters looking for all kinds of relationships. 

If you travel a lot, the new Tinder Passport feature lets members get access to more singles. 

Only Message Mutual Matches

Tinder keeps things fair for daters by only allowing communication to members who have already "swiped" or shared an interest in each other. This is helpful for people that don't want to be harassed or approached by every member of the site. Basically, swiping right on someone gives your consent for them to message you. 

The double-opt-in saves you from rejection. You only connect after mutual interest is expressed. 

Free Messaging

Most online dating sites require you to be a paid member to send and receive text messages. Though you can only message people that you have matched with, this is one of the online dating options that allows you to interact with other people without paying for a subscription. 

Large Pool of Users

Tinder is the most popular online dating app in the United States, with an audience of more than 7 million users, varying across several age groups. Additionally, it is the most popular dating app in 27 states. A 2020 survey found that the dating platform is popular among city and country-dwellers. Six percent of rural adults, seventeen percent of suburban adults, and eleven percent of urban adults were currently using Tinder. 

Many people view the popular dating app as a hookup app, but Tinder's website displays stories of relationships and marriages coming from the online dating social network. Tinder can be used for whatever type of romantic relationship you're looking for: "Friends, dates, relationships, and everything in between." 

Tinder Top Picks

Tinder's newest update offers improved recommendations. Now, instead of users coming up randomly in your area, Tinder will try to show you matches that they think you will like (based on previous swiping history and what you have in common). 

Safety Measures

When it comes to dating online, many services leave safety to the individual user. However, Tinder has a few safety features that users can take advantage of, including the following: 

  • Photo Verification — Verify your profile by copying a selfie pose. The photo is verified by human and facial recognition technology. Verified profiles are confirmed with a checkmark. This new feature is being rolled in stages and isn't available to all users yet. 
  • Noonlight — In the United States, Tinder has partnered with Noonlight, a personal safety/panic-button app. When you plan to meet someone IRL, you can add details about your date to your Timeline. If you don't feel safe, you can discreetly request emergency services to your location.

The Bad

  • No Phone Support
  • Gender Disparity
  • Refund Policy
  • No Matching Algorithm
  • Swipe Limits
  • Age-Based Pay Scale
  • User Motives

No Phone Support

You can't call Tinder customer support on the phone. Requests can be submitted online or through your account. This is certainly not unique when it comes to online dating sites, but it can still be inconvenient for some users who prefer to call and speak to someone for assistance. 

Gender Disparity

In the United States, 32 percent of men and 28 percent of women have ever used a dating site or app; however, male Tinder users make up the majority — over 75 percent are men. People seeking to match with women may find it a bit more competitive than other online dating sites. 

Refund Policy

In-app purchases are nonrefundable. If your subscription auto-renews, you have 14 days from the transaction date to request a refund. 

No Matching Algorithm

This dating service can seem exceptionally superficial. Members rate other daters purely on their photos and a short one-liner. There's not much depth in actually getting to know the daters until both members have matched, where they may have a conversation. This may leave out potential matches that could work out for a long-term relationship.

Generally, personalities can be easily overlooked because this app focuses on an all or nothing approach to rating each new person's profile pictures. 

Swipe Limits

Without a paid membership, users are limited to 100 Likes (right swipes) every 12 hours. Upgraded users on either subscription get access to unlimited Likes. 

Age-Based Pay Scale and Issues

Tinder has an age-based pay scale, so if you’re over thirty years old, upgrading will cost you more. Younger (under 30ish) users can subscribe starting at $9.99 per month; it can be up to double for people over 30. 

Pricing is based on your location and age. The exception is the state of California, where the company agreed to a 2019 settlement

User Motives

When it comes to online dating companies, many reviews mention poor intentions of other members, scammers, fake profiles, and bots. Tinder doesn't escape this criticism.

Review Icon

Customer Review: Remington from Pleasant Grove, Utah

"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."

However, as with many dating apps, a serious relationship is possible, but you may have to kiss a few frogs. With over 190 reviews collected, only a few people mention meeting a wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner.

Review Icon

Customer Review: Mckinsey from Logan, Utah

"This is how I met my husband! The service and people on the app can be sketchy but that doesn’t have anything to do with the company."

The Bottom Line

Tinder is a very popular and easy to use online dating service. Interested consumers can download the app from iTunes or Google Play or access the site with their browser. 

This watershed online dating app lets users swipe through photos and profiles of local singles based on your device's location data. Once a mutual match is made, members can message each other for free. Paid subscriptions are available for those who want more options, but Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus pricing is not set in stone and users in their thirties will be paying more than younger users. 

Although Tinder has a reputation for facilitating hookup dates over long-term relationships, results vary based on what you are looking for and the intentions of other users. Some members have started successful relationships from the app.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

3.4
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197 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
24%
4 star
27%
3 star
23%
2 star
15%
1 star
10%

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Ellie

March 9th, 2020 Cheyenne, WY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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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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Anita pea

March 7th, 2020 Dallas, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Tinder has been am amazing help and has helped me find my amazing husband. The app is easy and the online service is phenomenal

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Lizzie Smith

October 3rd, 2019 Midvale, UT

Here’s the thing- you could have a TERRIBLE experience, and you will probably meet some creeps. BUT then again, you could end up like me and meet your husband.

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Marissa

June 7th, 2019 Redwood Falls, MN

One of my best friends met her husband through Tinder, so it must work! But I do feel like it has the reputation for hook-ups, so know that in advance before you use.

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Mckinsey Harward

October 30th, 2018 Logan, UT

This is how I met my husband! The service and people on the app can be sketchy but that doesn’t have anything to do with the company.

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Shelby Jackson

December 18th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

Some people think Tinder is a shallow place to meet people as you are basing your decision off of looks. But let’s be honest here, you do have to be physically attracted to someone and that’s not a bad thing. The pros: -Once you match you can start chatting away and possibly score a date. -You don’t ever see who dislikes you. -The busy student or workaholic can meet people they might actually go out with. The cons: -People don’t post the most recent pictures. -The little biography’s May be skewed to seem cooler than they really are. Tinder was a great way to meet people outside of my circle of friends. I was lucky enough that I met my husband through it!

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Cassidy Gundersen

December 10th, 2017 Orem, UT

My husband says that we met on Tinder, but that is not true! He didn’t ask for my number when we met, but then we matched on Tinder so he got a second shot. I honestly didn’t even like using the app, but it worked out for me in the end.

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