We've gone over what Tinder is and how it works, given you some Tinder safety tips, and outlined the potential costs of Tinder. Now, we get to the big question: will Tinder help you set your heart ablaze, or will it end up giving you the cold shoulder? The following is a breakdown of what we feel Tinder does well and not-so-well.
Free and easy to start -- Tinder doesn't cost any money to download, install, or use (though some features will be limited or locked if you don't have a paid subscription). Plus, when you sign up for your account, Tinder will copy over your details from your Facebook profile, which takes a lot of the work out of sprucing up your profile on Tinder!
Easy matching system -- Tinder's match interface is incredibly simple to use. See a suggested match you like? Swipe your finger across your device's screen from left to right. Is your current suggested match not turning your crank? Swipe across the screen from right to left instead. Or do you really like your current suggested match, and want to let them know? Swipe across the screen from bottom to top to use the "Super Like" feature!
Communication made simple -- Tinder doesn't have any fancy questionnaires, lists of deal-makers or deal-breakers, or anything like that... just easy, free-form chatting. Once you and a few other Tinder users have "liked" each other, Tap the "Chats" menu, tap a match whom you wish to chat with, write what you want to say, and hit "Send". No muss, no fuss!
You need Facebook, too -- Tinder can't be used on its own. You have to have an account on Facebook in order to log into Tinder, because it uses the details from your Facebook account to help build your Tinder profile.
Limited demographics -- The vast majority of Tinder users are teens and young adults (ages 16-35), making up over 80% of Tinder's user base (as of late 2015). In addition, Tinder is being marketed towards younger demographics, with subscriptions to Tinder Plus (Tinder's premium-tier service) costing about half as much for people under the age of 30 as for those who are 30 or older.
Choose carefully -- Unless you have a subscription to Tinder Plus, you can only "like" a limited number of suggested matches on Tinder. In addition, without Tinder Plus, you can't reverse the decision to ignore (or "Super Like") a suggested match, meaning that you will never see them again on Tinder.
The main draw of Tinder as a dating app is how it simplifies the process. You sign up, fill out your profile, and then decide who you like and don't like. If they like you back, you can chat. That's about it. There are no big soul-searching questionnaires or "top 10" lists to fill out, or deep "matching criteria" to meet. All of that means more time to look for more matches, or really get to know the matches you already have through open communication.
However, there are some ways in which Tinder tries to be too simple, to the point that it's frustrating. For starters, Tinder saves you the work of creating a profile when you sign up by copying parts of your Facebook profile. But if you don't have a Facebook account, then you have to go to the trouble of creating one before you can use Tinder. Also, to keep a steady stream of potential matches coming, Tinder doesn't let you go back and re-evaluate previous suggested matches (unless you have a paid subscription). This can be problematic if you make a mistake or have second thoughts about someone.
By far the most polarizing element of Tinder is the user base that it's marketed towards. A large majority of Tinder's users are under the age of 35, and this is reinforced by the fact that Tinder charges double the monthly rate for a subscription to its premium service to Tinder users over the age of 30. If you're under the age of 30, this isn't such a big deal, but if you're over 30 (and especially over 35), you'll likely end up spending a large amount of money on a dating app that doesn't give you a very good chance of finding other people in your age range.
Tinder has a good setup for veteran daters who already know what they want out of the dating scene, as well as people who are looking to date casually. On the other hand, it's not that great for new daters or those looking for longer-lasting relationships. For that, we would suggest websites like eHarmony.com or Spark.com instead.
That's our take on Tinder! Does it sound good to you? Or do you want to be your own judge of whether Tinder is hot or not? Carry on with the rest of our course, and we'll show you how to work it! The first step will be downloading and installing the Tinder app!
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