How to Start a Tinder Conversation

In our last lesson, we showed you how the matching process on Tinder works.  Now, hopefully, you'll be able to find a few matches on Tinder.  But what do you do once Tinder matches you with someone?  Well, then it's time to break the ice by having a conversation with them, by sending messages back and forth.

How to message on Tinder

To message someone on Tinder, you have to be matched with that person.  First, launch the app and log in.  Tap the speech bubble icon to see your match list, and then tap the person whom you want to chat with.  Tap in the box labelled "Message", write what you want to say, and then tap the Send button.

Sounds pretty easy, right?  It is, but we'll give you specific instructions that show you what everything looks like anyways.

  1. Turn on your mobile device, launch the app, and log in (our How to Set Up Tinder tutorial shows you how).

  2. From your main screen on Tinder, tap the speech bubble icon in the menu across the top.

    How to access your Tinder matches and conversations

  3. You will now see a list of people whom you've successfully matched with.  "New Matches" are people whom you've matched with on Tinder, but haven't sent a message to — or received a message from — yet.  "Messages" shows your matches who have received at least one message from you, or have sent at least one message to you.  The last message sent by either of you will be displayed beside the match's name.

    How to find and select a Tinder match to send a message to

    You can also tap inside the box labelled "Search Matches" and type in the name of a particular match to filter your match list as you type.  This is handy if you have quite a few matches and don't want to have to scroll through them all in order to find a particular one.

    When you find the match whom you wish to send a message to, tap their name.

  4. Once you're inside the chat interface for a particular match, you can see a log of your interactions with that match.  This includes the date that you were matched with this Tinder user, as well as the date and time of any messages that either of you has sent the other.

    How to send a message to a Tinder match

    If you tap the heart icon beside a message that your match has sent you, it will show that you appreciate their comment.

    To send a message yourself, tap the box labelled "Message" at the bottom of the screen.  Then, use your device's (virtual) keyboard to type in what you want to say to your match.  Then tap the Send button.

    You can also tap the GIF button and search your device for a picture to send to your match.  Note that, as the name of the button implies, only pictures whose file names end in ".gif" will work.

4 tips for starting a Tinder conversation right

1. If you really like one of your matches on Tinder, you have to tell them so!

Although being matched with someone on Tinder shows that each party is at least somewhat interested in the other, this doesn't really mean much.  Some users will simply "like" as many of their potential matches on Tinder as possible, just because they're curious to see how many matches they can get.  As a result, roughly half of all matches don't lead to message exchanges.  If you want to break that stereotype, don't wait for a match whom you really like to send the first message.  Take the initiative!

2. Learn what angles to play with your match by checking out their profile.

While it's important to make the first move when it comes to messaging on Tinder, don't go flying blind into a conversation, either.  Have a look at your match's profile information and photos, and make a note of things that you have in common.  Maybe they like the same kind of food as you do.  Maybe you adhere to the same religion or political viewpoint.  Maybe you share interest in one or more hobbies.

If you can't find much in common with your match, instead try looking for something that stands out about them.  You may pick up on a theme that they might be passionate about, or a unique trait they have that other people perhaps wouldn't notice.  All of these things can serve as potential topics that you can use to start a conversation with your match.

In our How to Get Matches on Tinder tutorial (here), we showed you how to view a user's profile while looking at them as a potential match.  However, there's a way to do it while inside the chat interface with them, as well.  Simply tap the three dots (the "more options" icon) at the top of the screen, and then tap View [Match's Name]'s Profile when the additional options appear.

How to view a Tinder match's profile from the conversation screen

3. Craft a personal, unique opening message that appeals to your match's emotions.

So, you've established a topic that you want to talk with your Tinder match about.  The next step is figuring out how to introduce the topic in an interesting way with your first message.  After all, starting a conversation with a generic greeting such as "Hey", "Hi", "What's up", or "How's your day going?" doesn't leave a very good first impression with a match, and usually leads to an exchange that one or both of you will get bored of rather quickly.

Instead, try to think of an opening line that will evoke an emotional response.  For example, you could excite your match by complimenting them on a unique feature of theirs that other people may not have noticed or mentioned (but be careful about commenting on their physical appearance).  Or, you could make your match happy by telling a joke based on the topic that you chose to discuss.  Or, you could surprise your match by revealing that you have something in common with them that they maybe wouldn't expect.  Again, if you're having trouble deciding which emotional angle to play, go back and look at your match's profile again to see if it holds any clues.

One last thing to mention on this front: always include your match's name in your opening message.  It's a personal touch that signals to your match that you're genuinely interested in them as a person.

4. Don't be sloppy; use proper spelling and grammar, and avoid slang words.

This tip applies especially to your opening message, but it's a good one to keep in mind for all following messages, as well.  Check each of your messages to make sure that it's grammatically correct and has no spelling mistakes.  Also, try not to use slang words or common Internet-related contractions for certain words.  These include:

  • "u" instead of "you"
  • "r" instead of "are"
  • "ur" instead of "your" or "you're"
  • "ya" instead of "you" or "yes"
  • "luv" instead of "love"
  • "wat" instead of "what"

A couple of abbreviations or short-forms are a little less taboo, such as "haha" or "LOL" ("laughing out loud").  But most other ones may give your match the impression that you're unrefined (or at least lazy), and that could seriously hurt your chances of taking your relationship — let alone your conversation — anywhere productive.


Well, that's it for our lesson on how to have a conversation on Tinder, including tips on writing that first message!  Now that we've covered all of the basics of how to use Tinder, it's time for our bonus tutorials!  The first one will focus on other dating apps and websites like Tinder — that you can try if things don't work out with Tinder.

How to Get Matches on Tinder

In our last lesson, we showed you how to set up Tinder by creating an account and filling out your profile (including uploading photos).  Now, it's time to get to the good part: looking for potential matches!  The system that Tinder uses to match people is very simple, and we'll teach you everything you need to know about using it.

To get matches on Tinder, open the app and log in.  From your main Tinder page, choose to "like", "ignore", or "super like" your current potential match.  If you "like" or "super like" someone, and they do the same for you when you appear as a potential match for them, Tinder will match the two of you.

There are some other matching functions that you can use, as well as some strategies that you can employ to potentially get more matches on Tinder.  We'll discuss them all in detail below.

How does Tinder match people?

Tinder matches people by simple mutual interest.  For each user picked as a potential match (based on your profile details and settings), you have a choice to "ignore" them or "like" them.  They will make the same choice about you on their own account.  If both of you "like" each other, you're matched!

There are a few other factors that determine who your potential matches on Tinder are.  These include your geographical location, age, religion, political standing, and other details from your  profile.  Some of these parameters can be adjusted (for example, what age range of users you're looking for or how far away from your current location, distance-wise, you're willing to look for matches).

Unlike on or, you aren't automatically matched with other people based on your profile data or questionnaire answers.  On Tinder, you have to actively show interest in someone, and they have to do the same for you, before you get matched with them.

How to get Tinder matches

  1. Turn on your mobile device, launch the Tinder app, and log in.  See steps 1 to 3 in the first section of our How to Set Up Tinder tutorial if you need any reminders on how that process works.

  2. When you get to your main screen on Tinder, you should see a photo and a brief description of a potential match.  If you tap the green heart button, or slide your finger across the screen from left to right, you will "like" this user.  If they choose to "like" you as well when your profile shows up on their account, the two of you will be matched!

    How to like someone on Tinder

  3. If you don't like your current potential match, tap the red "X" icon, or slide your finger across the screen from right to left.  This will "ignore" this user, so you won't be matched, even if they "like" you.  Be aware that if you "ignore" a user, you won't ever get a chance to "like" them again, so give it some thought!

    How to ignore someone on Tinder

  4. If you tap the blue star icon, or slide your finger across the screen from bottom to top, you will "super like" your current potential match.  Then, when your profile shows up on their account, it will be highlighted to let them know that you're really interested in them.   Other than that, this option works pretty much the same as the "like" function from step 2.

    How to super like someone on Tinder

    Oh, and one last thing to remember: you can only use the "super like" function once per day.

  5. If you chose to "ignore" or "super like" a potential match when you didn't mean to (or maybe had second thoughts), you can tap the yellow looping arrow icon to use the "rewind" function.  This undoes the decision you made concerning your last potential match (but not any potential matches further back).

    How to rewind your last action on Tinder

    Note that this function won't work unless you have a subscription to Tinder Plus, which is its paid premium service.

  6. If you need some help deciding whether to "like" or "ignore" your current potential match, tap their photo.  This allows you to see more information about them, including any other profile photos that they have on their account.

    How to view the profile of a potential match on Tinder

    You can tap and hold your finger on the information box, and then slide your finger up and down to see the different kinds of information about your current suggested match that are available.  You can also tap and hold your finger on your current potential match's photo, and then slide your finger left and right to see any other profile photos that they have.  The dots highlighted in the screenshot above show you how many photos the user has available; the red dot denotes which photo in the sequence you are currently viewing.

    When you're viewing a potential match's extra information and photos, be sure to slide your finger around the screen slowly and carefully!  Otherwise, Tinder may mistake your action as a "like", "ignore", or "super like"!

    If you're finished looking at your current potential match's additional information and photos, tap their photo to go back to your main screen on Tinder.

4 ways to get more matches on Tinder

Getting matched with other users on Tinder can be a bit of a tedious experience.  If either you or another user chooses to "ignore" the other, then no match occurs, even if the other person chose "like".  Also, barring the use of the "rewind" function, you won't get a second chance to make the match work.

The upshot of this is that you may have to go through a lot of user profiles to even find a few users who will match with you.  Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks that you can use to increase your odds of getting a match.  We'll list four of them below.

1. Flesh out your Tinder profile with as much information and as many photos as possible.

The more information you add to your profile, the easier time Tinder will have with finding potential matches whom you might like (and who might like you back).  In addition, having more information and photos on your profile might make a better first impression on potential matches, as it shows honesty and genuineness. Potential matches will likely appreciate this more than someone who leaves their profile incomplete, as this may signal that they have something to hide. 

On the other hand, as we advised in our Is Tinder Safe article, don't feel pressured to put information on your profile that could allow others to identify or contact you outside of Tinder.  Strike the balance between openness and privacy that's right for you.

2. "Like" more potential matches; a small chance is better than no chance.

Unless you're positive that you won't click with a potential match on Tinder, why not give them a shot?  You may as well take a chance on someone whom you might like (and who might like you), rather than choosing "ignore" and missing your chance to connect with them on Tinder forever.  Who knows… you might have more chemistry than you first thought!  And if things don't work out, you can simply block the person.  (To learn how to do this, go to the Tinder support page and click "How do I unmatch/block someone?")

Just keep in mind that there's a limit to how many potential matches you can "like" within a 12-hour period, unless you're subscribed to Tinder Plus (see tip #4 below).

3. Use the "super like" function to let a potential match know that you like them.

If you see a potential match on Tinder that you really want to be matched with, try using your "super like" on them.  This takes the guesswork out of matching for them, as when they view you as a potential match, they'll be able to tell that you "like" them.  It's not a guarantee that they will "like" you back, but it's worth a try!  Also remember that you can "super like" one of your potential matches each day, so make the most of this feature!

4. Get a subscription to Tinder Plus to power up your matching tools.

We've already suggested for you to "like" more potential matches and use the "super like" function in order to increase your chances of getting matches on Tinder.  However, if you're subscribed to Tinder Plus — Tinder's paid premium service — then these two strategies get even more powerful! 

For one thing, you can "like" as many suggested matches as you want, so there's less pressure to "ignore" someone and potentially regret what could have been.  For another thing, you get to use the "super like" function up to five times per day, instead of just once!  This allows you to let more potential matches know that they're on your radar, and maybe give them extra incentive to "like" you back and create a match!

For more information about the features and cost of Tinder Plus, visit our Is Tinder Free article.


That's our primer on how Tinder's matching system works!  In our next tutorial, we'll show you how to start conversations with the people you get matched with on Tinder!

How to Join and Set Up Tinder

Now that you've downloaded and installed Tinder, it's time to get you prepared for searching for and communicating with your matches! This tutorial will walk you through the setup work required to start using Tinder.

To set up Tinder, you’ll need to create an account by logging in through Facebook and deciding which details to import to your Tinder profile.  You will also need to verify your phone number.  Then, you'll need to manually add any other details that you want to your profile, including additional photos.

The setup process is much simpler than it is on or, which both require you to fill out long questionnaires before you can fine-tune your profile.

Creating a Tinder account

To sign up for Tinder, you'll need to create a Facebook account first.  Then, log into Tinder using your Facebook account credentials, and select what details you want to import from Facebook to your Tinder profile.  The last step is to verify your phone number by inputting a code from a text message.

Want to see how that actually works?  Of course you do.  Here are detailed instructions for how to join the popular dating app.

  1. Find the Tinder app in your mobile device's application manager, and tap it to open it.

    How to launch the Tinder application from your mobile device's app manager

  2. Once Tinder starts up, tap Sign In with Facebook.

    How to sign into Tinder through Facebook

  3. In the window that pops up, tap the box labelled "Email or Phone" and use your device's (virtual) keyboard to type in the email address or phone number associated with your Facebook account.  Then, tap in the box labelled "Facebook Password" and type in the password that you use to protect your Facebook account.  Then tap Log In.

    The Tinder sign in form, including link to create a Facebook account

    If you don't have a Facebook account, tap Create Account and follow the directions from step 2 onwards in our how to create a Facebook account tutorial.  Then come back here and complete this step.

  4. You will now have to select which details from your Facebook account you wish to import to your account.  Tap Edit This to see a list of things that Tinder can import about you.  Tap the checkmark beside an item to stop it from being imported, or — if there is no checkmark beside the item — tap beside the item to select it for import.

    How to choose the details of your Facebook profile to import to Tinder

    You can also tap Clear to deselect all non-required details for import, or tap Reset to select all available details for import (if you've deselected any).  When you're done, tap Continue.

  5. You will now need to verify your phone number for Tinder.  Tap the top box and select the country that you live in (for country code purposes).  Then, tap the bottom box and use your device's (virtual) keyboard to type in your phone number.  Then tap Request Code.

    How to send a phone verification code from Tinder to your device

  6. Tinder should send a text message to your mobile phone.  Go read it, and then come back to Tinder.  Tap the box that says "Enter Code" and use your device's keyboard to type in the six-digit code that came with the text message.  Then tap Confirm.

    How to verify your phone number for Tinder

    If you didn't get a text message, or you deleted it by accident, tap Resend Code.

That wraps up the process for creating your account; you're all set to use it!

How to edit your Tinder profile and upload photos

Before you jump right into trying to find matches on Tinder, you should take some time to fill out your profile, including filling in your personal details and selecting your profile photos.  This will make it easier for the app to find potential matches who might be more compatible with you, and it will likely make a better first impression on any potential matches who view your profile.

To edit your Tinder profile, you'll have to tap the "menu" icon, tap View Profile, and then tap the pencil icon on your profile page.  From there, you can add a short bio, change your gender, or add and delete photos.  All other changes to your information have to be made through Facebook.

To upload photos to Tinder, go to your profile-editing screen and tap the "+" icon beside an empty photo slot.  Then, select whether you want to upload the photo from your device or Facebook, and then find and tap the photo to select it.  From there, crop the photo, and then tap Upload Photo.

Both of these actions are somewhat related, so we've created a single walkthrough that covers both of them together.  Specific instructions for adding photos to Tinder start at step 6.

  1. Launch the app on your mobile device and log into it.  (If you need help remembering how to do that, see steps 1 through 3 in the "How to Create a Tinder Account" section above.)

  2. Once you're on your main screen, tap the three bars (the "menu" icon) in the top-left corner.   (On iOS devices, this icon will be represented by a gear instead.)

    How to access the main menu on Tinder

  3. A sidebar will appear containing the main menu options.  Tap View Profile at the top.

    How to access your profile on Tinder

  4. Once you're on your profile page, tap the pencil icon in the top-right corner to edit your profile.

    How to edit your profile on Tinder

  5. From here, you can tap in the box labelled "About [Your Name]" and use your device's keyboard to type in a short description of yourself.  This description can be up to 500 characters long; the number in the bottom-right corner of the box will show how many you have remaining.  You can also tap the buttons under "Gender" to change whether you're designated as male or female.

    How to edit your Tinder profile details

    All other changes here — such as to your current employer or place of education — will have to be made through your Facebook account.  See this help article on Facebook for instructions on changing your Facebook account's basic information.

  6. You can have up to six photos on your Tinder profile.  To delete a photo that you no longer want, tap the "X" icon in the bottom-right corner of the photo.  If you'd like to add a photo instead, tap the "+" icon in the bottom-right corner of an empty photo slot.

    How to add or remove photos on Tinder

  7. You will now have to choose where you want to upload your photo from: your device's internal memory ("Gallery"), or your Facebook account.  Tap your selection, and then tap through the sub-categories until you find the photo you want to upload, and tap it.

    How to search for photos to upload to Tinder

  8. Once you've selected a photo, you will need to crop it.  Tap and hold your finger inside the crop box (marked by the blue outline), and then move it around the screen to select the area of the photo that you wish to use.  You can also tap and hold your finger on the edges of the crop box, and then move your finger back and forth to enlarge or contract the crop box.
    How to crop a photo and upload it to Tinder

    When the area of the photo that you wish to use is completely inside the crop box, tap Upload Photo to add it to your Tinder profile.

Alright!  Your account and profile are all set!  Now, our next lesson will show you how to actually look for matches on Tinder!

How to Download + Install Tinder

Are you ready to decide for yourself how accurate our review of Tinder is?  Then let's get started using Tinder!  The first thing that you'll need to do is download and install the app for your mobile device. We'll cover that in this lesson.

(NOTE: These instructions are for devices running the Google Android operating system.  We'll give hints for how the process may differ on devices running the Apple iOS operating system, such as iPads and iPhones.)

To download and install the Tinder app:

  1. Start by turning on your mobile device.  Then, find the Play Store (App Store on iOS devices) application, and tap it to open it.

    Accessing the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to download Tinder

  2. Once you're in the Google Play Store (or Apple App Store), you should see a search box in the top-middle of the screen (or top-right corner on iOS devices).  Tap inside it, and then use your device's (virtual) keyboard to type in "tinder".

    Searching for the Tinder app on the app store

    A list of suggestions should appear in a drop-down menu.  Tap the one that says "tinder".  (On Android devices, as shown here, Tinder's logo will appear to point you right to the app.)

  3. Once you find the Tinder app, tap the Install button.  On iOS devices, you may have to tap the Get button first before the Install button will appear.

    How to install the Tinder app

    (NOTE: If you are asked to log into your Google or Apple account, do so unless you are given an option to skip it or back out.  Tinder is free to download and use, after all!)

  4. The Play/App Store will notify you of certain functions on your mobile device that Tinder may need to use.  If that's okay with you, tap Accept.

    How to give the Tinder app the permissions that it needs on your mobile device

  5. After you give Tinder the permissions that it needs on your device, it will automatically start downloading.  Tap Open when it finishes to launch the app.

    How to launch the Tinder app after downloading it

Okay!  Now that you have Tinder downloaded and installed, our next tutorial will go through how to set up Tinder!