What is Tinder and How Does It Work?

By Kay FleuryUpdated on March 17, 2022

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A lot of dating websites these days are concerned with compatibility factors. What are your physical traits? What are your personality traits? What do you like to do? What are your values? What are you looking for in a match? And what are matches looking for in you? It can seem like there’s an awful lot of number-crunching and data-matching that goes on before you and a potential match get the chance to really know each other through mutual communication.

While this may be fine if you’re new to the dating scene or are looking for a long-term relationship, it can be frustratingly restricting if you’re a veteran dater and/or want something more casual or short-term. If you’re looking for a dating app where you can leave a bit more to chance and decide whom you’ll click with or not through actually talking to them, as opposed to relying on a bunch of computer algorithms, then Tinder may be for you.

So what is Tinder, and why should I use it?

Tinder is a mobile dating app. After you log in with your Facebook account, Tinder creates your profile and shows you suggested matches based on your information. You can “like” or “ignore” each suggested match. If one of your suggested matches “likes” you back, you can chat with each other.

Tinder is popular because, as its CEO notes, it takes the friction out of the dating process and allows more time for actual communication, rather than just staring at a bunch of profile details or responses to relationship questions. In that sense, Tinder is sort of a “speed dating” app that’s good for people looking for casual and/or short-term dating. On the other hand, it’s not designed to foster long-term relationships, as opposed to websites like eHarmony.com or Match.com.

How does Tinder work: 4 steps to start finding relationships with the app

1. Sign up for a free account through Facebook, and have your profile started for you!

If you have a Facebook account, then you’re basically all set to use Tinder! Just download and install the free app on your tablet computer or mobile phone, then log in using your Facebook account credentials. Tinder will copy the information from your Facebook profile, so you’ll have a brand new profile instantly!

The form for signing up for Tinder through Facebook

2. Express yourself by sprucing up your Tinder profile with additional information and photos.

Having more information and photos on your profile means that your potential matches will have a better idea of whether they’ll “like” you or not. Add a miniature biography, or some snaps of you doing the things that you love. It may grab the attention of a special someone!

Details on your Tinder profile that you can change

3. Decide whether each of your potential Tinder matches is hot or not.

Based on the information in your profile, as well as other factors (such as your geographical location), Tinder will show you a list of people whom you might be interested in. Check out their profile, and if they seem like a keeper, “like” them. If not, “ignore” them. You can even “super like” someone so that they know you “liked” them, which might make it more probable that they’ll “like” you back when you show up as a suggested match on their account!

Like, ignore, super like, or rewind a suggested Tinder match

4. Once you’re matched with someone on Tinder, start chatting it up with them!

If both you and another Tinder user happen to “like” each other, then you get matched! Once you’re matched with someone, you can start exchanging messages back and forth. Start with a topic that they’re interested in, compliment them and appeal to their emotions, and see where things go! If you hit it off, you may be able to arrange a date in the real world!

Having a conversation with a Tinder match

Throughout our Tinder course, we’ll tell you what you need to know to potentially create a spark with someone on Tinder! That includes safety tips (in our next tutorial), how to download and install the app, how to set up your account, how to find potential matches, and how to start a conversation with someone you’re matched with.

If you’re into the casual dating scene, perhaps it’s time that you warmed up to Tinder!