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How Does Tinder (and its Algorithm) Work in 2022? (With Photos)

How Does Tinder (and its Algorithm) Work in 2022? (With Photos)

Tinder hasn’t only taken over the dating world, it’s changed it forever. Since its inception in 2011, a slew of copycats or slightly different dating apps have hit the market.

Once again, proving that ‘swiping’ on someone is not going away any time soon. So you might as well hop on the bandwagon now!

But before you do, you may be wondering, how does Tinder work?

Tinder is an online dating app that works by allowing you to browse through profiles where you can like (swipe right) or dislike (swipe left). If that particular profile has liked your profile, the two of you will ‘match’ meaning that you are now able to send messages to each other.

How Does Tinder Work - App Store

If you haven’t taken part in any dating apps yet, you may find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about. So, let’s start with the godfather of dating apps, Tinder.

If you’re a little more advanced and feel you have Tinder down-pat, go check out an article I wrote about Tinder’s little sister, Bumble.

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How To Download Tinder

Tinder is available on both the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android.

Simply search ‘Tinder’ on either, or you can just click on the below icons:

How Does Tinder Work - Download Tinder For iPhone
How Does Tinder Work - Download Tinder For Android

Tinder is free to download, but it does include paid subscriptions, which unlock certain features. They are called Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold and Tinder Platinum, we will cover them soon.

Once downloaded, the app will prompt you to join Tinder by either linking your phone number, Facebook or both.

I suggest to just pick one for now, that’s because if your account happens to get deleted, you can download a brand new profile using the method you didn’t use to initially get started.

Tinder is cracking down on people constantly deleting and re-downloading their accounts, so give yourself a backup (hopefully you won’t need it).

If your account has been deleted already and you want to start a new account, follow the steps in this article I wrote about restarting your Tinder account for a clean slate.

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How Tinder Profiles and Photos Work

Your Profile

The first thing to do is set your profile up. This serves as a snapshot of your interests, values, personality, and …what you look like.

Putting together your profile is arguably the most important part of the process, as this is your first impression.

Let’s look at how to make it count. Before we get to that, you can edit your profile by clicking ‘Edit Info’ on the below screen.

How Does Tinder Work - Settings

Your Tinder Photos

Tinder allows you to add a total of 9 photos on your profile. If you are curious about how many photos you should have or what makes a good Tinder photo, check out my complete Tinder eBook Guide, Tinder Hacked.

Otherwise, just get started with a minimum of 3 photos showing yourself clearly with some variation. 

Related: Do This One Thing In Your Tinder Photos

About Me

Also known as your bio, tagline or description, the ‘About Me’ section is highly important. To hit this fact home, I should point out that just having a bio (versus no bio) increases your chances of getting right-swiped by 300%!

Related: Bio Do’s And Don’ts

If you are really unsure about what to write in your bio, check out this article listing some great Tinder bios you can steal.

Job, School, City

Feel free to include your job title, company, university or city you live in. This helps flesh out your profile a little more. In a day and age of a lot of fake profiles, it can help your chances to add some authentic details to your profile.

But, it’s also not the end of the world if you don’t want to advertise where you work for the entire Tinder world to see.

Connect Instagram

Only do this if you have an Instagram filled with multiple different photos that help illustrate the kind of person you are.

For example, if you have many photos of you involved in many different activities or going to cool places, it shows you aren’t boring and can be a good icebreaker if your potential match shares any of those interests.

If you have a pretty bare Instagram mainly filled with old selfies, leave it out.

Connect Spotify

What a great icebreaker. I mean, who doesn’t like music? Connecting your Spotify allows you to show off some of your favorite songs and artists.

People tend to like people that like similar things to them. So starting a conversation about your shared favorite band is a perfect way to make an impression.

How Does Tinder Work - Spotify And Instagram

Other Tinder Profiles

Once your profile is set up you’re ready to start looking at other people’s profiles. This is what a typical Tinder profile looks like:

How Does Tinder Work - Profile

You can scroll through someone’s photos by swiping your finger across the screen, or you can click the right or left side of the photo.

How Tinder Preferences Work

Unlike some other dating apps out there that give you an overabundance of preferences or criteria that your match has to meet, Tinder is quite simple.

You can choose what gender you are displayed as (you can pick both if you want), age range of your matches and the max distance a profile can be from you before matching.

To set your personal preferences simply go to the ‘Discovery’ section of your settings and slide the toggle to your preferred age and distance.

Just a little hint if you are thinking about being very specific with your preferred age range: there are lots of people on Tinder that would have set an age on their Facebook once upon a time as a joke and their age shows as 99+, when really, they are 23 with not so saggy skin.

How Does Tinder Work - Preferences

How Tinder Swiping Works

The profiles displayed to you whilst swiping will have to fit the preferences you set in the previous stage.

For example, if you set that you are only interested in women, you shouldn’t see any male profiles while swiping.

Once you come across a profile that piques your interest you can ‘like’ or ‘right –swipe’ that person.

This is done by either physically swiping your fingers right, or pressing the little love heart icon. If you aren’t interested in that profile, just swipe left or click the ‘X’.

How Does Tinder Work Swiping

On the free version of Tinder you will see a section above your messages saying ‘likes you’. These are a list of all the profiles that have swiped right/liked you already.

Unfortunately, you are only able to access this list if you have Tinder Gold, which requires a paid monthly subscription.

The only way to see who has liked you when you are using the free version of Tinder is to get swiping.

How Tinder Matching Works

If you and another profile both like each other, congratulations, you have a match!

That means that the two of you are now able to send messages to each other.

Keep in mind that literally the only way to message someone on Tinder is to match with them.

How Does Tinder Work - It's A Match

How Tinder Messaging Works

Unlike some of its newer counterparts, Tinder doesn’t implement any “rules” around messaging.

What I mean by that, is that an app like Bumble leaves it up to the female to start the conversation within 24 hours, otherwise the match will disappear.

How Does Tinder Work - Messaging

With Tinder, it’s a free-for-all. Either gender can send the first message, and however many your heart desires.

Though, that definitely doesn’t mean sending a message on the minute, every minute until you receive a response.

For some extra tips check out this article I put together on some common errors guys make when sending messages on Tinder.

How Does The Tinder Algorithm Work?

Also known as your ELO score, Tinder’s algorithm is basically your “Tinder ranking”. This score determines who your profile is shown to and vice versa.

Obviously, the higher your score, the better the profiles you will match with.

A lot of people don’t even know that this score exists, let alone that there are many ways to affect it, both positively and negatively. Let’s look at some:

  • % of people who like you as a whole
  • % of people who like you back
  • The ELO score of those people liking you
  • How active you are on Tinder
  • Which profiles you like
  • Whether you send a message or get a reply to your message

How Paid Tinder Works

To maximize profits in a climate of growing popularity, Tinder decided to extend more features to its users… at a cost.

Tinder is one of the top-grossing apps on the App Store and Google play so obviously there are a lot of people who use the paid features.

The offered subscription levels are Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold, as well as a range of one-off in-app purchases.

Some of the one-time extra paid features are as follows:


If you are going to spend extra money, on top of a subscription, it should be to buy extra Boosts.

Basically what Boost does is allow you to skip the line and be right at the front of the queue of Tinder for 30 minutes.

This means that if any female is active within that 30 minutes and decides to swipe through even a couple of people, they will most likely see you.

There are times where I will go to a new city and every single match I have is from Boost.

How Does Tinder Work - Boost Match

Besides the obvious fact that skipping to the front of line is a massive benefit, there are other reasons why Boost works so well.

You’ve heard me talk about Tinder’s algorithm in slight detail. The truth is, no matter what anyone else may say, Tinder rewards its paying users.

So when you are setting off a boost, Tinder is doing everything in its power, to ensure it really does improve your reach, and the overall amount of matches, so you keep spending money.

Super Likes

Look, the truth is that you get 5 free super likes daily. Plus they aren’t Tinder’s best add on feature, that’s because with many users having 5 free per day, it’s hard to make your super like stand out when your potential match might receive them all the time.

So I wouldn’t suggest spending extra money on super likes, just use your free ones!

You might use up all your 5 and then you see a profile that you really want to send a super like to. Tinder relies on this, and this is where they get you!

Top Picks

These are your supposed “tailored and personalized” list of top profiles in your area.

Under the subscription of Tinder Gold you are given 10 profiles to look at daily, known as your Top Picks.

How Does Tinder Work - Top Picks

The only thing that’s unique about this is that you can see the profiles all at once rather than having to swipe through profiles that may not be your taste. What I’m getting at? You still have to match with them… So it’s nothing too special.

A lot of the time it’s just a great place to spend your daily super like allowance.

Super Boost

This is Tinder’s latest add-on feature, and in my opinion, an attempt at increasing their average spend of users.

Obviously, this is the goal with all add-on features, but to date, the super boost is the most expensive, high-ticket one-time purchase on Tinder.

Think a Boost, but on steroids. Apparently, it puts you to the front of the queue for a whopping 3 hours, promising 100 times for profile views, rather than the measly 10x you will achieve from a regular Boost.

I am yet to try it out, but keep checking into the Dude Hack YouTube Channel, as I will soon bite the bullet, spend the money, and test out the Super Boost’s effectiveness.

How Does Tinder Work - Super Boost

How Tinder Plus Works

Tinder Plus is the cheaper and original option when it comes to upgrading your Tinder account. Let’s take a look at everything that is included if you decide to upgrade to Tinder Plus.

Keep in mind that the price of your monthly subscription will depend on a number of factors, such as gender and location.

To check prices for you, check out Tinder on the App Store or the Google Play store.


If you accidentally swiped the wrong direction, you can press ‘Rewind’ to undo the action and can now swipe appropriately.

Unlimited Swipes

Swipe like you’ve never swiped before. No longer will you have a daily limit of swipes. Don’t swipe right on everyone though, remember what I said earlier about the Tinder algorithm…

5 Free Daily Super Likes

As mentioned above, you will receive a new 5 super likes every 24 hours to use to your hearts desire. Use them wisely, because it’s not worth it spending more for extra.

1 Free Monthly Boost

A Boost is one of the most effective features as described earlier. Each month you get access to one free Boost. As this is quite seldom, use it wisely.

It would be a complete waste if you decided to activate your Boost on a Tuesday mid-morning, because barely anyone would be on the app for the 30 minutes that the Boost is active.

Check out this article I’ve written about Boosts, so you can maximize your matches from that little 30-minute window.

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Pretty self-explanatory…

Hide Distance

Hiding your distance from your potential match is just a little suspicious in my opinion. I mean, what do you have to gain by doing so?

If you have witnessed a lot of fake Tinder profiles or bots, you would probably notice a trend that a lot of them hide their distance.

Having your match question whether you are real or not isn’t a great start.

Hide Age

For the same reasons above, don’t hide your age. Typically, it means it is something you are self-conscious about, just own it! There are definitely other people on Tinder your age!

Control Who Sees You

Only ever change this if you have some sort of privacy issues. Basically, you can pick that everyone can see you (standard), or only people you have already liked.

Obviously, picking the latter will mean far fewer matches, and requires you to consistently swipe.

Control Who You See

Here you can choose which profiles are shown to you whilst swiping.

You can either choose the normal way of swiping (balanced), or ‘recently active’ which will show you profiles that have been active on the app within the day. I believe ‘balanced’ is best.

How Does Tinder Work - Control Who Sees You


If you are about to go to a new city, or are scoping out the scene at a place you’re thinking of going travelling, Passport allows you to start swiping and matching with people from different areas around the globe.

How Does Tinder Work - Passport

How Tinder Gold Works

Tinder Gold is the latest addition to the subscriptions being offered, and in some countries isn’t even available yet.

See Who Likes You

It really should be renamed to Tinder “See Who Likes You”, because besides one extra feature I will explain shortly, it’s the only thing added on top of Tinder Plus.

What that means, is you can see which Tinder users have actually swiped right on you, prior to you swiping on them.

How Does Tinder Work - See Who Likes You Tinder Gold

Yes, you have all the same features of plus, but you are paying a few extra dollars a month (depending on where you live) for a couple of extra benefits.

Top Picks

Top Picks are the newest addition to the Tinder Gold experience.

Tinder apparently can get a feel for what type of people you would most likely swipe right on and shows you 10 of them daily.

How Does Tinder Work - Top Picks

If you dig the people that Tinder is showing as your top picks and you want more than 10, you can always purchase more.

According to Tinder, they are testing different versions of picks around the world, so it may not be available in your location as of yet, and could also be subject to change.

How Tinder Platinum Works

As of September 2020, Tinder has rolled out its latest paid subscription, Tinder Platinum. Tinder Platinum is the elite Tinder subscription, requiring you to fork out a decent amount of money to access the extra features. 

Right now, those features include being able to send a message before even matching, having your profile closer to the top of the swiping deck, and even receiving your swiping stats for the last 7 days.

If you want to find out everything you need to know about Tinder Platinum, check out our deep-dive into what Tinder platinum is and how it works.

How To Cancel Tinder Gold/Plus/Platinum (iPhone)

  1. Go to your iPhone settings
  2. Select iTunes and App Store
  3. Click on Apple ID
  4. Click on view Apple ID
  5. Click on Subscriptions
  6. Press Tinder from the list
  7. Press “cancel subscription”

How To Cancel Tinder Gold/Plus/Platinum (Android)

  1. Go to settings
  2. Press on “Tinder Subscription”
  3. Press cancel

Final Thoughts

If you’ve reached the bottom of this post and are still wondering if Tinder is for you… just give it a go!

The mechanics of the app are fairly simple in nature, especially with all the newest apps with elaborate bells and whistles. For someone new to the dating game, this is perfect.

If you are ready to jump in and give Tinder a go, but would like just a little bit of help easing into it, then cut to the chase and learn it all with my full eBook guide Tinder Hacked.

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