What is Tinder?

Lynn Wright / 15 April 2016

Get the most from Tinder with our Tinder dating tips, learn how the app works and how to use it to get the relationship you want.



Tinder is a hugely popular dating app with over 50 million users. 

Popularised as a casual-sex app for twenty-somethings, it has matured into a dating app for all ages. So, whether you’re looking for a casual hook-up, a life partner or just an ego boost, Tinder has lots to offer.

What is Tinder?

Tinder is a free dating app for your smartphone that uses GPS location technology to connect you to others nearby who are potential partner matches. 

Tinder is all about instant attraction, focusing on looks and quick get-togethers. Tinder finds potential matches and shows you a photo of them. Swipe the photo to like or dislike the person. 

Your photo will also be circulated to potential matches in your vicinity. If a person you like, likes you too, Tinder opens communications between you both so you can chat online before deciding if you want to meet up. 

The best dating sites for the over-50s.

Is Tinder right for me?

Tinder is simple, fun and you get instant matches. 

It’s a breeze to use: there are no forms to fill in or hundreds of questions to answer about your likes and dislikes.

 Sure, you’re judging people initially on how they look, as they are with you, but typically that’s the way we’re initially attracted to potential partners.

Online dating: a success story.

How do I use Tinder?

Download the free Tinder app from the App Store or Google Play onto your smartphone and log in with your Facebook profile. Set the gender and age of people you'd like to meet, and how far you’re willing to travel to meet them – the app works out your location using your phone’s GPS.

Tinder searches for users that match your criteria and shows a photo of each person. Tap the photos to read a short description. Under each photo is a heart icon and a cross. Tap the heart or swipe right to like a person or tap the cross or swipe left to delete them.

Those you like will have to like you too before Tinder lets you chat to them directly. You don’t have to talk to all or any of your matches; it’s up to you to take it further.

What’s good about Tinder?

Tinder limits people contacting you unless you’ve liked them too. This means you’re not bombarded with contact requests. 

Tinder is easy to use on the go, and it references Facebook, so if the person you like has mutual friends in common with you, that could be a good thing.

Does online dating really work?

What’s the downside of Tinder?

Tinder is very looks orientated and while first impression count, you could be missing out on your soulmate by making a snap decision on just looks alone. 

And while Tinder has moved on from its initial reputation as a hook-up for casual sex, lots of people still use it for sexual encounters.

How do I get the best from Tinder?

  • Use your six Tinder photos wisely – show the breadth of your life.

  • Be descriptive – make your Tinder description stand out from the crowd.
  • Don’t feel shy about liking people – the only way they’ll find out that you liked them is if they like you too.

  • Be honest – when chatting, be clear what you’re looking for in terms of a relationship on Tinder.

  • Sunday evenings are best – apparently, many Tinder users log in and start their swiping on Sunday evenings.

For more tips and useful information on dating, browse our relationship articles.

Find out more about Saga Dating and take the first steps towards finding your perfect companion.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.