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Do You Need to Pay Tinder for It to Work Properly?

Posted by Arch on July 13, 2019

There’s a lot to love about Tinder, an ideal dating app that takes a lot of the stress and complication out of dating and instead makes it easier than ever to meet people. Unlike most dating apps, Tinder feels friendlier and more welcoming, an app designed for the social media age in which our public information is already available online. With the sliding-friendly interface, it’s easily one of the most accessible dating apps to come along since the smartphone revolution. Being on Tinder can be a blast, whether you’re looking to meet your next significant other, or you’re just looking to flirt and find a few potential dates or one-night flings. As you swipe through the app, sliding left and right to match with potential romantic partners, Tinder’s algorithm selects you  with new matches that you can browse. When you finally do make that match, you can start messaging with each other instantly, testing the waters and make plans for your special night.

Of course, online dating can be entirely cost-free, but investing money in your dating app could improve your matches and save time. Some people opt for exclusive dating apps. These sites and apps charge a hefty fee, and they also tend to have a rigorous application process. You may have to submit your Facebook and LinkedIn for consideration. Your income, your appearance, and your online presence will all get judged. If the thought sounds unappealing, Tinder could be a better option. This is the world’s best-known dating app. It’s used in over 190 countries, and it has around 50 million users. With that kind of selection, you are sure to find someone you will click with.

Using Tinder is time-consuming, though. It also has some limitations. For example, you can’t undo an accidental swipe in the wrong direction. Many Tinder users solve these issues by investing in premium features through paid plans like Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. Are these features worth it, or will you end up wasting money on your dating life? Let’s dive into what Tinder’s premium plans offer you to find out.

How Can the Premium Features Improve Your Tinder Experience?

Tinder’s premium subscription service comes in two unique flavors: Plus and Gold. Both give you similar experiences, but you’ll need to know the difference between both plans before you choose one in order to make the right choice for you. Let’s take a quick look at Tinder’s basic model, along with both Plus and Gold experiences.

Tinder Basic

Tinder Basic is the app you know and like. There are no special features; you just get to look at people in your area and swipe left or right on them. You are only allowed to “like” (right-swipe) a certain number of profiles each day before Tinder will lock you out and tell you to come back later. The exact number varies, and Tinder keeps the algorithms a dark corporate secret, but the general consensus is that a male user can swipe right about 50 times every 12 hours before Tinder will put a stop to it.

This number can decrease, particularly for indiscriminate swipers who just swipe right on everybody. (That’s right, swiping left actually makes you look better to the Tinder algorithm.) Another major limitation of the basic level is that you only get one Super Like per day. (See this TechJunkie article for some information about Super Likes.) And of course, you don’t get any free Boosts at the Tinder Basic level; you have to buy them if you want them. (We have your back on this one too: here’s an article on when to use your Boost(s), here’s one on how to get more Boosts, and here’s an exploration of whether Boosts actually work at all.)

 

Tinder Plus

Tinder Plus opens up the doors a bit and adds three powerful features. First off, you get 5 Super Likes every day instead of just one, and 1 free Boost per month. That’s worth quite a bit if you were a heavy user at the basic level and bought a lot of add-ons. However, it is the new features that make Tinder Plus interesting.

First, you get unlimited likes – you can swipe right on everybody all day long and Tinder will never lock you out. (This is still not a great strategy for your Tinder rating score, however.) Second, you gain the ability to rewind your last swipe – if you accidentally swiped right or left on someone, if you catch the mistake before you swipe on the next person you can reverse your decision. This is extremely handy for those of us who are somewhat absent-minded in our swiping habits. Third, you get access to Tinder Passport, which lets you change your location in the app. This is incredibly handy for people who travel, or even just for those of us who’d like to see what kind of people are on Tinder in other places. (Of course we’ve got your back on this feature too: here’s a discussion of how it works, and here’s some straight talk about whether it works.)

Tinder Plus costs $9.99 per month in the United States. If you use the Super Likes and the Boost, then it easily pays for itself; getting 120 extra Super Likes and one Boost on Tinder Basic would cost you $83.99 each month.

Tinder Gold

Tinder Gold is very simple. Despite Tinder throwing a literal mountain of words at anyone trying to figure out the difference between Gold and Plus, there are only two differences. First, if you have Tinder Gold, the app tells you that people have swiped right on you. The second is that with Gold you can hide your age and location from other users if you want to. That second feature isn’t worth much; that first feature is worth a lot, if you’re a man.

Why is being able to tell that people have swiped right on you valuable? Simple. If you’re a woman, it probably isn’t very valuable to you at all, because in all probability far more people have swiped right on you than you could possibly swipe right on yourself, much less have conversations with and/or date. However, for men the numbers work the other way around. Even attractive men with great pictures and terrific profiles have only a fraction of the swipes that a similarly-situated woman receives. A man can spend literally hours on Tinder swiping right, in hopes that maybe one or two of the people he has swiped on will reciprocate.

With Tinder Gold, men who don’t want to invest two hours a day in swipe city can just relax and let the women do all the work. Whenever someone actually swipes right on a Tinder Gold subscriber, that subscriber gets a notification. With Tinder Gold, a man can just let the app run quietly on the phone, and when he gets a nibble, he can go and see if he reciprocates the interest. The potential time savings is enormous.

Tinder Gold costs an additional $4.99 per month, and you have to have Tinder Plus to get it.

Looking at the Numbers in General

Statistics from 2018 show that 13% of American dating app users pay for premium features. An additional 19% of users have paid for premium features in the past. Around one in two respondents said that they would never pay for online dating. The remaining 18% were either uncertain or willing to consider it. Unsurprisingly, men are likelier to spend on premium options. 19% of male respondents said that they were currently paying for extra features on their dating app. Only 6% of women were willing to make this investment.

At the moment, Tinder has over 50 million members worldwide. The number of paying subscribers is around 3.8 million. In other words, around 7.6% of Tinder users go for the premium features.

So What’s the Best Option for You?

Should you join the 7.6% of Tinder users who pay for this app’s services? The answer depends on your lifestyle. Do you travel a lot? Are you often too busy to go through Tinder’s stacks? Do you feel that it’s difficult to stand out because you live in a crowded area? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Tinder’s premium options might be perfect for you. Keep in mind that they’re considerably less expensive than joining an exclusive dating site.

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