What Is Tinder Gold, How Do I Get It, and How Do I Use It?
Tinder has become one of the leading online dating sites in the world, and as the app and the platform have developed and matured, it is no surprise that the company behind them has sought new ways to monetize the platform. To their credit, the baseline free experience remains a viable way to date (at least for very attractive people…those of us with average looks have a harder time of it), but there has been a never-ending series of add-ons and boosts to the base product.
The company, of course, goes to great lengths to find high-minded justifications and rationales for each price hike. When they first announced Tinder Gold, they pitched it as a way to speed up the Tinder process. “We know you,” they said in their initial statement. “You live in a world where every moment counts – where speed equals success, you’re always on the go, and you can’t let anything slow you down. Especially your Tinder feed.” In the announcement, they made it clear that Tinder Gold was designed to be an improved version of Tinder, something that anyone could use to upgrade their online dating experience.
Tinder Gold is far from the first premium experience offered by Tinder. First there was Tinder, then Tinder Plus, then Tinder Select. Now we have Tinder Gold. (My prediction is that “Tinder Platinum” is just around the corner.) Each variation of Tinder offers an increasingly “elite” level of service, at a price. Let’s look at each level of service, and what you get for your money.
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 Basic is free. Extra Super Likes cost as much either $1 apiece ($5 for a 5-pack), $0.80 apiece ($20 for 25), or $0.67 apiece ($40 for 60). Extra Boosts cost $3.99 for 1, $3.00 apiece for 5, or $2.50 each for 10.
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 Select is the secret members-only “elite” layer of Tinder. Rumors have swirled around this invitation-only feature of the platform since it came out in 2017. About all that anyone not part of Tinder Select knows for sure is that the user interface has a blue theme rather than an orange one, there are a lot of celebrity singles on it, and that you can’t buy your way in; you have to be invited, either directly by Tinder or by an existing Select member.
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.
How to Use Tinder Gold Effectively
Here’s the key takeaway, the secret of success, the unpopular but truthful revelation: when it comes to getting matches on Tinder, it doesn’t matter what level of subscription you have, it doesn’t matter how many Super Likes and Boosts you use, it doesn’t matter how clever you are at chatting online, it doesn’t matter how rich or funny or handsome or pretty you are in real life. Only two things matter: how good your pictures are, and how good your profile is. Those are the only two pieces of information that anyone looking at you on Tinder have access to. They can’t see you in real life. They don’t know that you rescue kittens on the weekends (unless you say so in your profile). They don’t know that the guy in your picture isn’t your boyfriend, he’s your brother. They don’t know that you’re a terrific dancer, or a prizewinning poet, or the best Fortnite player in the universe.
None of that information is RELEVANT, because none of it is in your profile and none of it shows in your pictures. Your pictures. Your profile. That’s it. That’s all you have. That’s all they see. That’s what you have to focus on.
To use Tinder Gold effectively requires the same two things as using Tinder Basic effectively: a well-written, informative, interesting bio in your profile, and the best pictures you can get. Not selfies, not pictures of you in a crowd of people, not pictures of a sarcastic meme. Good pictures, showing you in your best light.
Getting Tinder Gold is easy: you buy it. Using Tinder Gold effectively isn’t easy, but it is straightforward: create the best profile and the best pictures you can, and let them do the talking.