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Do Tinder Messages Have Read Receipts to Tell When a Message Is Seen?

Posted by Robert Hayes on August 18, 2019

One of the most frustrating elements of some forms online communication is not knowing whether a message has been received. When you call someone, they either answer or they don’t. When you send an e-mail, you can request a read receipt, which lets you know a message was at least opened. You can get a delivery receipt for regular postal letter. And of course, if you’re talking to someone in person you know they’ve heard you. But for message-based communication modes like texting or dating apps, it sometimes feels like you’re dropping messages into a bottle and setting them adrift in the ocean. You don’t know if the person has even gotten your message, much less seen it.

Some messaging apps have sought to rectify this situation by implementing read receipts. Read receipts work simply: there is an indicator or an icon that appears to inform you that your message has been sent, delivered, or seen. Facebook implements a full-featured read receipts system in its Messenger app for smartphones, showing a check mark to indicate that a message was successfully sent, and showing a tiny version of the recipient’s Messenger avatar to indicate that they opened the message and thus at least theoretically read it.

Of course, having read receipts in place can cause its own set of problems. What if you can see that someone has read your message, but there has been no response? Are they rejecting you? Are they in trouble? Is their phone dead so they can’t respond? You just don’t have any way of knowing. Being on the other end of that scenario can be awkward as well. You may need some extra time to gather your thoughts before you continue a conversation. When you know your Facebook friend has received a read receipt, you feel an extra pressure to respond quickly. Thus, read receipts can be just as problematic as their lack.

So Are There Read Receipts on Tinder?

The short answer is no. Tinder apparently had read receipts at one point, along with status notifications about how long ago a person was active on the site, but both of those features are long gone. You don’t have to worry about read receipts when you’re using Tinder. The app will not tell your matches that you have received their chat messages, nor will it tell you when they have gotten yours. Even if you have Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, the information simply isn’t available.

What Are the Upsides?

The main upside of not having read receipts on Tinder is that when you get a message from a potential match, you can respond at your own pace and have plausible deniability about not responding immediately. There’s no need for convoluted explanations for any delay in writing back; Tinder gives you all of the breathing room you need.

Are There Any Downsides?

The downside, of course, is that Tinder’s privacy protection leaves you hanging when it comes to the messages you send out. Did she get it? Did he read it? Will they ever answer? You’ll find out when you find out. Tinder isn’t going to help you with any of that. Hence, you have no easy way to tell why a conversation has been trailing off. It’s possible that your potential date is simply too busy for Tinder at the moment. There’s also a chance that they lost interest.

Can You Find Out Whether Someone’s Been Active on Tinder?

You can’t find out if your match has received your message directly…but can you figure out if they’ve been active on Tinder at all? After all, if you know they haven’t been on Tinder, then their non-responsiveness to your message is less concerning, right? It isn’t you, they’re just busy doing other things. Is it possible to find out whether they have been active on Tinder at all?

The answer is yes. Tinder will not give you the information directly, but there are at least three ways you can figure it out.

Check Their Location

Tinder keeps track of your location, and the location of everyone that uses the app. Whenever they use the app, their location changes. And if their location changes, then their distance from you changes, if YOU haven’t moved. So if you don’t open Tinder anywhere other than (say) at home or at work, then you can check Tinder on Monday at noon and see that your match is 11.2 miles away. If you then check on Tuesday (or more realistically, Monday at 12:15 PM and again at 12:30 PM and again at…) and your match is suddenly 14.1 miles away, or 19.7 miles away, then you know that they were active on the app in a different physical location. Tinder doesn’t alter your location while you’re offline. So if someone’s location is different from it used to be, they had to open Tinder since they relocated.

Check Their Profile

Seems a bit obvious, but if they change their profile pictures or their bio text, then obviously they’ve gotten onto the app. So if you’re really this deep into the rabbit hole (and we know you are…you checked their location eighteen times on Monday, remember?) then all you need to do is take some screenshots of their pictures and bio, and then check again after a few days to see if anything has changed. Changes = they were on Tinder, at least for long enough to upload a new picture.

Try a Third-Party Service

There are third-party services that you can use to find out if someone has been recently active. These services need the person’s name, age, and location, and they use automated code to go through the Tinder stack for a particular area and find people matching your criteria. This approach has two major limitations: one, it costs money (a typical search site charges $7.49 for three searches) and two, all they can really tell you is that the person has an active profile. They can’t tell you specifically when they were online.

Dealing with Uncommunicative Matches

There are a number of different kinds of uncommunicative matches, and it might be helpful to you to understand the different types, as you may be able to classify your match and gain some insight into why they are acting the way they do.

Breadcrumbers

Breadcrumbing is an irritating and annoying form of behavior on Tinder. Breadcrumbing gets its name from the old children’s folk tale “Hansel and Gretel”. Hansel and Gretel, you may remember, were two little children whose parents decided to abandon them in the woods. But the clever children, having heard this diabolical plan, left pieces of bread behind them on the trail so that they would be able to find their way home. So what does breadcrumbing mean in the context of Tinder?

Well, if someone occasionally messages you – usually in a positive and mildly flirtatious way – but then never seems to get back to you on suggestions to meet or advance the relationship, they may be breadcrumbing you. A breadcrumber dabs out little pieces of attention and provokes further interest from their matches, but doesn’t have any intention of taking things any further. They find you interesting or desirable enough to keep you on their roster of “maybe”, but not interesting or desirable enough to find out if you’re actually a “yes”. My suggestion is that once it’s become clear someone is a breadcrumber, just bid them farewell and move on to someone else.

Wildly Popular

The wildly popular Tinder person is that lucky man or woman who has it all – brains, attractiveness, a great career, money, wit – and as a result, they are just insanely popular. They’ve long since turned off match notifications from the app, because otherwise their phone would be alerting them 24/7 – and it’s already exploding from their existing lengthy list of friends who are messaging them about parties and dates. How did you match with this dreamboat? Well, the wildly popular person goes swiping just like everybody else, and they did think you were interesting or cute so they swiped right – before getting pulled back into their social swirl. They aren’t blowing you off, they just have 82 unread messages and 20 more every hour.

How can you deal with a wildly popular match? Well, probably by lowering your expectations and upping your game. That “hey” message you deploy as your go-to is probably not going to catch this person’s eye, with a hundred other people already begging for their attention. Getting defensive and touchy about their uncommunicative nature is unlikely to be a winning strategy; “I guess you’re too busy to talk to me” might well be true, but if you send that message or anything like it you might as well just unmatch them yourself because nobody likes a whiner. The good thing about the wildly popular person is that they aren’t a toxic force; they just really are too busy to get to everyone on their match queue. If you do manage to capture their genuine interest, you’ll go to the top of that priority list and you’ll be able to have real conversations and move forward.

Ego Stokers

It feels good to be wanted, doesn’t it? Every time you get a match notification, you feel good about yourself. If you have Tinder Gold, then you probably get those notifications fairly regularly, and even if you aren’t interested in the person who matched you, it’s a great feeling to know that someone wanted to give things a shot with you. Well, the ego stoker is someone who has taken this perfectly healthy desire to an unhealthy extreme. They want all the matches and they want them right now, today, so they can gloat in the mirror about how attractive they must be.

You aren’t a person to the ego stoker; you’re just another supplier of their narcissistic need for attention. For that reason, you’re unlikely to ever get a real conversation with this person no matter how interesting or attractive you really are. They aren’t interested in matching with you in order to advance a relationship; they only matched to boost the number of people who they can look at and feel adored by. Unlike the breadcrumber, who actually has some level of interest in you, the ego stoker only cares about their total match count and is unlikely to give you much in the way of attention. How to deal with them? Unmatch and move on.

Passive-Aggressive

You see an interesting bio with a provocative statement or outrageous claim that just begs for a response. Intrigued, you swipe right. And then a match occurs, and you jump into chat to ask them what they meant or to engage with what they’ve said. And then the person yells at you and calls you names. They don’t unmatch, but they don’t respond, either. What gives?

You’ve encountered the dread passive-aggressive Tinder nut, that’s what. They aren’t on Tinder to meet people, they’re there to advance their ideology or justify their own sense of righteousness or some other dubiously enjoyable pastime. They just want to yell at something or someone, and they’re hoping that you’re the doormat of their dreams. Run, don’t walk.

Testers

This is an interesting category and also one of the most frustrating. Testers have an agenda, and it probably does involve a romantic relationship. But they are looking for something very specific. Maybe they’re into a particular kind of sexual roleplay, or they have a very strict lifestyle requirement. Whatever it is, there is some narrow gate through which all their matches must pass, and until they do pass, there will be limited answers to any messages, or only silence.

Why don’t the testers just put their requirements in their bio or say it up front in chat? Probably because if they did, they’d be overwhelmed with liars. If you say “vegans only” and you are amazingly attractive, you’re going to get a whole lot of fake vegans, willing to eat a salad for a date or two if there’s a chance it’s going to lead to something better. So the tester is waiting for you to psychically read his or her mind and volunteer the magic phrase (“I like to dress up as Winnie the Pooh, how about you?” or “Death to all cucumber-eaters!”) that unlocks their heart. You just have to figure out what it is they’re after. This is where reading the bio carefully becomes a very valuable skill. Testers are sometimes quite worth the trouble.

What Can You Do to Keep a Conversation Going?

Sometimes there is mutual interest but the conversation still runs dry. What are the best ways to keep conversations from going silent?

Make a Big Change

The best way to create a spark of interest is to set up an offline meeting. If you’re not ready for that, you can also give your number to your potential match. This will shake things up a little.

Show That You’ve Been Paying Attention

You already know that asking questions is the best way to keep a conversation flowing. You should also reference things your potential date had mentioned in passing.

Talk About It

Emotional honesty is usually worth it. Ask if there’s something bothering your match. Tell them something that is bothering you. Open up. Be vulnerable. A sincere discussion can be an important milestone in your developing relationship.

A Final Word

Tinder won’t tell your match that you’ve read their message. You also don’t know whether they read yours. Without read receipts, the pressure is lower, but responding quickly can help keep a conversation going. There are a few simple ways to return a conversation to normal after it loses its spark. But if the person you’re messaging only responds very rarely, then usually (though not always), the best thing to do is to stop talking to them and concentrate on better matches instead.

One thought on “Do Tinder Messages Have Read Receipts to Tell When a Message Is Seen?”

Kris says:
As of 8/11/19 there are definitely read receipts on Tinder and you can turn them off if you have Tinder Gold. You should probably update this.
Reply

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