I’m an online dating consultant, and this year, almost every one of my friends and clients has asked me if Tinder is worth using. Whether you’re looking for a date or a hookup, Tinder can indeed be quite effective. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of other uses I’ve seen for it. Here are the top five most interesting and useful reasons I’ve come across for trying out Tinder:
- Make new friends — Outside of being invited to parties, going to events, or frequenting local bars/clubs, Tinder is probably the fastest and easiest way to quickly make new friends. The key is to be transparent and upfront with people from the start. As soon as you’re matched, simply mention something like “Hey, I’m not necessarily looking to date on here, but I do have a lot of food and city hiking adventures planned and I’m basically using Tinder to find cool people to join me. Have you been to [Park name]?”
- Ask for recommendations — Even if you’re not looking for a date, you can still use Tinder as a rapid crowdsourcing platform for date ideas, along with event recommendations and good food spots. Just send a message to 10-20 people asking something like, “What’s the most fun thing to do on a Friday here?” or “What’s the best park in the city to explore?” Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if those very questions led to real dates for you.
- Advertise your brand — Tinder is experimenting with allowing advertisers to make unique profiles for their brands, but hell, if you have something cool to advertise, such as a makeup, jewelry, or hairstyling business, nothing’s stopping you from putting your best example photos on your profile for people to swipe right on. Everyone who likes you can potentially become a new customer.
- Generate Instagram followers — Anyone who Tinders regularly will have noticed that a large percentage of users mention their Instagram usernames in the body of their profiles. Linking to your Instagram lets people see that you’re real and potentially even interesting (photos are worth a thousand words, right?). PROTIP: following someone on Instagram may radically increase your odds of getting a reply on Tinder, because displaying yourself across multiple apps will help you stand out amongst other matches.
- Gamify your social drinking habits—I invented this Tinder drinking game while at a bar in Seattle. It’s modeled after hot potato. Take 2 smartphones, one with a straight male Tinder profile and one with a straight female profile. Open up Tinder, swipe right on the first person you see, and immediately pass the phone you’re holding to the left. Whoever is holding the phone when the “It’s a Match” animation appears must drink. Female profiles typically get many more matches than male profiles, so if you are holding the female profile when matched, you take a sip of beer, and if you’re holding the male profile, you take a shot.
Of course, all of these tips are for naught if your profile is terrible and you can’t get any matches in the first place! So take a minute to learn how to optimize your Tinder experience:
• Tinder tips for men
• Tinder tips for women
• How I Hacked Tinder And Got 2015 Matches In Under 17 hours
About the Author…
I’m Steve Dean, an NYC-based online dating consultant.
I offer customized consultations to individuals who need help with dating & relationships, as well as dating sites who need help with product strategy and growth.
I like to write and podcast about dating, relationships, and how to get connected to awesome jobs, roommates, and events. If you’d like to keep tabs on what I’m working on, you can follow my Patreon page, or connect with me anywhere: