Dating is a different beast these days; 2016 was haunted by ‘ghosting’, ‘benching’ no longer means how much you lift and apparently we’re in the throes of ‘cuffing’ season.
Whatever those things are, it’s enough to make anyone sad, single or horny (or even all of the above) want to refine their Tinder profile. If you’re looking for the one (or at least, the one for now), here are five insider tips that’ll turn you into a a right-swipe magnet in 2017.
First Impressions Count
Whether you like it or not, people are going to judge you on your photos – particularly your first – but not always in the way you might think.
While it might be tempting to flex the pecs and go into full peacock mode, data suggests that the more attractive a man appears to consider himself, the more people will associate him with negative characteristics like selfishness and arrogance. Save the poses for Snapchat and the professional headshots for LinkedIn, go for something in-between and less staged.
Wondering what to wear to be in with the best shot? According to Tinder’s in-house sociologist Jessica Carbino, the most successful users opt for neutral, muted colours that “allow personality to shine through.”
Interestingly, men who do well on Tinder aren’t necessarily the most attractive ones. Signalling that you’re a decent bloke seems to be more successful than being an Adonis. There’s even data to show that smiling with your teeth increases chances of a match by 14 per cent, whereas pouting does the opposite (for obvious reasons).
Past The First Hurdle?
So your first shot worked and a potential match has clicked on your profile, but what about the rest of your pictures? According to the app’s founder, Sean Rad, topless or workout images are the ultimate no-no: “You’re on Tinder to meet new people – the last thing you want those people to think is that you’re too self-absorbed to hold a real conversation”.
You’d be wise to drop the weight plates for a puppy: animals are proverbial catnip for swipes – providing, of course, it’s not you stroking a sedated tiger.
And, unless it’s hilarious or you’re best pals with Ryan Gosling (in which case, probably just give up), get rid of that blurry snap of you with some bloke off the telly in the kebab shop at 3am. Pictures with the rich and famous statistically do not perform well and can be perceived as flashy.
Selfies are a contentious subject in the normal world, but even more so on Tinder. You’re competing against basically every other single man in your city (and, thanks to Tinder Plus, the world), so swap the mirror pouts for something more adventurous.
Tinder is survival of the fittest at its most raw, so go primal here. Into abseiling? Great, include a picture of you kitted up. Spend your weekends working as a DJ? Add a snap of yourself behind the decks, it seems to work for Calvin Harris.
Group photos have a positive impact on success rates. However, keep it to one or two – this isn’t Where’s Wally and you really don’t want to finally get your dream match for them to ask for your mates’ number (it happens… we’ve heard).
Wordplay Is The New Foreplay
Tinder gives you just 500 characters to make an impression, that’s just three and a bit tweets, but pick your words right and that’ll be more than enough. Profiles that have a bio massively outperform those without. Keep it short, ideally humorous and try to include a reference to something you can hold your own in a conversation about.
Don’t take the obscurity too far though. As shocking as it may seem, lying in your bio may have short-term benefits but can cause issues in the long term. Carbino’s research indicates that what people write in their bios doesn’t always line up with what they actually like.
Tinder’s Instagram and Spotify links mean it’s easier than ever for people to find out whether you’re more Gogol Bordello than Gary Barlow. So if you’re looking for something serious, take the high road and be honest. Or if you’re there for a more, ahem, short term experience, here’s where you can lure them in under false pretences, if you can live with yourself after. You monster.
OK, so Tinder’s reputation comes before it; but apparently its hook-up tag is entirely undeserved, with 80 per cent of users looking for a relationship. Bear this in mind when writing your opening lines, lest your unwitting first words to your future spouse reference your appendage.
Rodney, one of Tinder’s most-swiped men of 2016, opens every chat with a gif of a man sweating to indicate that the recipient is hot. While gifs are useful for adding some humour, swipes do not necessarily equal dates, and it’s unlikely this generic response has worked for Rodders (he’s still on there, so it’s not looking likely).
Providing you’re not just looking to collect matches (like a soul destroying Pokemon Go), starting conversation is preferable to a cookie cutter line. According to Mel Delancey, another of Tinder’s most active users, saying ‘hey’ or ‘what’s up’ is as bad as blanking a match entirely and chances are they will not respond. If you’d like any chance at all of actual human contact of any sort, be more creative.
Time to Swipe?
You wouldn’t go fishing when the tide was out, so be sure you’re using your metaphoric rod (no, not that one) during Tinder’s peak times. Users appear to follow the Dolly Parton school of work ethic as between 9am and 5pm, activity is minimal. However, from then on there’s a steady increase up until the magic hour.
Between 8pm and 9pm, activity hugely peaks. But be quick, it starts to fade almost immediately after 9pm, and if you’re still swiping past 11pm, just wait until the following day. Nobody wants to be the genuine guy mistaken for a booty call, but if that’s your thing, then sticking around from 9pm onwards will get you the most bites in all the right places.