Tinder Dating App Review: Tinder Plus vs. Gold, Super Boost & Super Likes, Blue Check Verified, Height Verification & Features: Costs, Prices, Discounts, Free Trials, Smart Photos, Is It Free?

Before Tinder, people would rely on sites like OkCupid and Match.com to create thoughtful profiles, add photos, curate answers and browse through the profiles of people in their area in hopes of meeting someone they are attracted to. It took some additional time but it allowed one to think a bit more carefully about each and every profile they came across.

Nowadays, with the swipe profiles can be created in moments and the review process can take a split second vs 5-10 seconds or more like before. The swiping action has made the review process quicker but not more efficient. The speed of swiping often results in accidental swipes and the double opt-in of mutual swiping right has led to a sense of insecurity, doubt and impatience as users try to figure out if feelings are mutual or if the profile was left-swiped on.

For more tips on Tinder photos, first messages and bios, check out my other Tinder posts here: https://eddie-hernandez.com/category/dating-apps/tinder/

This addictive behaviors lead to a gamification approach to dating where people take dating less seriously than otherwise would. The introduction of premium features such as ‘Like You’ and ‘(Super) Boost’ have led to intended or unintended consequences where people seek out who likes them, how many people like them and  how many matches can be captured via screenshots.

By doing so ‘dating’ apps have started to be referred to as introduction apps – introductions to Instagram accounts, introductions to websites, introductions to penpals (via Snapchat or What’sApp), introduction to scammers, introductions to hookups, introductions to tour guides (via Passport) and occasional introductions to those who seek someone to go on a date with.

The ambiguity a swipe vs a super like or a regular profile vs a top pick is enough to prey on people’s curiosity, fears, insecurity and FOMO. Here is my take on all the Tinder premium features and how the rank from worst to not as bad.

Is Tinder free? How does it work?

Tinder is free but there are numerous upgrades you can pay an extra fee for (not necessary if you have a good profile). Basically swipe left on people you don’t like and right on those you do like. Simple as that.

Tinder Likes You
This feature (part of Tinder Gold) allows you to see who likes you before making a decision to swipe. Could be used for vanity reasons, could be used by those who are insecure about swiping right and getting rejected. Dating requires risk and a leap of faith, trying to reduce exposure of putting yourself out there can be viewed as a red flag for some. Offline approaches are what makes dating great – putting yourself out there and trying your best. Don’t deprive yourself by playing it safe.

What is Tinder Passport?
Feature allows you to change your current city. Very popular for those seeking a tour guide, meeting locals, seeking recommendations or looking for a hookup while traveling. This should be assumed if you encounter someone who is from elsewhere.

UPDATE: Tinder Passport is Free During Coronavirus, Covid-19 (April 30th)

What is Tinder Rewind?
When you swipe too quickly and want to undo that last swipe left to right or vice versa. Not needed if you actually take the time to review profiles instead of trying to set a world record for swiping. Available on Tinder Plus/Gold

What is Tinder Super Like?
Possibly the worst feature of them all (so bad I wrote about this here in a separate post). A super like is the equivalent of an overly aggressive person trying to get your attention at a bar. There is no way to know if you like someone or really like someone until you talk and meet up so suggesting you can infer a more deeper level of interest based on photos and a few characters seems a bit thirsty.

What is Tinder Boost?
Like the name suggests, it gives you up to 10x more views for 30 minutes in your area. I view this as the equivalent of paid ads on Google. You are better off investing in the product (yourself – photos, mental health, appearance, personality etc.) than trying the volume approach of getting more eyeballs.

If you can’t get enough likes or matches without boost, assume your profile is to blame. Focus on getting unbiased feedback on your bio, photos, and profile. These boosts tend to have a fairly generous radius so not necessarily targeted to those close to you.

What is Tinder Super Boost?
Available as a separate feature or Tinder Gold and Plus users. Ideal for wannabe influencers or those trying to throw up a Hail Mary before giving up on dating apps. Available in select markets. If you use Boost or Super Boost and get no matches or few matches first look at your location and demographics and see if there are enough people around you. Also get some unbiased feedback on your profile.

Tinder Top Picks
Available on Tinder Gold. Tinder’s guess (or randomness) to highlight a user they think is the most swipe worthy for you. Algorithms can loosely rank people based on demographics and interests but the amount of information provided on dating app profiles on Tinder suggests you can get as good as matches if you roll the dice on any user.

Even if you have 100% matches in interests, that doesn’t mean there will be sparks. Don’t rely on Tinder to do all the guesswork for you – learn to be patient, ask questions, analyze profiles and use good judgment. Top Picks is definitely not a screening alternative.

How Old Should Tinder Photos Be?
Ideally 2-3 years old or at least similar to what you would look like on a first date including: hair color, hair style, facial hair, fashion sense, weight etc.

Tinder Read Receipts
Just like annoying Microsoft Office emails, these are used to identify who has read your message. Definitely not needed in my opinion. Some folks use it to see how quickly matches respond to see if they are responding in time or are interested in you.  You should not dwell on any person if you have not heard from them one way or another. 

What is Tinder Swipe Surge?

With real-time notifications activated, users are alerted to extra high levels of users in a confined area usually shows, concerts, sporting events etc. Once activated, you opt into the pool and are pushed to the front of the line for this busy session lasting a few minutes or a few hours depending on the event, crowds etc.

What is Tinder Plus?
Unlimited Likes, Rewind your last swipe, 5 Super Likes a day, 1 Boost a month, Passport to swipe around the world, No ads

What is Tinder Gold? How To Upgrade?
Same as Tinder Plus but with See who Likes You before you swipe, New Top Picks every day.

These features seem to prey on middle school and high school tendencies – who likes you before you can make a move. I guess this makes senses given the demographics of the users on the site. Some people view it as a gaming app vs a dating app and that is unfortunate for those that don’t have other options for dating apps in their area.

What Is Tinder Verified?

Released on January 23, 2020, Tinder users can now self-authenticate their profiles through a series of real-time posed (directed) selfies, which are compared to existing profile photos using human-assisted Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Verified accounts will possess a blue check mark. You can contact Tinder directly to get verified. verified@tinder.com 

At the end of the day, if you want a better ROI on your dating profile invest in your wardrobe, appearance, mental health, physical health, photos, bio, photo order, location etc. There is no need to buy any of these unnecessary bells and whistles. If you focus on quality and not quantity, you can have more success that way than from additional meaningless right swipes. At the very least you can know whether the iterations made were helpful or where you stand in the eyes of others.

Tinder Height Verification

Tinder posted an April Fool’s post on social media about a height verification feature being rolled out to users. This caused an uproar by guys on the internet requesting weight verification features. Needless to say this was an April Fool’s prank that rubbed guys the wrong way.

Tinder Festival Mode

Tinder introduced Festival Mode so users can claim match card badges on their profile, see who is going where and facilitating meetups in person at major festivals and chats as well.

Tinder Swipe Night

Tinder has a few feature called ‘Swipe Night’ that is like a virtual choose your own adventure game in the app. Each episode is a weekly series about 5 minutes long. These decisions are then applied to your profile so others can see your choices serving as potential conversation starters with matches.

What is Tinder Noonlight?

Noonlight is a feature that has been added so that Tinder users can be a little safer while online dating. It allows you to share when, where and with whom you meet as well as adding functionality to discreetly trigger emergency alerts.

Does Tinder Charge Higher Prices for Older People?

They allegedly (folks 30+) did but not explicitly anymore. Apps conduct price tests, discounts but cannot discriminate on age alone.

Banned From Tinder, Unbanned

I wrote more about this here so users can understand how to accounts work: https://eddie-hernandez.com/hinge-tinder-login-errors-banned/

Tinder Smart Photos

Smart photos is not a premium feature but it is worth mentioning here. In theory, it picks your best photos and ranks them for you automatically. I have reasons to be skeptical. Best photos can mean many things including most likes but not all likes lead to matches or dates. They can be a sign of thinking something is cute or funny but not interesting enough for a date. Additionally, Tinder has an incentive to provide the illusion of many different profiles as possible and one way to do this is to shuffle the main profile photo excessively. Use this feature at your own risk.

Remember Tinder is an introduction app, not a dating app. Dating is just one type of introduction but there are others as well.

For additional Tinder related advice, tips regarding swipe strategy, photos, profile bios and more, check out my other posts: https://eddie-hernandez.com/category/dating-apps/tinder/

About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/

Dating Profile Critique

For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice: https://eddie-hernandez.com/blog/

Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/