Tinder Gold, Tinder Plus, Tinder Boost, Tinder Super Boost & Tinder Super Likes

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.

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 screenshotted. 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

Tinder Gold
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. 

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. 

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