Oh, the wonders of Tinder. Reviews can hardly do it justice. The swiping scene is full of bizarre pictures, witty jokes, bad puns, worse pickup lines, and some really, truly awkward encounters between singles of all ages and orientations.

Maybe you’ve heard some cringe-worthy Tinder anecdotes from your friends, coworkers, family members, or random Redditers and reviewers, and you want to know if those experiences are the norm or just some very unfortunate outliers. We’ve got the inside scoop for you on the Tinder universe.

Our online dating experts have spent more hours than we care to mention — definitely more than the average 10 hours a week — studying Tinder in all its swiping glory and figuring out how it works, where it works, and who it works for. Let’s get to the dirty details!

Our Tinder Rating: 4.0/5

Like it or not, Tinder is a pioneer in the dating scene, and its swiping system has fundamentally changed the way singles meet one another. People are no longer as dependent on the bar or club scene to meet local hotties — they can simply set up a profile and start flirtation conversations without leaving home. Basically, we’re living in the future, and Tinder is a big part of why online dating has become the most popular way to meet a spouse.

Whether you’re looking for a hot date, a love interest, or just a distraction on a Saturday night, Tinder is an excellent wingman working overtime for you.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

In 2012, Tinder pioneered a swiping-based match system that empowered singles to connect with dates who liked (read more)

  • Supports active daters in 190+ countries
  • The swiping system creates over 12 million matches per day
  • Tinder Plus members have unlimited likes and 5 Super Likes

As you can see, Tinder has a lot to offer the online dating community. It has been downloaded over 340 million times, and its matching system is responsible for making 43 billion introductions since 2012.

Any way you slice it, Tinder is undeniably impressive and worth a try if you’re interested in meeting a lot of people in a short amount of time — that’s what #SwipeLife is all about!

Tinder is $9.99 a Month

Tinder is free for everyone all the time, and its free features include just about all the swiping and messaging one mortal person can handle. However, if you have some extraordinary ambitions in the dating scene, you may be interested in checking out its upgrade options.

Tinder has two payment plans — Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus — that give daters a little extra bang for their buck. Tinder Plus starts at $9.99 per month, and Tinder Gold can cost as little as $12.50 per month. The pricing will change depending on how long your subscription lasts though (one month, six months, or 12 months).

Screenshot of Tinder Plus

Many active daters have expanded their reach thanks to Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold.

Tinder’s premium features include the ability to rewind your last swipe, send Super Likes, swipe in different cities and countries, and enjoy an ad-free experience. The subscription also includes unlimited likes, so nothing will hold you back from a great match.

Tinder has over 5.9 million paid subscribers and is the world’s highest grossing non-gaming app, so it must be doing something right.

Fill Out Your Info, Upload a Pic, Start Swiping

The Tinder signup process is really simple — even if you’ve never joined a dating site or app before. You start by downloading the Tinder app on Google Play or the App Store.

Tinder offers two types of identity verification when you create a dating profile. You can either submit your phone number or connect with your Facebook account to show the moderators that you’re an actual, real-life, human person and not a bot or scammer.

Screenshot of Tinder

Tinder encourages singles to make the most of the online dating experience.

If you sign in through Facebook, you’ll have to give Tinder permission to access your personal information, which it uses to fill out your dating profile automatically. You can also pull pictures from your Facebook album. Tinder will never post anything on your behalf on Facebook, and your friends will be none the wiser that you’re now a Tinder user.

As soon as you’ve uploaded pictures and completed your byline, you can start swiping on local Tinder profiles in the Discovery section. More on that in the next section.

Swipe for Matches and Receive Matches Daily

Swiping is the bread and butter of the Tinder experience. It powers every new connection and conversation. The Discovery tab promotes profiles that fit your standards in terms of age, location, distance, and gender identity (you can adjust these filters in your Discovery Settings), and it asks you a simple question — Do you like this person or not?

Tinder relies on singles to have good instincts and make good decisions based on their own criteria. You can swipe right (that means you like them) on every profile with a travel photo or on every blond person you see. It’s completely up to you. Tinder members won’t know if you’ve rejected them by swiping left, and they won’t be able to contact you without your say-so.

Screenshots of Tinder

Tinder offers a three-step online dating process: Match, chat, date.

Only mutual matches (i.e. couples who have liked each other’s profiles) can message each other on Tinder. You can unmatch with someone at any time. If you lose interest, you’ll simply disappear from that person’s inbox, and he or she won’t be able to contact you again. You can also report someone who’s making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Tinder gives users tons of viable date options and its swiping system can help them come into their own in the local dating scene. On average, Tinder facilitates over 1.5 million first dates every week.

Over 340 Million People Have Downloaded Tinder

From the beginning, Tinder has appealed to 20-somethings who are curious about online dating and in no hurry to lock something down. The Tinder dating experience is about exploring your options, honing your flirtatious skills, and filling your date calendar with romantic meetups. It’s no wonder #SwipeLife is trending among Gen Z.

According to the app’s internal stats, more than half of Tinder users are between 18 and 25 years old, and this age demographic is by far the most active on the app, accounting for 60% of its online activity.

Tinder is also inclusive of nine sexual orientations, and it’s been translated into over 40 languages. To date, over 340 million people across 190 countries have jumped on the Tinder bandwagon, which doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

15 Best Tinder Alternatives

Tinder isn’t your only option in the online dating scene. It’s just the name everyone knows. While it leads the pack in terms of popularity, Tinder isn’t the end-all be-all for people seeking dates. Many singles prefer alternatives to Tinder because they have more search tools, more sophisticated matching features, niche memberships, or just a more pleasant interface.

Here are some of the best dating sites and apps available to all the anything-but-Tinder daters out there.

Best Overall | Gay & Lesbian | Hookups | FAQs

Best Overall Tinder Alternatives

The best dating sites and apps empower singles to take control of their love lives and meet people on their terms. It isn’t an easy task, but several big-name brands have made online dating a heck of a lot easier, cheaper, and more fun! Check them out:

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Match.com has come a long way since it launched in April 1995. This well-reputed dating site has honed its (read more)

  • Match is the world's longest running dating site
  • The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
  • Match is available in 24 countries and 15 languages

Tinder may be hot right now, but Match is the OG in the online dating scene. This dating site originally launched in 1995, and it has been a leader in the space ever since.

In 2014, Match Group actually acquired Tinder, and it currently owns and operates 45 online dating companies. Match.com remains one of the most successful and long-lasting dating sites with countless love stories to its name. A free membership includes access to advanced search filters and daily match recommendations based on in-depth profile information.

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

EliteSingles.com maintains a sophisticated network of young professionals seeking a relationship. Over 80% of (read more)

  • Over 2 million monthly users
  • Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
  • Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits

EliteSingles is an upscale dating site for men and women who want to settle down without settling. The site’s membership includes high-achieving individuals with college degrees and thriving careers.

We ranked EliteSingles among the best dating sites for professionals because of its serious and sophisticated matchmaking process. Over 85% of members have graduated from college, and over 90% say they want to find a real relationship on the site. The EliteSingles dating site isn’t completely free, but it offers more quality matches and fewer flaky dates than the typical free app.

3
Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Zoosk is a socially savvy dating site known for its diverse membership base and behavioral matchmaking system. (read more)

  • Send messages to premium members for free
  • Over 3 million messages sent a day
  • Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts

Zoosk is a social dating app with more swiping, chatting, and matching options than mainstream apps like Tinder. Since 2007, Zoosk has welcomed over 40 million users, and it continues to grow in popularity every day.

What makes Zoosk stand out? Its behavioral matchmaking, for one thing. Zoosk pays attention to which profiles you view, like, and message, and it recommends profiles that are similar in age, location, appearance, and background. The Zoosk interface also highlights the profiles of people who are online now as a way of inspiring instant connections.

You don’t have to form a mutual match to send a message on Zoosk, and the platform has a number of free communication options, including private messaging, to get the ball rolling. You can learn more about Zoosk in our full review.

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Since its launch in 2000, eharmony has endeavored to find the formula for love. Its 32-dimension questionnaire (read more)

  • Over 2 million people have found love here
  • Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
  • Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals

When eharmony launched in 2000, online dating was still stigmatized as a tool for the desperate and depressed. However, Dr. Neil Clark Warren saw its potential to strengthen relationships and help singles find common ground, so he created a psychology-driven match system that’s still used today.

The eharmony dating site has introduced over 2 million couples in the U.S., and it is one of the most trusted and reliable resources for relationship-minded daters. You won’t waste time with swiping here. The eharmony matchmaking system relies on an 80-question personality assessment to drive matches and inspire fulfilling relationships.

“He was different from other men I dated — he did what he said he was going to do,” said Christie about the man she met through eharmony. They got married in 2012. “I’m so grateful that both of us decided to give eharmony a try. There’s no way our paths would have crossed in our day-to-day lives.”

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.2/5.0

Since its launch in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has created an African-American singles network that stretches (read more)

  • One of the largest black singles networks in existence
  • Straightforward search and matching features
  • Use Tokens to appear higher in search results

BlackPeopleMeet is a niche dating site where black and biracial singles are in the majority. The site boasts having the largest network of black singles in North America, and it can be a great way to diversify your dating experience.

Since 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has been a go-to dating spot for people of color, and you can highlight your heritage in your dating profile. Whether you’re looking for a new friend, travel partner, casual date, serious relationship, or marriage, BlackPeopleMeet can give you the opportunity to mix and mingle like never before.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

In 2004, OkCupid's founders decided to create a fool-proof formula for love, and they launched a free dating (read more)

  • Free, unlimited communication for everyone
  • Singles can swipe or search for a compatible date
  • Over 91 million connections every year

OkCupid is a free dating site and app that appeals to singles who have difficulty cramming their big personality into Tinder’s brief profiles. The OkCupid profile offers more space to talk about yourself and your interests, and you can answer up to 4,000 personal questions about your dating history, values, opinions, and background.

The OkCupid matching system measures personal compatibility based on a wealth of data — which means you don’t have to make a snap judgment based solely on looks. Every profile has an overall match rating and a compatibility breakdown that tells you exactly where you stand.

Every year, OkCupid creates over 91 million matches and inspires millions of first dates around the world, according to the site.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

Plenty of Fish prides itself on being one of the best dating site for conversations. It supports 100% free and (read more)

  • Free registration, searches, and messaging
  • The Chemistry Test creates a compatibility framework
  • Over 1 billion messages sent per month

Plenty of Fish may not be as widespread as Tinder, but it’s getting there. The dating site and app have over 150 million members in 20 countries, and over 65,000 new members join the network every day.

This diverse dating pool is completely free to use, and it doesn’t require you to match with someone before saying hi. Free members can chat as much as they like on Plenty of Fish. The only restriction is that you can only send 55 unsolicited messages per day.

8
Online Dating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

Since its launch in 2014, Bumble has positioned itself as one of the queens of the online dating world. The (read more)

  • A feminist dating app puts singles on equal footing
  • 60% of Bumble matches turn into dates
  • Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF spark non-romantic connections

A former Tinder executive actually founded Bumble as a way of combating superficial and chauvinistic online dating practices. In 2014, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd saw what was wrong with modern swipe culture and decided to fix it by putting women in charge.

Today, Bumble gives single women priority in the dating scene and encourages them to send the first message when matched with a man. Bumble’s male users cannot message any woman unless she likes his profile and messages him first.

By allowing women to set the tone in the dating scene, Bumble has created a more empathetic, engaging, and respectful community (they call it the Hive) with over 11 million monthly active users, including actress Sharon Stone.

Best Tinder Alternatives for LGBT

The LGBTQ+ community has embraced online dating because it gives them the freedom to be themselves, build confidence, and pick up dates. In a 2017 survey, about 65% of gay couples said they met each other online, while only 40% of straight couples said the same.

Tinder is a relatively gay-friendly dating app, but it’s not perfect, and we’ve seen plenty of complaints from LGBTQ+ members who were matched with straight couples or kept seeing the same profiles over and over. The following gay dating sites and apps can offer a much better dating experience with more same-sex matches and gay-friendly features.

Gay Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

MenNation boasts having one of the world's largest men-only hookup community, and it has 93 million dating (read more)

  • Free registration and unlimited profile browsing
  • Add online crushes to the Hotlist or My Network
  • Enjoy private conversations in the Message Center

MenNation is a dedicated gay hookup site where men go to get laid. The sex-driven atmosphere satisfies gay and bisexual men with high sex drives and wild imaginations. Most of these guys are good to go just about any time of the day or night, so drop a hottie a message, even if it’s a cheesy pickup line, and see what happens.

MenNation has over 77,000 daily active users, and it offers private chatting features to build intimacy between gay men who aren’t afraid to go after what they want. There’s no need to play coy here — everyone on MenNation is interested in having sex and taking an online flirtation to the next level.

Lesbian Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

LesbianPersonals is one of the most popular hookup sites for women because of its fun-loving and sexually (read more)

  • Open to single women, couples, and groups interested in sex
  • Private text and video chats accessible 24/7
  • Women add over 25,000 photos and videos each week

LesbianPersonals invites women to find love, lust, and romance in their area, and it uses proactive search filters to make it that much easier to land a date. This hookup site is open to lesbian singles, lesbian couples, straight couples, and groups in the mood for sex.

Whether you’re looking for a lesbian fling or a threesome, you’ll find plenty of willing playmates in the LesbianPersonals database, which includes millions of hot profiles and X-rated photos.

LesbianPersonals offers video chatting via a two-way webcam, and it has rapidly become one of the most prominent lesbian hookup sites on the web.

11

HER

Lesbian Dating
★★★★ 4.2/5.0

A lesbian named Robyn Exton founded HER because she recognized that not all dating sites and apps look out for (read more)

  • Free private messaging to all mutual matches
  • Post comments or send likes to connect with local lesbians
  • A safe, friendly, and one-of-a-kind dating app

As a lesbian dating app, HER goes to great lengths to make womxn feel comfortable mingling online and arranging meetups offline. The app has over 4 million users, all of whom have been verified as authentic lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender womxn. Non-binary singles are welcome here as well.

The HER moderators have banned men from the app and given single ladies room to share their thoughts, express their feelings, and build genuine connections. This judgment-free space is a breath of fresh air for single women who are tired of running into unicorn hunters, fake profiles, and unsavory characters in the mainstream dating scene.

“We encourage love, open minds, and comfort,” the HER team says in the Community Guidelines. “This is an area for you to connect with more people. Ask a question, start a photo thread, share what’s trending and join the conversation.”

12
Gay Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

Grindr is one of the top dogs in the gay dating scene. It's the name everyone recognizes, and many gay men (read more)

  • Among the most popular gay social networks in the world
  • Men connect via private and group chats
  • View nearby profiles using real-time GPS data

Grindr has gotten the reputation for being the “gay Tinder,” but it was actually founded three years before Tinder got off the ground.

In 2009, Grindr pioneered location-based matching that helped singles find dates on the spot and became an invaluable resource for gay and bi men looking for dates at a bar or club. With Grindr in your hand, you don’t have to worry about using your gaydar or figuring out if someone is unattached or interested — the online matchmaking process breaks the ice and facilitates instant romantic connections.

Some singles use Grindr for one-night stands, casual dating, or sexting, but others say they met their partner through the app. In fact, 84% of surveyed Grindr users reported falling in love with someone they met on the app, and over half said they hoped to find a soul mate on Grindr.

Best Tinder Alternatives for Hookups

Despite its reputation as a hookup app, Tinder actually isn’t all that good at facilitating sexual encounters. In a recent survey, 80% of Tinder users said they failed to find a sexual partner on the app, and only 7% of users say they had more than one sexual encounter thanks to Tinder.

If you’re looking to get laid, you may be better off on a straight-up hookup site where everyone is at least on the same page.

Hookups & Sex
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When it comes to arranging hookups, BeNaughty is fast, easy, fun, and safe. This dating site has built a (read more)

  • A global network of naughty singles over 18
  • Ability to blur nude and explicit content, if desired
  • Advanced search filters and one-on-one messaging

BeNaughty is a free dating platform where swiping quickly escalates to chatting and hooking up. You don’t need to create a mutual match to message people on BeNaughty — and you don’t need a paid subscription either.

As a free hookup site, BeNaughty appeals to daters who know what they want and aren’t willing to jump through a lot of hoops to get it. You can use the search filters or swiping tools to discover local dating profiles, and then you can click Like or Chat to get in touch.

BeNaughty even offers pre-written flirty messages that you can send to everyone who meets your match criteria, so nothing stands between you and a hot date.

Hookups & Sex
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Registering for an account on Adult Friend Finder (AFF) is like speeding into the fast lane of the online (read more)

  • One of the largest adults-only sex communities
  • Free and fast registration process
  • Dating forums and live chats foster live flirtation

Adult Friend Finder has over 100 million profiles in its database, and it proudly supports the world’s largest sex and swinger community.

As a sex-positive site, Adult Friend Finder welcomes singles, couples, and groups who want to arrange one-night stands, threesomes, hookups, orgies, and other erotic encounters. Anyone over 18 can create a profile and start mixing things up in this sexually stimulating environment.

The AFF community has been around decades longer than Tinder, and it can offer a world of flirtatious opportunities through its dating forums, live video broadcasts, and member blogs.

Hookups & Sex
★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

FriendFinder-X offers sexy singles the gratifying experience of meeting hot dates within a few clicks. This (read more)

  • A casuals personals site for singles, couples, and groups
  • Profiles have suggestive photos and strip tease videos
  • Chat live via a two-way webcam or private messaging

Last but certainly not least, FriendFinder-X is among the best hookup sites for singles and couples of all sexual orientations. The site facilitates local matching (much like Tinder) and encourages people to let go of their inhibitions in private chats and videos.

FriendFinder-X doesn’t have as many scruples about its photos as Tinder, so you’ll often see revealing snapshots and even nude pics on this database. Plus, FriendFinder-X allows members to exchange photos privately, and they can engage in video chats to see if their online connection is the real deal.

Does Anyone Still Use Tinder?

Um. Yes. This is freakin’ Tinder we’re talking about. The dating app that invented swipe-based matching and won over a generation of online daters.

Tinder launched in 2012, and it’s still growing and building momentum as a top dating app. A big part of Tinder’s staying power lies in its ability to woo young singles (over half its members are under 25, according to the site) and provide plenty of opportunities to match, flirt, and date without making a huge commitment or spending a bunch of money.

Tinder currently facilitates over 1.5 million dates per week, and it has nearly 6 million subscribers, making it the highest grossing non-gaming app in the world.

Is There Anything Better Than Tinder?

Sure! Cake is better than Tinder. A sunny day at the beach is better than Tinder. Self-love is better than Tinder. However, when it comes to online dating, this app is undeniably the best of the best.

Tinder offers a great dating experience for casual daters, and it’s pretty good for short-term dating as well, but some relationship-driven dating sites and apps can offer a better experience if you’re serious about meeting a soul mate.

For instance, Match.com takes a more mature and slow-paced approach to matchmaking.

For Women
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Match has become a trusted name in the online dating industry by catering to quality singles looking for love (read more)

  • In-depth matching appeals to women with high standards
  • Only premium members can send private messages to one another
  • An established singles network in 24 countries worldwide

Match is better than Tinder if you are over 30, looking for a real relationship, and burnt out on swiping. Its quality-over-quantity matchmaking can also be better for singles who are overwhelmed by too many incoming matches and messages.

What Other Apps are Like Tinder?

Hinge is very similar to Tinder in that it uses swiping to connect young singles. However, the Hinge dating app promotes deeper relationships and has a high success rate when it comes to turning first dates into second dates.

On Hinge, users must comment or like something specific on the profile to create a match, and that often leads to more substantive conversations and promising matches. Hinge also has more in-depth profiles with six photos and three personal prompts that showcase a person’s sense of humor, values, goals, and personality quirks.

Is Bumble Better Than Tinder?

That depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Bumble doesn’t have as many members as Tinder — 81 million on Bumble versus 340 million on Tinders — but the Hive does have a better reputation for facilitating gender equal relationships and promoting the interests of single women.

For Women
★★★★ 4.4/5.0

Bumble has embraced its role as the world's feminist dating app. The app launched in 2014 with the unique (read more)

  • A female-friendly dating environment puts women in control
  • Zero tolerance for bullying, misogyny, and rude behavior
  • Conversations expire in 24 to 48 hours

Even though Tinder has made an effort to become more female-friendly in recent years, it doesn’t quite measure up to Bumble’s high-integrity and quality-driven matchmaking that literally puts women first.

Bumble’s reputation as a feminist dating app has struck a chord with serious daters around the world. Over 90% of Bumble users are looking for a long-term relationship or marriage, and fewer than 4% say they’re interested in a hookup.

To summarize: Tinder is better if you just want to date around, but Bumble is better if you’re hoping to find love online.

You Can Join Tinder or Find an Alternative to #SwipeLife

I’m sure our Tinder review and dating site rankings have given you a lot of food for thought, and hopefully all these stats have clarified why so many people continue to look for dates and relationships on Tinder.

Despite the ghosting and dick pics, Tinder remains one of the most successful and useful dating platforms for local singles seeking romance, and our dating experts consider it a no-brainer option if you’re single and under 35.

However, if you’re looking for a more mature dating experience, you may want to branch out and join dating sites for 30-somethings, for 40-somethings, or for seniors. There are tons of Tinder alternatives at your fingertips, and you can create multiple free profiles to up your odds of meeting someone special. Good luck!