Newly single? A beginner’s guide to the best dating apps


Swiping singles are big money – it is estimated that the dating market is worth $12bn (£9.3bn) globally. But how do we navigate the glut of options available to help us find love? With about 25 million people in the US alone thought to have regularly used dating apps this year, the sea is stocked with fish aplenty – so should we Bumble, Tinder, Happn or perhaps Grindr our way to success?

Tinder

What is it? The most popular and enduring of the first wave of dating apps, Tinder was founded in 2013 as away to help US students meet each other; in other words, a social network for friendship as well as dating. By 2015, however, Tinder had moved far beyond the campus and was registering a billion swipes on the app every day (left for “no”, right for “yes”), with users spending an average of 90 minutes a day scanning through their geographically defined options. Despite having added“super-likes” and paid-for profile consultancy, the app has become known for one simple reason: hooking up.

How do I use it? All you need to do is upload some (ideally well-lit) photos. Personal information can be as minimal as you want it to be, although men may want to be judicious in their use of dog pics: some users were accused of “dogfishing” – posing with furry friends in an effort to attract more dates – on the app.

Who will I meet? Tinder is where you are most likely to find anyone and everyone in your local area: the person you see on the train platform each morning who you swear wears a wedding ring; the primary-school friend you lost touch with 15 years ago; your boss; or maybe your ex. Either person can make the first move to start a conversation on the app, so it is anyone’s game.

Word of warning If you meet “the one”, merely removing the app from your phone won’t be enough to delete your profile – you will still be roaming the ether looking for love. You have to delete your profile as well as the app to be fully off-grid.

Use it if you are looking for … a late-night rendezvous.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 02/12/19]