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In the world of online dating, singles have a lot of options. They can use a traditional dating website, hire an online matchmaking service or, as many modern singles choose to do, sign up for a dating app.

Dating apps are a go-to option today because of their convenience. You can look for matches anywhere and at any time, whether you’re waiting in line, riding the subway or just relaxing at home. With so many niche sites and apps, there’s an opportunity for everyone to find their match, no matter their identity, orientation or preferences in a partner.

According to Statista, the number of Americans using an online dating service is expected to reach 37.5 million by 2023—and the people who are using these apps are actually having a lot of success. Nearly half of online daters in the U.S. have met or know someone who has met a romantic partner using a dating app or website.

How do dating apps work?

Mobile dating apps typically rely on geolocation, meaning it will only show you active users who are within a certain distance from your device’s current location. This gives you a better chance of finding love locally. On a traditional dating site, you might match with your perfect partner, only to find out they live across the country. With dating apps, unless the person you match with is using their app while traveling, you can be relatively certain that they live close by.

The other advantage of some dating apps is that they require users to have an active social media profile to sign up. On apps with this requirement, it’s easier to learn more about someone upfront by checking out their linked social profile.

Of the available dating apps on the market, Tinder is among the most popular and well-known, thanks to its simple and straightforward interface. Once you’ve signed up and entered some basic information about yourself, all you need to do is start swiping to find potential matches near you. The app will show you user profiles in your area. If you’re not interested, you can swipe left to dismiss the match. If you are interested, you can swipe right—and if that person swipes right on your profile, too, you’ll be able to start communicating with each other.

As of 2018, there were 57 million users across 190 countries signed up for Tinder, including 4.1 million paid subscribers. This means there are plenty of available people looking for a match, especially since 34.5% of Tinder users log on to the app daily. However, it also means it can be difficult to stand out among other users in your geographic location.

The key to attracting the right type of match on any dating app is having a profile that truly showcases who you are and what type of relationship you want. If you’re new to Tinder or just struggling to present yourself on the app, here are some Tinder profile tips to help you start getting better matches.

What makes a good Tinder profile?

On Tinder, you don’t have much real estate to make a good impression. All your photos and bio details are confined to a single screen, so finding the right images to feature and best information to include are key to crafting a good Tinder profile. These two components work together to give your potential matches a good overview of you as a person, allowing them to gauge their level of attraction to you.

It’s important to get both of these elements right. A great bio with a bad (or missing) photo or a fantastic photo with sparse or off-putting bio details could drive away an otherwise excellent match. According to online dating expert and digital matchmaker Julie Spira, poor profile photos tell others that you’re not taking the online dating process seriously, while bad bios—whether they’re essentially blank or far too long—can also be a turnoff.

5 Tinder profile picture tips

People are drawn in by visuals, so a great profile picture is step one to an engaging Tinder profile.

“There is some truth to the fact that you’re only as appealing as your worst profile photo,” said Spira.

Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing your Tinder profile pictures:

  1. Use a clear headshot-style picture as your primary photo. While it doesn’t necessarily need to be a formal headshot, Spira recommends using a photo where you’re smiling and looking straight into the camera. She also said blurry photos are a big dating profile no-no. It may seem like you don’t care about making a good impression, and it’s hard for your matches to see what you look like. 
  2.  Avoid group shots. You might think you’re showing your matches how fun you are by sharing a picture from a night out with your friends, but if your only photos are groups, your match might get confused because they’re not sure which person from the picture will show up on a date, said Spira.
  3. Only use recent photos. According to Carmelia Ray, a dating expert who runs a matchmaking and dating coaching service, any photo you upload to your online dating profile should be recent. You don’t want your match to fall in love with how you looked five years ago, only to realize you look quite different today.
  4. Use three or more pictures. Tinder allows you to upload several profile photos, so you have multiple chances to show potential matches who you are. You can and should use this opportunity to showcase yourself in different settings and share your interests through photos. A 2016 study found that bumping the number of profile photos from one to three increased the number of matches for both men and women.
  5. When in doubt, go with a more conservative photo. According to a survey by SimpleTexting, dating app users said shirtless photos (15.4%) and photos of the person partying (14.1%) were among their biggest profile photo turnoffs.

5 Tinder bio tips

Once you’ve nailed your profile photo selection, you might be wondering how to write a Tinder bio. It can be tough to condense your story into a limited space (Tinder allows for 500 characters maximum), but if you choose the right details, you’ll get your message—and your personality—across loud and clear.

Here are a few Tinder bio tips to help you craft the best impression:

  1. Fill in all bio questions. The more information you provide, the more likely you are to attract someone who’s a good fit for you. Ray recommends filling out every possible field when setting up your dating app profile.
  2. Don’t be too vague. Spira notes that profiles with very little content “aren’t taken seriously.” While you don’t necessarily need to use up all 500 available characters, give enough information to draw in a match and make them want to learn more about you.
  3. Inject some tasteful humor. The SimpleTexting survey found that nearly 30% of dating app users are most likely to respond to something that makes them laugh.
  4. Avoid clichés. Nobody wants to read that you love sunset walks on the beach, said Spira. Don’t rely on overused dating profile tropes; tell your matches about yourself in a unique way. “Instead of saying you have a great sense of humor, show it!” she said.
  5. Keep it positive. It can be tempting to lay out what you don’t want in a match, but a negative tone can steer people away from your profile. Ray advises avoiding a list of “don’ts” and “better-nots” as well as pessimistic phrases like, “I’m tired of meeting all the wrong types.” It’s more effective to say and describe what you do want in a partner.

Can a good profile encourage more ‘swipe rights’?

The most important thing to keep in mind with your Tinder profile is that anything you include should be reflective of your true self. You want potential matches to see the real you, and providing a thorough, accurate picture through your photos and bio details is the best way to do that.

Remember, there’s no such thing as guarantees or “sure things” on Tinder, but taking some steps to optimize your profile gives you the best odds of finding people who are genuinely interested in you.