Whether you love Tinder or hate it, the app remains rock-solid proof that being in one’s prime doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop evolving, growing, and expanding upon the things that are working best. In one of the app’s recent 2016 update, Tinder rolled out the “Super Like” feature. It doesn’t turn left and right swiping on its head, but it does change the game of how users interact with each other in small (yet important) ways. It may look simple on the surface, but as is often the case, there’s more going on that you might expect beneath the surface. In this brief guide, we’ll explore one of Tinder’s newest features, and see if we can’t help you to use Super Likes to improve your overall online matchmaking experience.
Color me old-fashioned, nerdy, or outright ridiculous, but when I first heard what Tinder had decided to title its new feature, the first image that passed through my mind was of Mario, our favorite Nintendo-brand superhero plumber, repeatedly bashing his fist against a piece of environmental geometry that continues to yield coin after coin. It’s a good representation of what a lot of Tinder users feel when they use the app on a daily basis. Rush through the left-swipes as fast as possible, try to hit a few “rights” on your way through the catalog, and then exit the app.
Of course, this is before I learned more about Super Likes and the way that such a small feature can help to change the tendency for Tinder to feel monotonous, after using it in the same way for weeks on end. Imagine my interest expanding, also, when I learned that the feature wasn’t going to be exclusive for Tinder Plus users, who pay for premium service and features that aren’t available to people using the free version of the app.
Let’s see if we can’t color in the lines of this intrigue, a little bit.
First, it’s important to understand the basics of how Tinder works (in the very odd case that you haven’t used the most popular online matchmaking tool that this generation has seen.) You sign up, you submit your Facebook profile, and you provide a few important matchmaking details. Who are you interested in? How far would you like to travel to meet people? Things like that. After, Tinder works its algorithmic magic and puts your profile up against others who it deems to be good “matches” for you.
After that, you’re given your list of viable matches and allowed to sort through them. As you’re browsing, you swipe left to decline the match and swipe right to show interest. Anyone that you swipe right on gets to see you on their matched list, and if you both swipe right, Tinder puts you in contact to send messages to each other.
Simple stuff, right?
The Monotony of Tinder Swiping
It’s the simplicity that often attracts people to the Tinder app (in addition to it being free), but once they’re caught up in it, the daily grind of going through Tinder matches can get to be a slog. It’s almost as if the app does its job too well, in the sense that you’re always going to have matches–depending on the population density of the area you specified upon signing up, of course.
Having only two ways of interacting with your matched list causes the entire process to become somewhat monotonous and also dangerously bland. Online matchmaking is supposed to be exciting, right? Tinder’s logo is a lit flame! What happened to the excitement that comes along with the prospect of romance?
We’re not sure, but the patterned repetition of left-swiping has become so bad that one of Tinder Plus’s premium features is built upon the tendency for people to make mistakes while left swiping. People are getting so caught up in swiping left that they often mistakenly do it to someone that they would have swiped right on. With Tinder Plus, you can backtrack by one swipe and correct such mistakes, but the larger question is why are these mistakes happening in the first place?
Super Likes give Tinder users a new way to interact with their list of matched profiles, and for people who felt their Tinder experience stagnating, it’s something of a small godsend. It’s limited in how much you can use it (which is a good thing, and I will explain why, shortly) and even Tinder Plus users can only expand its functionality so much. However, it adds a layer of nuance to the matchmaking service that isn’t hidden in algorithms, and that’s exactly what Tinder needed.
People who are using the free Tinder app now have a new way to swipe. They can use it once per day, while Tinder Plus users can take advantage of it five times per day. The uses don’t accumulate; you don’t have two uses if you skip a day.
When you swipe up on a profile, you’ve just handed out a Super Like, which is a step up from the “like” that would be indicated on a normal right-swipe. Is it a tool designed to boost peoples’ egos? Almost certainly, but the addition of this feature has had ripple effects throughout the regular use of the app. It isn’t just a new option, alone; it has slightly changed the significance of right-swiping altogether (which is scantily indicated in the commercial linked above.)
How to Use Super Likes
The actual practice of handing out a Super Like is simple. You either swipe up on a person’s profile or tap the little blue star that you see in the corner of it. Both of these actions have the same effect. After you’ve handed out a Super Like, it’ll be forwarded on to the lucky person to receive your favor, after which they’ll be able to choose how they’d like to respond.
They can swipe left. They can swipe right. They can swipe up right back at you, but that’s not exactly necessary to facilitate a conversation and possible date. Regardless of that, the hashtag #SuperLikesforSuperLikes is now a thing, for better or worse. Before getting onboard with that nonsense, do consider that you only get one Super Like per day, unless you’re a Tinder Plus user that receives five.
Your best bet for using Super Likes to the greatest effectiveness is by doing exactly as its namesake implies–only use it on profiles that you’re really invested in. You may only get one per day (or five), but that doesn’t mean that you need to use it every day. Additionally, there’s no repercussion for using the Super Like feature. When it comes down to it, if the person that you handed your Super Like over to ends up being a bust, you can end that conversation with the same ease that you would as if you’d doled out a regular right swipe.
What about if the situation is reversed? What are you supposed to do if someone sends you a Super Like? As stated above, you shouldn’t feel under any obligation to reciprocate it. If you only have a single Super Like to use in the space of a day, why would you send it back to a person who already sent one to you, when the same message can be given by a simple right swipe? The tit-for-tat behavior on Tinder is rarely a rule that leads to a lasting relationship anyway, so it’s always a better choice to use the Tinder platform economically–let your interaction with other people that you meet be your guiding light, rather than profiles, swipes, or pick-up lines (and we have covered pickup lines and Tinder fails before.)
How does it change the landscape of Tinder as a matchmaking service, though? At first glance, it looks like another, ego-boosting layer to the right-swipe system, and some users might see it that way. However, what it actually allows you to do is wade through the sea of casual left and right swipes and more quickly find meaningful relationships. I think that women probably suffer from this particular problem more than men (especially considering that men a higher tendency to right-swipe on profiles with frantic abandon.) When someone sends you their one single Super Like that they have from a day, you can recognize the fact that it’s something of a limited commodity. You weren’t the product of a right-swipe session that they went on; you were the one that they picked out of all the profiles they were matched against that day.
The end result is a more meaningful matchmaking system, and while it is certainly going to boost some egos when Super Likes are received, it’s also a sign that someone sees you as a gem amidst the monotony of mass-matched profiles.
Hopefully, our little guide has helped you not only to better understand Tinder’s newest feature but to appreciate what it can add to the Tinder experience. If you were one of those users becoming tired with the grind, the addition of Super Likes might be what the matchmaking service needed to do to bring you back! As always, we love your comments and questions, and do consider sharing this article on Facebook and Twitter!