Tinder gets its name from, well, the word "tinder," which means anything that can be ignited by a match. Getting as many "matches" as possible with other players is the objective in its default mode of gameplay, Flames. Should you choose the other mode Flash, however, the objective of the game would be to get to this screen as fast as you can:
|Translation: You're the last man (or woman) standing and therefore the winner|
But whether you're on Flames or Flash mode, you can't just keep swiping in either direction mindlessly. You might be tempted to simply judge based on another player's appearance, but make no mistake, there are a lot of other things Tinder is challenging you to see on a player's profile, and you too will be judged based on your choices. Here are some guidelines to better help you:
- If a player's bio has any missing or misplaced apostrophes or any grammatical errors at all, swipe left.
- If the bio is in jeje-speak, for that matter—and this includes the use of sticky caps or symbol clusters previously seen only in mIRC chatrooms ('*-._.-*'=aReN't U iMprEsSed bY My tYpiNg sKiLLZzz?='*-._.-*')—swipe left.
- If a player's bio shows just one link to a social media account such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it means he or she is a tad less narcissistic and self-involved than everyone else. You may swipe right. But if the bio has links to more than one social media account, swipe left...and then have fun judging that player by his or her tweets, selfies and cross-posted Buzzfeed quiz results.
- If a player's name has a seemingly erroneous "H" in it, request a copy of his or her birth certificate or any government-issued ID. If Jhoy is not really a Jhoy according to legal documents, swipe left.
- If a player's default profile photo, or any photo in his or her collection, has either the duck face for women or the arm-raised-to-show-pit pose for men, swipe left. Come to think of it, the duck face on a guy is even more appalling, so swipe left for that too.
- If a player has a photo of him or her doing a too-serious, something-from-a-teledrama-photo-shoot pose or, God forbid, a look-I'm-holding-this-landmark-on-the-palm-of-my-hand pose, swipe left. Because any unnatural pose that makes you look like you're trying too hard means that you are trying too hard. The exception to the rule is a wacky face. But not too many wacky face shots as this indicates an inability to manage a normal smile, either due to dysfunctional facial muscles or low-self esteem, so swipe left for that too.
- If a player has more than one photo of the same shot, either the same exact one or a cropped version of it, well, there's simply no explanation for it, so just swipe left. Same goes for a collage of the same moment but in slightly different poses.
- If a player has no photo showing his or her entire face (a full face shot but with shades on does not count)—or no photo at all, for that matter—swipe left. It's a game, man! Not likely that you'll be kidnapped or talked about on gossip magazines for being on Tinder. Unless you're an actor or media personality, which brings me to the last item...
- If you're pretty sure someone on Tinder's a celebrity, snap out of your daydream and just swipe left. Ten to one they'd be swiping left on your profile anyway.
Personally, I think there's no other way to play Tinder than on Flash mode where time is of the essence. The rumors have been confirmed true: Tinder developer InterActiveCorp actually measures how fast each Tinder user gets to the finish screen and how many times that is achieved on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. They'll soon be phasing out the free version of the game to be replaced by a premium one where, like with Facebook page owners and web builders, you can monitor your performance statistics (including the trend in swiping direction) and compare it with others. I'm sure they'll be charging an exorbitant amount for it, so if I were you I'd make sure my stats are stellar now so I can impress with them later.
Have fun swiping!