19 Dating App Hacks Every Right & Left Swiper Should Know

It's hard to remember a time, not so long ago, when dating apps were taboo. They were the apps you didn't talk about, turned off notifications for, and hid within a folder on your phone's homescreen. Now, of course, they are the norm. Open The New York Times Sunday wedding section each week, and you're sure to read cheesy stories about couples who have met on Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, and so on. All are uplifting reminders that you can find true love online in the same places that you can find a one-night stand — talk about the ultimate twist on a Garry Marshall rom-com.

Of course, if you are or have ever been online, you know that the experience is far from rom-com magic. You swipe, you match, somebody will message, and then the conversation stops. Or, if it does continue, it stays on screen and never leads to an actual date. And even if there is a date, you've probably heard people who found a partner online talk about how they had to go on "like, a thousand dates" before finding "the one."

With these challenges in mind, we've compiled the best dating app tricks and tools to help you get more matches, make your profile stand out, and avoid being catfished. Click through and swipe on.

This article originally ran on November 18, 2016 at 4:20 p.m.
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Photo: Tinder.
Crowdsource Your Profile Photos

Need help deciding which photos deserve a spot on your profile? Get opinions from friends using Tinder's iMessage app, Tinder Stacks. Within iMessage, you can create a "stack" of photos from your camera roll. Text this "stack" to friends, and they'll be able to easily swipe left or right on the pictures they like. Then, you can use their thoughts to make an informed decision.
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Photo: Courtesy Tinder.
Swipe On The Big Screen

Tinder wants to make swiping a family activity — or, at least, something to do with a group. Now, you can swipe on Apple TV with the Apple TV remote. When you match with someone, you continue the conversation via your phone, so that part stays private. But now, friends can weigh in without having to huddle around your phone.
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Photo: Courtesy Tinder.
Have More Options
Tinder has finally become more inclusive of every gender identity. Now, when you go to your profile settings, you can choose "More" and type in the identity that best describes you.
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Photo: Tinder.
Be A Matchmaker
If you see a share icon while swiping on Tinder, consider yourself one of the chosen ones: The app is testing out a matchmaker feature with some of its users. If the tool is added for good, you'll be able to send a link of someone's profile to a friend, who can open the link and swipe left or right.
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Photo: Zoosk.
Figure Out What You Want
Whether you're on a dating app in search of a serious relationship or just a casual fling, be transparent about what you want. In your bio, make sure whatever you write is reflective of what you're looking for, so you get matches who want the same.
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Photo: Tinder.
Let The App Pick Photos For You
If you've ever had trouble figuring out which photo to put first, let Tinder decide. First, go to your profile settings and toggle on Smart Photos. From there, the app automatically rotates the order of your photos and uses an algorithm to determine which order gets you the most right swipes.
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Photo: Bumble.
Add A Filter
During campaign season, Bumble launched political filters. Now, post-election, there are drink filters. Just go to your profile, and swipe right to see the options available. There are ones for smoothies, wine, whiskey, sparkling water, and coffee, so you're sure to find something that fits your personality.
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Photo: Tinder.
Expand Your Dating Pool
If you're planning a trip to Paris and hoping to meet someone who can show you around the most romantic city in the world, it's worth subscribing to Tinder Plus. A monthlong subscription gives you access to Passport, a feature that lets you change your location to anywhere abroad. This means you can match, chat, and make plans with people before you get there. Passport is also how people matched with Olympians during this summer's Rio Olympics.
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Photo: Tinder.
Or, Adjust Your Location Settings
If you're not interested in long distance and don't have an upcoming trip, keep your distance settings on the lower side. If you run out of nearby matches, you can always increase your mileage, but keeping the location range smaller increases your chances of meeting someone nearby — and makes it easier to plan a date.
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Photo: Tinder.
Show Someone You Really Like Them
If someone really catches your eye on Tinder, let them know. Press the blue heart on the bottom right to send that person a Super Like. According to Tinder, you're three times more likely to match with that person and have a longer conversation with them than someone you just right swipe on.
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Photo: Tinder.
Get A Boost
Tinder's recently expanded Boost feature puts you in front of the swipe line. For $3, you can make sure your profile is seen by 10 times the number of people as it usually is. A boost only lasts for 30 minutes, so choose your timing wisely.
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Photo: Bumble.
Extend Your Time
On Bumble, where matches expire after 24 hours, you can use the Boost tool to get an extra day. Spending $10 for one month of Boosts will also let you rematch with expired matches.
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Photo: Bonfire.
Get Additional Matches
Bonfire is an app designed to increase your match list on Tinder. Once you've downloaded and synced it with your Tinder account, you'll see anyone who has already liked your profile and have the option to match with them. Plus, you can look back through your own "like" history.
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Photo: Stud or Dud.
Do A Background Check
We've all seen Catfish. Stud or Dud is a free app that combats catfishing by allowing you to make sure that a match is the real deal. You can search a match by name, email, or phone number. Add your location, and you can see if said person has a criminal record, as well as their age and marital status.
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Photo: Bumble.
Verify Your Photo
Bumble's new "catfish-killing" technology lets you take extra precautions by verifying your photo — and seeing which matches have verified theirs, too. All you have to do is press the verify button on your profile, mimic a pose shown in a photo, and send that photo to Bumble administrators. They review the photo and give you speedy verification (or, let you know if you need to retake the image).
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Photo: Tinder.
Say It With GIFs
A GIF can be worth a thousand words — and can add some humor to your messages. To find the perfect one for the sentiment you're trying to convey, just tap the blue GIF box to the left of your message bar.
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Photo: Tinder.
Link Your Spotify Account
Sharing music tastes with a match isn't a must, but it does give you something else to use as an icebreaker. Go to your profile settings in Tinder or Bumble and link your Spotify account. From there, you can choose which artists you want to show up. So no, you don't need to let matches see all your guilty pleasures.
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Photo: Tinder.
Double Date
Tinder Social is a good way to go out with friends but also meet new people and potential new matches. First, go to your settings and turn on "Show me on Tinder Social." Then, on your main swiping screen, toggle over from the flame logo above your profile photo to the friends symbol. Doing so puts you in Social mode, where you can create a group with friends and chat with other groups about meeting up.
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Photo: Tinder.
Open With A Conversation Starter
It doesn't get more basic than this. When it comes down to it, no matter how many boosts or premium settings you try, a successful match is all about the conversation. Your chances of getting a response to "Hey, what's up?" are slim. Stand out and show off your smarts with an engaging question about something in your match's profile or a reference to something that's happened in the news that week.
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