When Tinder released its upgraded, pay-for-perks version to iOS users, it was an immediate success. Tinder Gold shot to the number one spot in the top-grossing iOS apps within a single day; even today, more than two weeks later, it’s only dropped to number two. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people want to skip swiping on one face at a time and jump straight into a pool of potential suitors. Also unsurprisingly, I am one of those people.
My initial reaction to Tinder Gold hovered somewhere between “hell yeah lemme get in there” and “Tinder as we know it is over.” Regular Tinder is a game you play with others to see if they’ll like you back. By removing that stipulation of one swipe at a time, Tinder isn’t just watering itself down. It’s opening the dating floodgates. Still, there’s something impossibly alluring about getting a secret look at anyone who might find me attractive, so I slapped down 15 bucks and got to creeping.
With Tinder Gold, you no longer have to swipe individually to see your matches. Instead, everyone who’s liked you appears as a list of profile photos you can scroll through at your leisure. You can even even hold and swipe multiple matches at a time to speed up the process. The service also grants you Tinder Plus features like Super Likes, control over your location, and so on. You also get access to one free “boost” per month, which puts your face in front of more users than usual. (You can pay additional fees to activate this service more than once a month.)
Boosting is an effective method, almost alarmingly so. I activated my first bump on a weekday night. Within 30 minutes, my tiny match pool had skyrocketed from the teens to the thousands.
But the glee wore off quickly. With an overwhelming number of suitors at my fingertips, I found myself swiping frantically just to clear people out. “This is terrible for my anxiety!” I shrieked to no one in particular while giving myself carpal tunnel. New matches continued to filter in with festive little hearts. I pondered my own humility as I complained about having “too many matches.”
Tinder mileage may vary, but I have simple expectations. Would you like to get a drink with no intention of murdering me after? Dreamy. But the rush of people vs. a slow trickle proved to be exhausting. I had no desire to scroll through people’s profiles or their additional photos. I had more matches than ever, but little interest to carry on conversations with dozens of people. And the sudden influx of likes I got, while flattering at first, did little to reassure me I’d actually gotten real humans. One friend said they’d gotten a wave of Tinder bots, not real matches like they’d hoped.
For the hopeful romantic, Tinder offers a one-month subscription for $14.99. For everyone else, you can opt for a six-month subscription for $52.99, or even $82.99 for a year. Those who grow tired of their date buffet can still use the app as you normally would. Swipe at your leisure to procure more matches; Super Like to show your interest.
The Tinder Gold rush is a clear indicator that people want this option, but using that service has proven to be a sort of personality test for me. As a human who likes her inbox sorted and sweats profusely when given more than three options, it’s been a panic attack of Sylvia Plath proportions. I am a woman afflicted with madness, chasing dates and then balking when I finally catch them.