Tinder is the game-changing matchmaking app that revolutionised online dating when it launched in 2012. All your single friends are probably swiping day and night to find their perfect partner, and with 25 million users worldwide we bet you know at least one couple who found love online. A whopping 26 million matches are made on the app every single day, but whether you’ve been on the app for an hour or months, Tinder can be a scary and confusing place. Do you swipe right for your ex? What should you wear in your profile picture? How the heck do you start a conversation?! We’re getting anxious just thinking about it. 

But now, matching on Tinder is about to get a whole lot easier. The latest app update introduces some seriously exciting new features, and should get you more dates than ever before. Here's what you need to know:

1. You can upload profile pictures from your phone. FINALLY! Not every Instagram snap is worthy of a Facebook profile picture, but it would still make a pretty great Tinder pic. You can finally make your selection from the wealth of private selfies stored on your iPhone, as well as Facebook images.

2. You can now send GIFs. Yep, that's right, when words just won't do, Tinder now gives you the option to send a GIF to any right swipes. This could be SO great, but also awful...

3. You can forget those matches that never speak to. Matches you speak to frequently will be kept on your main message page, but those who don't strike up conversation will be banished to a separate section.

4. More. Matches. Yep, Tinder are testing out a new algorithm to give you more compatible matches, interpreting the way you use the app to give you a better shot at love.

If you're still not sure on how Tinder works exactly, who better to teach you than Caroline Brealey of Mutual Attraction matchmaking? She’s just been named the world’s number one matchmaker by the iDate Awards (the Oscars of online dating), and is the first Brit in the history of the awards to scoop the title. Now that’s an achievement! With the UK being Tinder’s third largest market, there are clearly plenty of fish in that proverbial sea just waiting for your swipe. Read on for Caroline’s tips on how to use Tinder…

1. Download Tinder

What should I know before downloading Tinder?
Like any dating app, there’s good and bad. It’s highly addictive, and you’ll find yourself swiping day and night, especially in the first week. You might get loads of matches, but after that, people rarely strike up conversation – don’t take it personally! Just download with your eyes open.

How does Tinder work, then?
Simple – like someone’s picture? Swipe right for ‘yes’. Not interested? Swipe left for ‘no’. Only if you both swipe right will you be able to chat in Tinder Chat.

Is there any science behind all this?
Whilst Tinder must use some sort of an algorithm to help match people, it hasn’t been made official. This isn’t like serious ‘matchmaking’, as it only captures certain information about you. So far people who have carried out informal studies have unofficially found:

• Tinder favours those who are active on the site, meaning you’ll get matches which are rated as more attractive. They can tell who the ‘attractive’ profiles are by the amount of right swipes they get. The more you chat to people, the more you’ll be matched too.
• Changing your picture regularly puts you back at the ‘top of the queue’ for matches.
• Changing location will mean you’ll get a flurry of new matches so it’s worth trying out all towns close to you!
• The newer the account the more matches – a no brainer as there’s more to choose from!

2. Setting Up Your Profile

What can people see on Tinder profile?
They’ll be able to see your name, age, job title, school/ university and a selection of pictures (don’t worry, you choose them), some from Facebook as the app is linked to your profile. You can also see pages potential partners have liked on Facebook. You write your own bio, and you can choose to link your Instagram. Tinder will show you if you have any mutual friends, and automatically show you the info it thinks you will most like about your potential match  

What should my profile picture look like?
Smile and ditch the pout! You have one shot to make an impression so make it a good one. It’s always best to have a clear photo of you naturally smiling and happy and one that is truly reflective of who you are and what you look like. If you don’t have any good pictures think about getting some done or get your friends to take some good shots.

What should I wear?!
The ideal outfit is one that you feel great in but also shows you are making an effort.  Now isn’t the time to highlight your knitted cardigan selection nor should you wear heavy make up that you wouldn’t normally wear. The natural look is always better!

Should I link to my Insta account?
Don’t link to your Instagram account - the more information you give, the more people will make a snap judgment of you (rightly or wrongly) before you’ve even met.

3. Matching

What if I don’t fancy anyone at first swipe?
Be as open as possible, and remember that it’s just a photo. Take a look at the couples you know who met in the ‘real world’ - would they have swiped one another if they had just seen photos? Probably not! Attractiveness is linked to a person’s personality, how they hold themselves and making you laugh – none of this you can get from a photo. Don’t get hung up on age, height and location, either.

I've just swiped no by accident!
It used to be the case that your future love was gone forever, but the new Tinder app, Tinder Plus, allows you to rewind and correct your trigger-happy swiping finger. Tinder Plus lets you go back to your last swipe to take another look, and also allows you to scour different cities or countries for potential matches away from your current location. It'll cost you though - £3.99 for under 28s, and £14.99 if you're over 28. 

What is this new Super Like everyone is talking about?
Just like on The Inner Circle where you can send a wink to let someone know you're really interested, Tinder now allows you to swipe up (revolutionary!) with Super Like, which shows someone that you're super keen by showing them the Super Like blue star or blue banner after matching. Hold fire, though, the option is being released in Aus first, and rolled out globally later this year, but you only have a limited amount of Super Likes to drop. Be picky!

4. Messaging

So, should the other person make the first move?
Typically men send the first message in heterosexual Tinder chats. Women are starting to take the bull by the horns, though. The main issue with Tinder is that people love to swipe and then don’t chat, conversation fizzles after a few messages back and forth. There is so much pressure these days to come up with something funny and cool to say in an opening line. Asking a question is a great way to get the conversation going.

Are any topics off limits when Tinder chatting?
Keep it casual, the deep and meaningful conversations are for down the line! Chat about what you’ve been up to, how your day has been and plans for the week. Tinder is fast moving so you’re best to meet up as soon as possible.

How soon?
Chat with them until you feel comfortable to meet. Firstly it will get rid of any time wasters quickly. Don’t forget to meet in a public place!

And how do we ask to meet up?
Forget beating around the bush, ask them straight out with something in mind, like a concert or food festival. We’re all grown ups here and remember that if you want something in life you have to go out and get it – love is no different!

5. Meeting

Where should we head on a first date?
Do something fun! Endless dates at local bars wear a bit thin. Plus body language is hugely important in dating and attraction and sat behind a table doesn’t allow for it. Instead, opt for something light hearted that allows you to move around. At Mutual Attraction, we’ve had members go on all sorts of short tours from chocolate tasting to seeing cool graffiti.

6. The Ex Files

What should we do if we spot an ex on Tinder?
Swipe left! They are your ex for a reason. Don’t play in the past and don’t swipe right for any of their friends either, people will talk and you’ll only come across as needy and desperate – not a good look! Think to the future, why waste time playing games with your ex when there is someone amazing out there for you?

Are people who use Tinder more likely to cheat?
I don’t think so. Millions of people use Tinder and you can’t put them all in the same box. But unofficial and unconfirmed reports indicate that as many as 30% of Tinder users are married with a further 12% classed as ‘being in a relationship’…

But what happens if they do?
Tinder is just a tool for dating so don’t rule out all the lovely genuine people on it because of one person. Remember you can never blame anyone/thing else for someone who cheats. They are responsible for the actions, not the dating app.

How can we get over the heartbreak?
No matter what they used to cheat on you, be it Tinder, a dating site or a night out, it is equally as painful. You need to give yourself time to grieve the end of the relationship, no matter how short or long it was. Avoid dating until you’re happy in yourself and you feel ready to let someone new into your life. Take time to focus on you and don’t jump straight on Tinder to mess with someone looking for love.

7. Offline Dating

Is online dating the only way to meet someone these days?
There are more ways than ever to meet someone, and not just through technology. Whilst online dating and apps can be great for some, there are tons of people out there who prefer a more personal approach. At Mutual Attraction we are offline traditional matchmaking with a modern twist. We meet all our members, in person, before they ever meet one another. We work only with people looking for a committed relationship. In a nutshell we do all the legwork so that by the time two of our members meet, there is a much higher chance of a relationship growing.

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