Tinder Gold turned my swiping experience into a nearly endless buffet of dudes

Tinder Gold turned my swiping experience into a nearly endless buffet of dudes
Tinder Gold will cost you — but it comes with some interesting perks. Tim Mulkerin/Mic
Tinder Gold will cost you — but it comes with some interesting perks. Tim Mulkerin/Mic
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On Tinder, there’s nothing like the flood of dopamine you get when you swipe right on someone you think is cute and watch the screen morph into a confirmation that they swiped right on you, too. That mystery, the grade-school-like feeling of “Do they like me too?” has always been core to what makes Tinder Tinder. Until now.

Tinder is rolling out a premium paid version of the app called Tinder Gold that lets you filter out everyone except for people who have already swiped right on you. Therefore, instead of swiping on people who may have already swiped left on you, you just get to pick and choose from a list of people who already think you’re hot stuff.

Here’s what it’s like to use:

Instead of swiping on individual profiles, Tinder Gold lets you accept or reject people who have already given you the thumbs up.
Instead of swiping on individual profiles, Tinder Gold lets you accept or reject people who have already given you the thumbs up. Tim Mulkerin/Mic

Other people on the app don’t seem to have any way to identify you as a Tinder Gold user — and therefore have no idea that you can see the fact that they’ve liked you, creating potentially creepy power imbalance.

And access to this new feature is pretty damn expensive, to boot.

I’ve been testing out Tinder Gold for the past few days and, quite frankly, I’m not convinced this is a feature the average person will really need or care about. If you’re looking to infuse your Tindering experience with some fresh faces, there’s a different alternative you probably haven’t ever tried.

Is Tinder Gold worth the dough?

First things first: Let’s talk money. If you want to access to Tinder Gold, you’ll have to cough up $14.99 per month. You can bring that monthly cost down to $6.92 per month, but you’ll have to commit to a 12-month plan — which means you’ll be paying $82.99 in total.

In case you didn’t know, Tinder already had a paid version called Tinder Plus, which costs $9.99 per month. Tinder Gold is an even more expensive version of that, which means you have to tack on an additional $4.99 per month.

Here’s how it all breaks down:

Tinder Gold is an even more expensive version of Tinder’s paid service.
Tinder Gold is an even more expensive version of Tinder’s paid service. Tim Mulkerin/Mic

For those of you who are used to swiping for free, this pretty significant paywall might be enough to turn you off right away. If you could just pay $4.99 per month for access to the list of people who like you, I could see that being worth it — but charging users $14.99 a month is a big ask.

But for those of you with extra money to throw around, it might be worth it (and also, hello, please take me out to lunch).

Instead of burning money on Tinder Gold every month, just buy a few boosts

Interestingly enough, my time with Tinder Gold introduced me to boosts, a feature I thought was some kind of snake oil scam, but that actually had a way bigger impact on my experience overall.

With this feature, your profile will pop up first on other people’s phones in some nebulously sized radius around you for the next 30 minutes.

Since Tinder Gold comes with one free boost per month, I activated mine at about 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday to see what would happen. In that short time, my notifications blew up. In total, about 40 people swiped right on me over the boost’s lifespan. To give some perspective, I usually get between one and three “like” notifications per day.

The people of NYC are buying what I’m selling, apparently.
The people of NYC are buying what I’m selling, apparently. Tim Mulkerin/Mic

If your Tinder experience has been getting a little stale, these boosts might be the answer — and it’s a lot cheaper than subscribing to Tinder Gold, because you can buy them piecemeal. Five boosts will cost you a total of $15 — the same price as a month of Tinder Gold — but you’re not locked into any kind of monthly subscription.

So, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to upgrade to Tinder Gold — but just be prepared for the fun, flirtatious, gameified mystery of swiping on strangers who may or may not like you back to essentially vanish. Instead, you’ll just be picking from a menu of potential suitors who have no idea that you saw their swipe ahead of time. If I’m being honest, that’s a little weird.