Even if Pokémon Go seems to have surpassed it in download numbers, Tinder is still one of the most efficient methods to look for fresh meat. And since the app is all about making a good first impression on someone who's listlessly swiping through profiles while taking a shit or lying in bed with a hangover, it's safe to say a lot can go wrong with those first impressions.
With that in mind, we asked girls from all over Europe what they use Tinder for, and what will get them to swipe right or left.
PAZ, 22, LONDON
VICE: What's your biggest turn-off?
Paz: A photo of them posing with something stupid like a bottle of champagne. Something that makes them look like a douchebag. I don't like it when their first photo is of them showing off already. Also, if they're sitting on a car or something trying to be cool—it's so cringe. It's like, "nah!"
What would you swipe right for?
Like maybe a photo of them smiling, having fun. I really like dogs, so if they have a puppy. Just a really laid back picture, not trying too hard. And a picture of them—not a group photo because then you don't know who's who.
What would make you want to talk to a guy?
A genuine good opening line. Not just like "Hi." More like, "What do you do?" I have a really descriptive profile, so it helps if they mention something I put in my bio. I play a lot of sports, so if they go "What kind of sports are you into?" then I'm like, this person took the time to actually read my bio. They genuinely want to find out about me, not like "hi, DTF?"
What would make a really uninteresting profile? What would make you swipe left?
A lot of guys put their heights on their profile. "How tall are you?" is probably not the first thing I'd ask. Or when people put stuff like "Going on holiday to Malaga, Malaga 2k16,"—no one fucking cares, mate!
What would make you accept a first date?
If they initiate meeting up, and if they make a genuine plan. I really like it when people are like "Do you want to go to this place? I've heard it's really nice." I don't like it when people ask you out and then try to make you decide. If they don't know where to go, do they even want to meet up?
DENISSA, 24, PARIS
VICE: How long have you been on Tinder for?
Dennisa: I'm not on it anymore, but I used it a lot last summer.
What made you download the app?
I was single, and I had just moved to Paris, and I didn't know anyone. I thought it could be cool to meet new people.
So it was not just to flirt?
No, just to meet new people. I matched with tourists, people from abroad like me with whom I could go around Paris and visit stuff.
Did you end up meeting many people?
Yes. I come from Indonesia, and I am a Muslim. I met this guy during Ramadan who wanted to convert to Islam. We stayed together for a month or so. But, apart from him, it never went farther than a first date.
What makes you want to right swipe?
I don't like blond boys. Then, even if the person is not pretty, if they've got good, artsy pictures, I'm more likely to swipe right. I work in fashion and media so photos are important for me.
Anything that pisses you off?
I am Asian, so I hate it when the guys I matched with tell me things like "I've never been with an Asian before," or "I like the shape of your mouth." I don't like the fact that they insist on it, and they just want to tick Asian girl off their bucket list. I don't give a shit that you've never been with an Asian girl, mate.
MARGHERITA, 23, MILAN
VICE: When did you start using Tinder?
Margherita: I used it last year, for a few months. I wanted to meet new people, and I was curious to see how it worked. Then I got into a relationship, and I deleted it.
And how did it work for you?
Actually, it didn't work that well. I had tens of matches, but I went out with a girl only once. She was pretty weird but mostly boring. I ran away in the middle of the date.
How often did you use it?
When I was bored: on the bus, or while watching TV at home—like all social media.
You identify as bisexual. Do you go for guys or girls on Tinder?
Basically, Tinder works like real life to me: I check out boys and girls, but at the end of the day, I go for girls.
What does a profile picture need to work for you?
Well, essentially I have to like her face and her attitude. I don't like selfies that are too sexy or provocative. I like girls who are not shy and are OK with their bodies. It's great if they feel like showing them off, but then it doesn't have to become too much. The line is often very, very thin.
Do you care about the bio?
I'd read it only if I wasn't sure about the picture.
Did you have a pickup line?
Nope, no pickup line. If I really liked someone, I'd write to them; otherwise I'd just wait to be approached. I'd try to become friends with the other person first. If they were fun to chat with, then we could go out for a beer.
LOIS, 24, AMSTERDAM
VICE: Why did you download Tinder?
Lois: I was single, and it seemed like fun. It was mostly out of boredom, but also out of genuine curiosity after hearing all the success stories. But mostly just to have something to do while taking a dump.
What did you find the most annoying thing on Tinder?
Pictures of guys with cats. That is so clearly meant to show that they also have a soft, sweet side. Surely everyone sees right through that? And boring dudes in boring button-down shirts—that's also a big turn-off.
Is there anything you do like about it?
I had a photo of myself as the McDonald's clown on there, and that got some funny reactions. One guy said, for example: "Nice McMuffins." I thought that was a good one.
Have you gotten any dates out of it yet?
Once, almost. That guy was pretty hot, but before the date he said, "I have to admit something: I did gain a bit of weight recently." And of course I'd heard the stories about guys who were a lot slimmer in their pictures than in real life, so I ended up turning him down.
IRIS, 20, BUCHAREST
VICE: How did you end up installing Tinder?
Iris: I had just broken up with my boyfriend. A friend saw that I was sad and told me to try out this app.
Did you have any luck?
I met my current boyfriend on Tinder. We spoke for the first time in January and met in person after a week. We've been together ever since.
What don't you like about Tinder?
Anyone with a smartphone can use it. I hated the fact that all these assholes think they can pick up chicks with lame pictures and status messages. You have to work at it, honey.
(LEFT) EMILY, 19, (RIGHT) PALOMA, 19, BERLIN
VICE: Emily, what have you used Tinder for so far?
Emily: I've been looking for girls but not for a relationship. I just wanted to meet new people and try to have a good time with them.
How long have you been using Tinder for?
First I used it to look for boys for about a month, but then I uninstalled it. Later, I went back on Tinder to date women. I was only on there for three days—then I met her. [Looks at Paloma]
So what does a profile have to have for you to swipe right?
If the first picture is really ugly, I won't even look at the others. But with good-looking people I always check out the rest of the pics too. With Paloma, it was the pics. They were just beautiful. No posed photos or selfies, but photos that show the whole person—the things she does and the things she likes. I also appreciate it when people write about themselves, instead of putting up a collection of corny quotes.
What puts you off?
People who are just out to get laid. I'm not a fan of manipulated photos and duck faces either.
What are some of the worst things people have said to you on Tinder?
If you're a woman seeking women, there are a bunch of girls looking for a third party for a threesome. That's weird, but it has been the only negative thing.
Paloma, how long have you been using Tinder for?
Paloma: About half a year but sporadically. Sometimes I'll spend all day on Tinder; other times I'll forget about it for a week. I'm mainly looking for sex and fun—but I have to have fun first to get in the mood for sex.
Who do you swipe right for?
I guess the criteria are pretty obvious. Beauty is key, but so is style. If a girl is really hot but a bad dresser, I'll pass. But if I see a reasonably pretty girl in great clothes, that already tells me a lot about her. I don't really care about the interests people list.
What kind of poses make for the best photos?
If the girl is hot, it doesn't matter. If she's pulling a stupid face, but she's really cute, then I don't care. But I don't like body photos that don't show the face. Those people can just jog on, as far as I'm concerned. I hate that stuff. If they can't face the camera, it shows that they're insecure.
What was the worst first message anyone ever sent you?
I was living in Barcelona at the time. One woman asked me if I wanted to come round to hers, share a bottle of wine, and fuck on her last night in town. I tried to ask her some questions, but Tinder was so slow that everything only got through to her the next day. And I probably would have said yes, actually, if only I'd been able to find out a few more things about her. So I guess it was Tinder's fault, or the network's, not hers.
KARNA, 24, COPENHAGEN
VICE: When did you first start using Tinder?
Karna: Oh God! I've been using it for like two years or something. It was definitely when it was still a new thing in Denmark. Maybe it's been three years.
Why do you use Tinder?
I started using it as a joke. Then, all of a sudden you're sitting there, shopping people. And the likes! They give you a real confidence boost.
What do you look for on Tinder?
I like them to fit a certain mould with their looks. It's kinda hard to describe—I don't want them to be too handsome, but not too ugly either. If they're too handsome, I almost know what type they are. I am like Goldilocks—I don't like them too soft, but I don't like them to be too hard either.
Do you go on a date with everyone you match with?
No, not at all. I also only date the guys who ask me out.
Do you have a type?
I like guys who are chill. I like it when they have a funny bio. And if they're doing something fun in their photos. I don't like people who take themselves too seriously.
How important is the photo and bio?
It's very, very important. Both need to really pop.
Is there a type, you would never go for?
Guys with nude photos. And too many selfies. I'm not into sports either, so I don't like the guys who post a lot of photos of that sort of stuff. It's also because I know, that we're not going to be a match.