Looking for love online but resisting an actual dating site? Instagram is the new Tinder. How Instagram became a dating platform and how to make it work for you.

Instagram is not all interiors, cute kids, holidays and fashion. It has, unintentionally we like to think, morphed into a dating platform. Cheaper than any soul-destroying dating site, Instagram is the app of choice for people wanting to fall in love. Think about it. Instagram, the app we spend all our time on, is a heavily curated visual portfolio of your life. It’s where you look good, it’s the side of you that you’re happy to promote. It also offers users a subtle way to communicate via likes, comments and private messaging. If you’re looking for a relationship, of any kind, be it friendship, work or love, this social media platform acts as the most brilliant matchmaking tool.

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Market yourself, so to speak, with casual updates on Instagram Stories, those nifty updates that disappear after twenty-four hours on top of the screen’s app. Only you get to see the lists of the people who have seen your Stories so you know who is interested in you. You can block viewers by hiding the Story from certain users so that only a select few can see your posts. This way, you can tailor your posts without anybody knowing.

If you really want to show you’re interested in someone, scroll back into their archive and like their older photos. Use an emoji, for goodness sake. That is a cyper compliment, the equivalent of eyeing someone up at the bar. Just don’t scroll too far back or you’ll end up in stalker territory.
Struggling to snare their interest? Post a thirst trap, an image or video clip designed to attract attention from someone and to elicit a response.

He, or she, may DM you or send you memes as a way of trying to nab your attention. Confident someone has taken a shine to you, the next step is direct messaging away from the beady eye of all those followers. And so we have it - cyber flirting.

In September 2017, Instagram had more than 800 million users worldwide and of those users, 300 million use Instagram Stories daily. While the algorithms behind the platform remain a mystery, the way users navigate the photo sharing site has become more sophisticated. While dating sites like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr are better known for matchmaking, they can’t offer users the same in-depth profiles as Instagram. And so you have it, Instagram takes to online dating.

January 2018