Move Over Match: Instagram is Taking Over Online Dating



Many people are forgoing traditional dating sites in favor of social media, particularly Instagram and Twitter. We call these Instagram dating or Twitter dating. Dating here feels much more natural than a dating site, because you aren’t using the app for the sole purpose of dating. It’s more akin to going to a bar with your friends, and just happening to find someone to take home.

Twitter and Instagram Vs. Online Dating

It’s becoming common for people to put their Instagram and Twitter handles in their dating profiles. Why? Because our dating profiles are carefully constructed projections of who we want others to think we are. Instagram allows us to present a tastefully filtered snapshot of our life, but isn’t that what dating is like? You don’t post your bad hair days on Instagram. Instead, you put your best foot forward. Just like when you go out on a date and spend hours getting ready, thinking about what to say, etc. You are presenting the real you, just without the less attractive points.

Twitter, on the other hand, allows us to be completely unfiltered. You don’t spend lots of time thinking about a tweet. You just say what’s on your mind, which is refreshing. There is no carefully constructed version of yourself on Twitter. It’s you, talking about your everyday life.

Someone viewing your Twitter or Instagram will probably get a much better idea of who you are than someone viewing your dating profile. There’s also a backlash against dating sites that use algorithms to match you up. Research has shown that they may be effective in the short term, but that they can’t predict long term compatibility. People also want to be in control of who they consider for dating. They don’t want an algorithm to choose for them.

If dating sites make you feel like you are holding a sign saying “I’m desperate” or if you simply aren’t willing to spend the time or the money required to be a successful online dater, there is another way. Fall in love one picture at a time, or 140 characters at a time.

Instagram 101

Instagram has 700 million active users each month. If you aren’t one of them, it’s time to get into the game. First, you’ll need to download the app and create a free account.

First, you’ll need to enter your email address and link it to your Facebook account. Next, you can add a photo from your device, Facebook, Twitter, or take a new one.

Edit profile will allow you to change your Instagram handle and add a short bio if you want. You can also link to one external website. If you run a business or have a blog, you can link to it there.

Find friends allows you to follow people you are friends with on Facebook or Twitter. You can also search for people to follow by name, username, or tags. Tap the discovery tab to browse through people Instagram thinks you might want to follow.

The activity button can also help you find more people to follow. It will show you who your friends are following and the posts that they like. From there, you can check them out and hit the follow button.

Now you are ready for your first post. Tap the camera icon, and you can take a picture or video or import one from your gallery. Hit next, and you can edit your photo and add fun filters. Hit next, and you can add a caption, tag people, and share it with your other social networks. Hit share, and it’s posted to your account.

You can also mention other users by adding @their username. This is great if you want to be sure someone sees your post. You can also reply to a comment using this method.

To like a post, just tap the heart icon. Tap the bubble icon to add a comment. Tap the follow button to follow the person.

You can also send direct messages by clicking the arrow button. This takes you to your messaging screen. You’ll see any past messages. Tap the plus key to send a new message, and you can choose a recipient from anyone who you are following. You can also search for someone to message.

Using Hashtags

Using hashtags can help you get more followers, and help you to connect with other users with similar interests. Using one hashtag will give you 12% more interaction on Instagram than those without one. Adding more hashtags can boost your Instagram popularity even more.

The most popular Instagram hashtags are:

  • love
  • instagood
  • photooftheday
  • beautiful
  • cute
  • fashion

You can also use tags like #follow, #likeforlike, #followforfollow. The third, and most effective for getting followers with a common interest, is to use specific hashtags that relate to the photo you posted. For example, if you are into health and fitness, you could post a sweat selfie with #fitness, #workout, #instafitness along with a few bigger tags like #follow and #photooftheday.

Instagram Dating

There are lots of love stories about people finding the love of their life on Instagram. This shows how Instagram dating can be great. Part of the charm is that people don’t use Instagram just to find a date. They just happen upon someone they like, and things progress from there.

It’s a lot like meeting someone in line at Starbucks, striking up a conversation, and ending up dating. It flows naturally, because the two of you have chemistry. So why not consider Instagram dating? You might find THE ONE.

How to Use Instagram to Find a Date

First, you’ll need to find someone (or many someones) that you like to consider Instagram dating. You can do this in a few ways. You can look through who’s following the people that you are following. If you see someone you like, you can follow them as well.

You can also search for potential dates with the search feature and start Instagram dating. You can search by an interest you are passionate about. For people near you, you can search by place. You can search by #dating as well. This will generally bring up people talking about their dating life. However, if you see a pretty girl talking about how last night’s date didn’t go well, you may want to follow her. She has potential in becoming your Instagram dating.

You can also check out who’s following you. There may be a special someone already following your Instagram, just hoping you will notice them which takes Instagram dating to the next level.

Instagram Flirting

Instagram dating? Once you’ve found someone that you like, the first step is to follow them. This goes for people you meet on Instagram, as well as people that you meet in everyday life.

If you are flirting with someone in real life, have an upcoming date, etc., flirting on Instagram is a must. Particularly if they have made their Instagram handle available to you. If they haven’t feel free to ask. It’s the 21st century version of foreplay. The following tips apply regardless of where you’ve met your new interest.

Next, you’ll want to like a photo or two. Guys, do not like every photo of a girl in a bikini or sexy outfit, unless you want to come off as a completely shallow guy that’s just out for a piece of ass. Like a photo of them doing something they enjoy, looking happy and carefree. If they’ve posted photos of things they like, whether it’s a favorite movie, football team, or a piece of art, like that photo. It shows that you like more than just their looks which is very important if you want to take Instagram dating seriously.

Don’t go overboard on the photos, because it can get awkward and even creepy. When they post something new, like some of their new photos, but never all of them. If you can think of something cool to say, comment on a photo. Do not make a super flirty comment. Remember, everyone can see this.

If you find yourself doing something you’ve seen them doing in a photo, post it and give them a mention. This builds a feeling of shared interests and connection.

When you are commenting on something on Instagram, be playful, not sexual. A playful wink emoji will be much better received than sexual innuendo. Save the sexy stuff for direct messages. Take note guys if you want to be successful with Instagram dating.

It’s best to build a bit of rapport before sending someone a direct message. It’s like cold calling your crush and saying you got their number from a friend. It feels like an invasion of privacy. If you are following each other, you could send a direct message. If you have conversed via comments, then it’s definitely ok to send a direct message.

If you are the bold type who enjoys taking risks, you could send a direct message to anyone. There’s a good chance they won’t respond or ask who you are, but you really don’t have anything to loose.

Rules For Using Instagram While Dating

Instagram can be a great place to find your next relationship. However, there are a few dos and do not’s for safe Instagramming while in a relationship.

Consider who you are following. Is everyone you are following just eye candy? If your feed consists solely of scantily clad women in bikinis or shirtless men, this will send a message to anyone who checks out your Instagram, and that message isn’t a flattering one. You may want to consider unfollowing your ex as well.

Remember Instagram is public, so if you are in a relationship, you need to avoid flirting with the opposite sex. Don’t make flirty comments on people’s posts if you are dating someone.

Don’t Instagram your entire relationship. We all love living vicariously through others and watching a romantic relationship blossom, but please don’t Instagram the food on your first date.

You shouldn’t post pictures of the two of you together if you aren’t official. Posting a photo together is like changing your Facebook relationship status to “in a relationship with…”. It’s announcing your relationship to the world, and that’s not something you should do until you are actually in a relationship.

Instagram Dating Apps

In addition to using Instagram itself for dating, there are apps that connect with Instagram that allow you to connect and date other Instagrammers. Hurray for Instagram dating.


Nine takes your nine most popular Instagram photos and turns them into a collage. Then people swipe based on the collage much like Tinder. The concept behind Nine is that these Instagram photos tell more about your personality than one carefully selected selfie.

To sign up for Nine, just download the app and then sign up using your Instagram account. Nine will automatically generate your photo collage, but you can change the photos if you choose to. You’ll also need to add a few hashtags that best describe your personality.

Once you’ve created your account, you can start browsing through other Instagrammers Nine. If you like someone, just tap on the photo you like the most. If you don’t just swipe to pass. If you like each other, you can then message each other in the app.

Nine is free, but you can also upgrade to Nine+for $9.99 a month. Nine+ gives you unlimited likes and the ability to view other Instagram photos of anyone you are interested in.

With the free version of Nine, you can narrow your search down to those within 30 miles of you. With Nine+, you can narrow it down to 2 miles. This is a great feature if you live in a larger city where you are likely to find users within that distance. Dating someone within a few miles of you is certainly convenient which is what makes Instagram dating great.

The Nine app is available on Android and Apple devices, and it can streamline your Instagram dating experience.


Instamessage allows you to message other Instagram user privately. While Instagram itself has this functionality as well, Instamessage has other features that make it easier to find someone for Instagram dating.

You sign up using your Instagram credentials, so there’s no need to create a profile. Instagram dating? Instamessage allows you to search for people to chat with nearby, which makes it much easier to connect with people that are near enough for you to date.

You can also check out your visitors, and message them if you like. You can also send photo, video, or text messages, giving you a variety of ways to communicate.

The app is free, but some features require a premium account. A premium account is $9.99 a month. It’s available for Android and Apple devices.


Aside from Instagram dating, many people are meeting and forming relationships on Twitter. What makes Twitter better than a dating app? According to psychologist and dating expert Madeline Mason,

Twitter is designed for people to voice opinions and curate an image to share with the world. Some use it as a type of diary to keep the world informed about their lives — so followers get to feel they know that person.

In social psychology, there are three things that lead to friendship (and love): similarity, proximity and reciprocity.

Twitter connections account for similarity (you follow people you feel you have something similar with), proximity (Twitter gives a virtual sense of proximity if you tweet enough times and ‘bump into each other’), and when you go to DMs, you then start reciprocating one another’s ‘bids’ for communication.

In simple terms, Twitter has the three ingredients needed to form a relationship, in 140 characters or less. Just like Instagram, Twitter isn’t a dating site.

This makes budding Twitter relationships feel more natural and less pressured, and brings back the charm of meeting someone without that being the sole purpose of being there. On dating sites, there is the expectation of romantic relationships. On Twitter, there is no such expectation. Removing the romantic expectation also removes the pressure that prevents us from being our real selves because we are trying to impress someone. It also means that people are more real on Twitter, because they aren’t running everything they say through an “impress a future boyfriend/girlfriend filter”.

The other benefit of removing romantic expectations is that you talk to people who don’t necessarily fit into your “dating requirements”. You don’t stop DMing someone on Twitter because they are too short, too young, or don’t meet your definition of attractiveness.

You chat with them because you enjoy the conversation. Sometimes this turns into something sexual or romantic quickly. Other times, you become friends, and one day you realize that you are much more.

The possibility that things could turn into more without the pressure of feeling like a failure if they don’t is the ultimate charm of Twitter. Ambiguous intentions also make things exciting. When someone on Twitter makes your heart beat faster, you don’t automatically know if they are single, looking for someone to date, or if they are romantically interested.

You have to muddle through the same ambiguity that you do when you meet someone in real life, no profile saying that someone is looking for love or a one night stand to guide you. It equals mystery, which translates to excitement.

Twitter 101

To start using Twitter, you can download the app or use the desktop site. You’ll need to fill out your name, email address, etc. If you are using the app it will verify your account via text message. The desktop site will verify via email.

You’ll also need to create a username, which will be your Twitter handle, and a password. When selecting a username, you can be as creative as you wish. You can also use a variation of your real name. If it’s taken Twitter will suggest adding random numbers. This is a terrible idea because you want something that’s easy to remember.

Next, Twitter will ask you what you are interested in, and suggest people for you to follow. It also asks if you would like to follow anyone in your contacts who is on Twitter. If you only want to follow people you are really interested in, you can choose to skip these steps.

You’ll then want to edit your profile. It’s a good idea to add a profile picture. You’ll also have a bio box with a limit of 160 characters. If you have a website, you can add it here. You can also mention what makes you interesting.

You can also change the look of your Twitter and profile by clicking the design tab. You can change your colors and add a background image here.

Now you are ready to send your first tweet. Tweets can be about anything, from what you are doing at the moment to how you feel about the latest political news, but it must be 140 characters or less.

Twitter Speak

Twitter slang is a language all its own. Putting @(username) will give the other person a notification that they were mentioned in a tweet. It’s essentially a public message to the other person.

DM: Direct messages. This is how you send private messages on Twitter, and all the good stuff happens in the DMs. More on that later.

Favorite: Allows you to favorite a tweet. You can then go back and view it later with ease. If you are flirting with multiple people on Twitter, you may want to favorite important info so that you can keep track of who says what.

Who to Follow: Gives you suggestions as to who to follow.

Reply: A reply to a tweet. You can reply to any tweet, and your reply will be seen along with the tweet. It’s a lot like replying to a comment on Facebook.

Retweet: is simply tweeting someone else’s tweet. If you see a tweet that you like, hit retweet and it will show up just as a tweet you had written yourself would.

Subtweet: A tweet about a specific person, without a mention. The person and those who know them may know who it’s directed towards, but the general public won’t. It can be used both positively and negatively.

For example, “I had a great time last night” lets the person you went out with know you enjoyed their company without making a personal announcement about it. Saying “some people have no idea how to clean house” would be obvious to the friend you visited whose house was a disaster.

TBT, FF, and WCW: TBT is throwback Thursday, where you reminesce about the good ole days. FF is Follow Friday, and gives suggestions on who to follow. WCW is women crush Wednesday, where women talk about their favorite girl crush.

Top Tweets: The most popular tweets according to Twitter.

Trending Topics: The most popular topics being tweeted about at any given time. You’ll see these on the right side of your Twitter homepage.

Unfollow: to stop following someone’s tweets.

Twitter Hashtags

At its basic level Twitter hastags are words that describe what the tweet is about or what category it would fall into preceded by #. Hashtags are essential to the way Twitter operates, because it allows people who aren’t connected to chat about the same topic.

For example, many tv shows give users a specific hashtag to tweet about the show while it is airing, and some will even show tweets at the bottom of the screen.

There are hashtags about any topic imaginable, and you can search for popular hashtags or make your own. A few popular hashtags are #nowplaying, #win, #job, and #giveaway.

There are lots of tools out there that can help you find popular hastags, but these are mostly used for marketing purposes. If you simply want to get more Twitter followers, the Trending topics tab is a great place to start.

Other than that, tweet about things you are interested in and include related hashtags. This is also the best way to get followers (and hopefully more) who share an interest with you.

You can also do a twitter search to find the top tweets about any topic you wish. This is a great way to expand the people you are following, and it can also lead to you meeting someone special.

Twitter Dating

While Twitter isn’t billed as a dating site, the truth is that anything that brings people together and allows them to communicate, be it an app, chatroom, or even a trip to the grocery store can be used as a dating opportunity. The trick is simply to know how to go about it.

Getting a Date on Twitter

The first step to finding a Twitter date is to follow people you are interested in. In fact, you can follow anyone that you think you may be interested in, and wait for future tweets to reveal more of their personality. Or you can look at their previous tweets to see if you may be compatible.

You can find people to follow by checking out who your friends are following, searching by keyword or hashtag, and searching by location by entering your city in the search box.

You can also send out a tweet the next time you are at an event like a concert using a hashtag related to the event. You might just meet somene single at the event as well through your Tweet.

You can also comment on a few of their tweets. Stick to things that genuinely add to the conversation or invite farther conversation between you. Do not comment on their looks until you’ve had some sort of conversation, even if it’s just previous Twitter comments.

It’s the equivalent of walking up to a girl on the street and your first words being “that outfit looks sexy on you”. You’ll probably get slapped in real life. On Twitter, you’ll get ignored at best, and banned at worst.

Mentioning that you share an interest she’s tweeted about, or that it drives you crazy when people drive slow in the passing lane, too. Find some common ground in one of their tweets.

The other method is to ask a question based on their tweet. This can spark a conversation. People, particularly women, are much more comfortable talking to strangers in public. Twitter comments are public, so ladies are more comfortable having a nice chat about their interests.

Retweets and favorites are another way to show your interest in someone without being high pressure.

A conversation should spark a follow, if they aren’t following you already. Be careful about what you tweet. For example, if you are trying to get someone to like you, you shouldn’t mention the date you went on with someone else last night. Use common sense, but be yourself.

Once you are following each other and have at least exchanged a few comments, you can send them a DM.

Another way to flirt on Twitter is to write tweets or use hashtags that can be seen as dirty or innocent. There are many ways to do this. Ladies can always say your pussy got wet because you left your cat outside, or maybe they really had a mouthful at lunch. Men are you a cunning linguist? Double entendre is literally only limited to your imagination and how dirty your mind is. The more creative it is, the better.

Twitter Don’ts

There are some things that you just don’t do on Twitter. First, don’t be a Twitter stalker. Most people don’t intend to ener annoying stalker territory, it just happens. You comment on their tweets, mention them in your tweets, retweet them (alot) and the next thing you know, they ban you.

When you are trying to get someone’s attention, follow them, comment on a tweet and favorite or retweet a few of theirs. And then stop. Wait for them to give you some indication that the interest is mutual. If you want to play it really safe, you can simply follow them and wait for them to follow you back before you go farther.

Do not send a DM to someone you’ve never chatted with, unless something in their tweets suggests that they are looking for some rando DM sexting. If they appear to be a normal person, remember that you are a stranger. Start in public before moving to DMs.

Do not follow only models, porn stars, or anyone who frequently appears with little clothing. A few of these are fine, but for goodness sake show some interests besides sex.

Do not post too many negative tweets. The occassional friviolous vent is ok, but this is Twitter, not a therapy session. Keep serious problems like family or financial issues to yourself. Twitter isn’t the place.

Don’t use the eggplant emoji. Ever. Even if you are at home eating an eggplant, just don’t. Don’t post things that make you look like a sex crazed maniac or a player, either.

Don’t take it personally if someone isn’t interested or  doesn’t follow you back. There are plenty of Twitterfish in th esea.

Do be yourself. Use Twitter to show your personality and connect with others with like interests.

Do have fun. Keep things light and fun.

Twitter Dating Sites and Apps

There is one app devoted to Twitter dating. It also connects with a website that can analyze your personality, or anyone else’s, based on your tweets.

Analyze 140

Analyze 140 claims to show you someone’s personality based on their tweets. They also claim that they have scientific research backing up that the words and phrases you use on the site reveals a lot about your personality.

They give you about 30 different categories in an easy to read bar graph showing the users propensity for each trait, including happiness, friendship and sexually focused.

You’ll also see a psychology snapshot, going more in depth about the person’s most important personality traits. They also give you actionable tips about how to start a conversation with the person, called chat-up advice.

The website is completely free, and all you need is a Twitter handle to perform the search. The site is partnered with LoveFlutter, but you can use it without having a LoveFlutter account.

Love Flutter

Love Flutter is the only dating app that intertwines with Twitter. It’s best to have a Twitter account to get the most out of Love Flutter, but you can sign up with Facebook as well.

When you sign up, you’ll link your Twitter or Facebook. Then you’ll enter your name, email address, birthdate, and a fun fact consisting of 140 characters or less. Consider this carefully, it’s important.

Then something amazing happens. You start seeing potential matches. No hour long profile required. No filling out search filters. Instant matching.

It is advisable that you go to edit your profile and add a photo before you begin matching. You can also add personal details like politics, religion, children, etc., but you don’t have too. If you sign up on the desktop site (recommended), you can add your interests and an about me section as well.

You can also change your settings if you wish. By default they are set to profiles within 25 miles and 18 to 35. You can also choose to look for the same sex if you want.

Sounds a lot like Tinder, right? Yes and No. When it comes to ease of use and swiping, yes Love Flutter resembles Twitter. However, Love Flutter wants users to connect on more than a superficial level.

When you see a profile on Love Flutter, their picture is blurred, and their fun fact is front and center. The first thing you notice about someone is a little tidbit of who they are, not what they look like.

You can like or pass, or you can tap the person icon to view their profile. Here you’ll see their photo, their last ten tweets, and any personal details they have chosen to give out. You’ll also see if you have any mutual friends.

The profile is simple and the tweets can say more about you than a long winded dating profile. It’s simple. It isn’t overwhelming, and it’s fun. The most surprising part is that these 140 facts give you insight into the person’s personality. They feel real and genuine.

If you match with someone, you are then free to send them a message. Love Flutter really becomes your wingman at this point. They will give you reminders and tips if you haven’t messaged your match yet.

You can also set up dates right in the app. Love Flutter will even suggest dates and locations based on the personality of you and your date. You can set up what you’ll do, when you’ll do it, and where right in the app. This can streamline the online to offline process. You don’t even have to exchange contact information before meeting in person if you don’t want to.

Love Flutter focuses on meaningful relationships, but nothing prevents it for being used for hooking up as well. Particularly if personality is an important part of sexual attraction for you. It’s available as a desktop site, and an app for Android and Apple devices.

Twitter and Instagram are changing the online dating world. You can skip the time consuming profiles and expensive memberships, and meet people using sites and apps that you are probably on anyway. That’s Instagram dating and Twitter dating for you!

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