These days, when you open up the Tinder app you’re immediately asked to link Facebook. But this tiny detail basically ruins any hope of privacy you might expect on the app. What if you don’t want your Facebook friends to know you’re on Tinder? What can you do?
Well, there are a few tiny tweaks that will help you a little here. Ultimately, there’s only one real fix. But first off, let’s show you exactly WHY you’ll want to use Tinder without your Facebook friends knowing.
Tinder & Facebook Common Connections
So, when you’re browsing away swiping left/right/left/right you occasionally see a little group icon pop up just below the person’s picture. When you click on that, you get a very useful indication of who this person knows from your Facebook friends.
“Brilliant!” you might think. You can ask your friend about them later and see if they’re cool. But just think about this a second. It goes both ways.
Another cool social feature of Tinder is the ability to say you’re going out tonight with other friends from Tinder. How does Tinder know who your friends are? Facebook, of course.
Take a look at who’s going out and the Tinder app will tell you that in order to say you’re going out, you need to nominate some of the friends you’re going out with. The list you see is of every Facebook friend who chooses to be visible on Tinder Social. Some of those will be eye-openers, for sure.
Riddle me this; how do I have a match on tinder social but I don't use tinder social?
— fiona (@cyborgsappho) October 5, 2016
But wait. When your friends tell Tinder they’re going out, they get to see your mug on the list. Yes, even if you live nowhere near them and never interact with them on Facebook, they will see your name on this list.
You’ve been outed.
Thankfully, it’s possible to hide your name in Tinder Social by tweaking your Tinder settings.
Why Is Tinder Best Without Facebook Friends?
The Facebook common connections you’re seeing in Tinder are just the Facebook friends of yours who are on Tinder. So, this is basically outing them to you as being on Tinder (and vice versa).
These Facebook connections on Tinder happen even if you’ve stopped showing your profile on Tinder for potential dates. It’s a separate thing.
Even if you wouldn’t have matched with them, due to location, age range, or sexual preferences, you still know for certain they’ve got a Tinder profile linked to Facebook. Even if they don’t use it anymore. And they know you have one.
Now think about that. What if you see one of your married friends on Tinder? You don’t know whether they stopped using their profile when they got engaged or not. But just the fact that they have a Tinder profile could be enough to cause trouble for them in the future if a well-meaning friend tells their partner.
— Tinder Problems (@TindrProbs) July 14, 2016
Also, think about your extended list of Facebook friends. This includes all family members, colleagues, old school friends, your boss, people you’re networking with for work, your local barman. Everyone. What will they think when they see your face on Tinder? Will you still look happily married in their eyes? I doubt it. You’ll have become THAT GUY (or gal) on Tinder.
And let’s not even dwell on whether you want to know who these people know in the first place. But do you really want to date someone who knows your ex? Probably not.
Tweak Your Tinder Settings
The easiest way to ensure your Facebook friends don’t see you on Tinder is to tweak your Tinder settings.
To turn off Tinder Social, head to your Tinder settings and flick the switch to Show Me On Tinder Social. This will stop long-distance Facebook friends from spotting you on Tinder. However, you won’t get invited out locally either. Well, not via Tinder.
Limit Facebook Friends Who See You on Tinder
You can’t easily limit which Facebook friends see you on Tinder, as from Tinder’s perspective it’s all or nothing. But Facebook can limit which friends see that you use this app.
Head to your Facebook Applications settings via the link from the left hand side of your newsfeed, then click on Settings. Or access it via Settings and then Apps. Then click on the pencil when you hover over the Tinder icon.
Firstly, change the App Visibility to Only Me. This won’t change anything within Tinder, but it will stop Facebook from telling people on Facebook that you’re using Tinder. And that’s something.
Next, it’s possible through these settings to limit the info you provide to Tinder about your Friends list. Just un-check the blue tick next to Friends List. Sadly, the next time you log into Tinder it’s going to force you to give that permission back to them. So, this is only a temporary measure.
In an ideal world, this would also be enough, but since your friends are also giving Tinder their Facebook data, Tinder knows that you’re friends anyway. Unless you change one more setting, that is.
Limit the Facebook Data Other People Can See
There’s another very important Facebook application setting you should probably change while you’re here. Below the list of apps, there’s a section for “Apps Others Use”. Click on Edit to adjust what information about you gets shared to the apps your friends are using, like Tinder.
Personally, the only item I leave clicked on is to let apps know if I’m online or not, because that can be useful in third-party chat apps. Other than that, I don’t really want my friends’ spammy game apps knowing much about me.
However, this STILL doesn’t solve the problem.
Stop Your Friends Sharing Your Facebook Data
The only way to entirely stop Facebook friends from sharing the fact that you’re on their friends list with their apps is to stop all apps from accessing your data. ALL OF THEM. And that’s a big step.
But it can be done. Just click on the Edit button in the Apps, Websites and Plugins section and turn it all off by choosing Disable Platform. Though sadly, by doing this you’ll never be able to log in to an app using Facebook again (Until you reverse that setting). And that includes Tinder.
Remove Your Facebook Data From Tinder Completely
Note that also in Facebook’s application settings for Tinder there’s an option to contact the developers and ask to have all your Facebook information removed from Tinder permanently. It also gives you a Tinder User ID you can use for this exchange. This is ideally what you would do if you were going to delete your Tinder account permanently and wanted no trace of your account to remain.
Make a New Facebook Account
Despite being able to minimize your Facebook profile’s visibility on Tinder, one of the best ways of being certain you’re not outed is to use a different Facebook account entirely, with a different name and profile picture that won’t give you away. But Facebook do frown on multiple accounts and will potentially delete it for you (or your real one). Just keep that in mind if you take this route.
What Do You Think of Facebook and Tinder Integration?
Does it annoy you that you need to log in to Facebook to use Tinder? Should Tinder make it optional to have your Facebook info shown in the common connections? Let us know your thoughts.