You might not have known this if you’ve used popular dating app Tinder, but the service secretly calculates a score that ranks the most (and least) desirable people swiping on the service.
And every single Tinder user has a score.
In an article for Fast Company, reporter Austin Carr was interviewing Tinder founder Sean Rad, who let him know this wasn’t some urban myth. In fact, Rad went so far as to admit that not only does each user have a desirability score, but that the company spent more than two months developing the algorithm for rating people. According to Rad, it’s more than a popularity contest of which users get the most swipes or matches, or who has the more attractive photos, but a combination of factors that make a more complex overall view.
Still, the swipes probably have something to do with your desirability score. In fact, every time a Tinder user swipes right or left on you, that is factored into the equation – how often you are liked, versus rejected. And how many times there is a mutual swipe, versus a one-sided rejection or like. Then there are the more intangible factors, like career choice, words used to describe oneself in a profile, and educational background.
Carr got to look at his own desirability score, which was just slightly above average to his dismay. He cautioned his readers to avoid looking at their scores, as they could potentially end up even more self-conscious daters than they were already. Tinder wouldn’t give him any details besides a top line number of how he compares to everyone else using the app. Tinder does have more detailed breakdowns and analyses, but they chose not to share.
While it might be interesting to learn your Tinder desirability score, it doesn’t help if you end up on the lower end of the spectrum. It certainly doesn’t mean anything in terms of your ability to connect with that one special person – people are attracted to one another based on that intangible known as chemistry, for one.
Also, people have a wide array of tastes – what might seem attractive to one Tinder user might turn off another. OkCupid discovered this in its own study, where it researched the most-messaged users. More often than not, the ones with more unusual features tended to get more messages, and more people considered them attractive compared to those who were considered more "ordinarily attractive."
So if you are on Tinder, just keep swiping and dating without worrying about how you stack up against the competition. It’s just an algorithm, after all. For more information on this dating app you can read our Tinder review.