Contributed by: ElyseRomano Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 09:37 am
Tinder made headlines in 2016 when a Fast Company article[*1] revealed the dating app’s most closely guarded secret: every user received an internal rating that ranked the most (and least) desirable people on the platform. Then-CEO Sean Rad confirmed the existence of the algorithm, called an “Elo score” in reference to a ranking system used by chess players, but declined to go into detail.
“It’s very complicated,” he said. “It took us two and a half months just to build the algorithm because a lot of factors go into it.”
The story spread rapidly and left many users with a bad taste in their mouths. Dating app users are already subjected to judgement after judgement at each other’s hands - does anyone want to feel judged by the app itself, too? Why should Tinder get to decide who is desirable and who isn’t, or who is and is not out of someone’s league?
Two years after the controversy, Tinder is making changes. A recent blog post[*2] broke the news that the Elo score is no more. “It’s an outdated measure and our cutting-edge technology no longer relies on it,” said the post.
Without revealing trade secrets, Tinder shed a sliver of light on its current matching technology. The most important factor to consider if you want to improve your match potential is simple and entirely within your control: use the app.
“We prioritize potential matches who are active, and active at the same time. We don’t want to waste your time showing you profiles of inactive users,” explained the post. ”Using the app helps you be more front and center, see more profiles and make more matches.”
The updated algorithm also takes proximity into account. Tinder profiles are notoriously sparse. A few personal details and a user’s current location are all that is required to start swiping. The closer you are to a match, the more you may have in common and the more likely you may be to meet in person. That’s good news for Tinder and, hopefully, good news for you.
There’s also information the algorithm doesn’t consider. In an effort to discourage stereotyping, or worse, demographic details like income and ethnicity do not factor into the matching system. And as for attractiveness, the Elo score has been laid to rest, but it’s still important for Tinder to make educated guesses about compatibility based on users’ swiping behavior.
“Our current system adjusts the potential matches you see each and every time your profile is Liked or Noped, and any changes to the order of your potential matches are reflected within 24 hours or so,” Tinder said.
So if you’re hoping to game the system, your preferences and location matter, but the most meaningful thing you can do to conquer the algorithm is be an engaged and active user.
Tinder has made over 30 billion mutual matches since launch. According to their press page Tinder profiles also gets 2 billion views per day from 190+ countries which results in 26 million matches a day, and 1 million dates per week for their members. On Google Play the Tinder app has been downloaded more than 100 million times. Want to find out more? Read our Tinder review or check out our Tinder Facts page.