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Secrets of Tinder: how the Dating app works

It's getting harder to find love. Traditional methods of searching for romantic Dating are disappearing, and social networks and mobile apps often do not justify themselves. Tinder has gained a reputation as a service for easy one-night stands, but how realistic is it to find a relationship partner in it? Understand the algorithms of the application.


We have already published an article about the dangers of Tinder and what harm to the psyche hides in this app. This time we will pay attention to how the algorithms of this service work and how effectively they help you meet the right person.

Algorithms Of Tinder


A few years ago, the app's owners allowed reporter Austin Carr to look at Tinder's internal rating and told him some details about how the user selection process works. For example, the app uses the same rating system as for calculating the skill level of chess players. Depending on how many people liked or disliked you, you are assigned a certain rating. The more users "reject" you, the less popular you are. After that, Tinder starts serving people with the same rating, assuming that they may have the same views and lifestyle. Algorithms take into account similarities mainly in terms of appearance only, so it is not surprising that it is quite difficult to find a similar person in spirit. Even if you look like someone else, it does not guarantee the same views and interests. However, the application continues to be updated, which means that the algorithms do not stand still. In Tinder, users post not only their photos, but also share links to Spotify and Instagram, which also affects how points are calculated. There are two other factors that Tinder takes into account: location and age. The app tries to select people who match these two parameters, but the final result still depends more on the user's attractiveness.

The further away, the worse the choice of partners


When considering the main algorithms of Tinder, you can notice a paradoxical problem — after a certain limit and infinite swipes, the user is offered partners that suit him not better, but worse. At the same time, getting to another limit, you can meet someone who did not like the first time. In this way, the app allows us to reconsider our views. At the same time, the algorithms are designed to encourage users to be picky. The app makes sure that you are actually using your profile, and not just sending spam. This also makes the user's position slightly worse. On the one hand, a too great number of likes you may find a spammer, on the other, the excess "swipe left" to your profile will begin to offer users you have been denied.


An employee of another Dating service called OkCupid explains why this happens: Hypothetically, if you" swipe " thousands of people, then you will consider all possible options. Therefore, we try to put forward the best options first. In fact, this means that each time you reject a candidate, each subsequent choice becomes slightly worse than the previous one. So the longer you use the app, the worse the options get. All such apps work on this principle: Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid. Because of this, even those candidates that you rejected at the beginning remain better than those who appear at the end of the queue. This decision of developers is justified in cases when you accidentally clicked the wrong button and refused a nice candidate, and in this case, repeated demonstration of the profile is useful. An insensitive machine gives you a second chance!

Super Like


One of the most controversial features of Tinder is the so-called Super-Like. In fact, instead of mutual swipes, the user seems to declare himself to the person he likes without warning. When the user sees their profile, it will have a big blue star on it and if they like each other, they will immediately introduce them to each other. Super Like is given to users once a day, and you can only get it again if you subscribe or make a separate purchase. According to representatives of Tinder, a Super-Like increases the chances of reciprocity, since it is flattering and expresses enthusiasm. However, there is no way to check this information. What we know for sure is that when you put a "super-like", Tinder temporarily freezes the algorithm. It pushes your profile closer to the people who really liked you. This does not mean that you will get a match, but it allows people with different ratings to meet in the app space.

Excessive swiping


The app's algorithms encourage pickiness and encourage users to be more picky. For this reason, the free profile app has a limit — you can only view up to one hundred profiles per day. This is to make sure that you are really studying profiles, and not just typing random matches. Obviously, Tinder wants to arrange as many matches as possible, but the developers also make sure that the app is really useful, and the matches are real, as a result of real communication and Dating. The app tracks the moments when users exchange phone numbers, and can pretty much tell which people are using Tinder to actually find a partner, and who is sitting on the service to boost their self-esteem. If you like everyone in a row, the app will reduce the number of your matches and show your profile to fewer other users.

Tinder's real problems


However, in reality, the real problems in the Dating app are somewhat far from the problems in the algorithms. The fact is that many users come there, surprisingly, not for Dating partners. According to a sociological survey, some respondents are just curious about how it all works, and for another part of respondents it is a kind of entertainment. However, the percentage of people who come to the app for real Dating and relationships is relatively small. In addition, approximately 42% of Tinder users already have a partner, which turns the app into a service for destroying relationships. In addition, these people often do not benefit the service, because they are not going to leave their partner, but still go to the app to increase their self-esteem or to learn about possible "spare options". There are many conspiracy theories that Tinder "cuts" the features of the standard free version of the app and makes it virtually useless if you don't pay for a premium account or additional options such as extra super likes. Problems related to the gender of users are also common. According to statistics, 62% of Tinder users are men and only 38% are women. This initially puts users in an unequal position — women can afford to be more picky, while men have to like as many ladies as possible to increase the probability of finding at least one match. At the moment, there are serious obstacles in the way of Tinder. In order for the app to meet its expectations, it is necessary to change the algorithms qualitatively, teach them to correctly evaluate user profiles, and introduce more selection criteria. Otherwise, tinder will go from a Dating app to a typical social network.

So what should I do?


Helen Fisher, a senior researcher in biological anthropology at the Kinsey Institute, says that Dating apps can't change the way the human brain works. According to her, it is pointless to argue about whether the app's algorithm can increase the probability of finding a suitable partner. Helen believes that the biggest problem is cognitive overload. Our brains are not developed enough to choose between hundreds or thousands of candidates, and they boil over with too many potential partners. Fischer recommends that users focus on nine questionnaires in a single session — that's how many candidates the human brain is able to process efficiently at a time. Nine options are enough for at least one of them to be suitable. If you haven't found more than one attractive user, then it's better to pause, put down your smartphone and try again. Nine is the magic number! Don't forget that! The more you swipe, the more difficult it is for you to evaluate people and the worse Tinder algorithms treat you. Summarizing the above, you can reduce everything to a few simple tips: Don't swipe too much, be more picky and like a person only if you are really interested in them; Do not view more than nine candidates in one session, pay attention to potential partners; Don't expect super-likes — this feature is mainly designed to make a profit for developers; Don't be too worried about your ranking and the algorithms, it is better to make your profile more informative and attractive. Even if Tinder's algorithms become much smarter, it still won't make it too easy to find a partner. While the app treats love as a zero-sum game, science still says that romance is unpredictable and difficult to rationalize.


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