Tinder Uses Complex Algorithm To Secretly Ranks Users


Tinder is using a complex internal algorithm to rank the desirability of its users, an article by Fast Company has revealed.

The score, which Tinder’s CEO Sean Rad likens to the chess term “Elo score”, generates a secret ranking used by the app to create better matches.

And although he doesn’t reveal much about how the ranking system works, Rad says it considers more than “just how many people swipe right on you”, and is not entirely based on a person’s attractiveness.

The complex algorithm takes into account factors like user profile pictures and written bio content, to evaluate the overall desirability of a profile, and the type of user that it would appeal to the most.

The article follows Fast Company writer Austin Carr’s recent profile of Tinder, in which he speaks to Rad about the trouble he faced after an interview with the London Evening Standard quoted him discussing “un-CEO-like topics”.

In the article, Tinder’s VP of Product Jonathan Badeen compares the algorithm to that used in the game Warcraft, in that a user’s desirability ranking will increase when another user with a high ranking shows an interest in their profile.

Badeen told Fast Company: “I used to play a long time ago, and whenever you play somebody with a really high score, you end up gaining more points than if you played someone with a lower score.

“It’s a way of essentially matching people and ranking them more quickly and accurately based on who they are being matched up against.”

Carr also received an insight from a Tinder data analyst Chris Dumler, who described the secret rankings as a “vast voting system”.

He said: “Every swipe is in a way casting a vote: I find this person more desirable than this person, whatever motivated you to swipe right.

“It might be because of attractiveness, or it might be because they had a really good profile.”

During Carr’s visit to the app’s headquarters, he was informed of his own “upper end of average” desirability score of 946, however the hidden scores will not be made available to the rest of the public.

Check out the full Fast Company article here.