Why it’s Pointless to ‘Game’ Dating App Algorithms

A new column from Insider explores how dating app users are trying to ‘game’ a platform’s algorithms to find better results. The analysis explains why this tedious process might actually be a waste of time.

An anecdote from Insider reporter Julia Naftulin shares how a Hinge user tried to manipulate the dating app’s algorithm following the advice of a TikTok video. The advice included rejecting recommended profiles, supposedly leading to greater profile exposure and more desirable potential matches

This process can be boring, time consuming, and with no guarantee of success. 

This is just one of the ‘hacks’ that have circulated online as singles attempt to make dating platforms work for them. While these tactics may seem silly, they demonstrate a lack of trust or belief in the efficiency of dating app algorithms.

Naftulin writes that she regularly hears pitches from dating app founders who believe they have created ‘the’ best algorithm out there. But she adds that this is meaningless, as a “dating app is just a machine, and a flawed one at that”.

“…life is way too full of possibility to funnel all of yours into a tech bro’s invention. That’s why more singles should look at dating apps as one tool, but not the only tool, for finding a worthwhile match”, she explained.

Instead of relying on algorithms, which can be out of someone’s control, she advises singles to get out there and form offline connections when casual dating app swiping begins to feel like too much work.

While it’s normal for users to feel some frustration in their pursuit of love, trying ‘game’ the algorithim is tedious and may just increase a user’s dissatisfaction.

A holistic and healthy approach to dating, like the one Naftulin outlines, may be a more effective strategy for singles looking to improve their dating outcomes.

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