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5 Ways the Tinder Algorithm Can Work for You

A girl looking at Tinder on her phone, trying to figure out the Tinder algorithm as her cat looks over her shoulder.

Remember a time when social media was simple and didn’t involve mathematical and computer-based equations? And remember a time when dating was also like that? Granted, dating has always been a bit confusing, but the word “algorithm” rarely if ever entered the dating world’s lexicon. But these days, dating and social media and everything else all comes back to that tricky algorithm. Facebook and Instagram have algorithms, Twitter has an algorithm, and yes, the majority of dating apps have an algorithm.

The Tinder algorithm is something that can really work for you, if you understand it. If you want to give yourself the best chances, here are a few key things to know about everyone’s favorite dating app.

If you’ve never used or heard of Tinder before, basically it’s all about swiping. Once you create your profile, you’ll be shown the profiles of other people you’ve specified that you’re interested in, usually by sexual orientation. If you’re interested in someone, you swipe right on their profile. If you’re not, you swipe left. If you really, really like them, you can swipe up once a day. (That’s called a Super Like.)

Of course, there is a direct messaging feature for people you match with too. If you match with a person, it means you’ve both swiped right on each other. You’re both interested! And you can take it from there in the messages, or even your own texts.

But, there’s more to it than that.

Just like with social media platforms, algorithms help keep users interested. If there wasn’t a formula to Tinder, it may not be as successful as it is. Tinder has what some people call a “desirability score.” As Fast Company reported previously, everyone who’s using Tinder is assigned an internal rating. Tinder itself is scoring people as more or less desirable, not solely based on attractiveness, they insist. Though Tinder is vague about what everyone’s “elo” score is, it may be based on photo quality, number of swipes, and thoroughness of profile. It’s stressful to think about, but there is a way the algorithm can work in your favor.

It can show you more desirable people.
If the Tinder algorithm is really based on desirability, think about what that means for your dating prospects. You’re most likely being shown the cream of the crop if you are an avid and efficient Tinder user.

It may encourage you to clean up your own profile.
Do you have outdated pictures? Out of focus shots? Too many hiking pictures and not enough close-up photos? All group pictures and no selfies? If you are feeling unsustained by Tinder’s options, try to improve your own profile. The algorithm just may inspire you to put your best face forward.

It will help you swipe more.
This one is simple. The more you swipe, the better your desirability score (probably) is. If you’re never swiping, or if you’re being too picky, Tinder is probably not going to spend a lot of time boosting your profile. Swipe away, even if you’re only kind of sure. You never know who you will meet. (But don’t swipe too much. Tinder won’t reward people who are auto-swiping on everyone like a robot.)

It can inspire you to reach out to people
Word on the Tinder street is that the app rewards people who actually message. Some people think it’s necessary to message every person they match with, even. If you don’t have the time or interest in doing that, at least try to message every other person. If you’re just swiping and matching and never messaging, chances are the algorithm isn’t your friend.

It can encourage you to open the app
Tinder rewards people who use their app. Though algorithms can be confusing, it’s not rocket science. If you use the app a lot you become an active user, which let’s Tinder know you’re going to be interacting with people who match and message you and that’s good for the app and Tinder as a company. If you have a Tinder account, use it instead of just checking it once a month, and you will be happier with your results.

Algorithms can be confusing, dating can be more so, and when you combine the two, who knows what the results will be. If you’re an active Tinder user, the more you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the app, and terminology like “elo scores,” the more successful you will be.

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