How many times do you have to swipe left before you can find a man in this town?
Well according to Tinder CEO Sean Rad, it’s not that you’re looking for love in the wrong places, and it’s not whether you’re considered attractive enough – it’s just that you may not be leading the score in the desirability stakes.
During a recent interview with Fast Company
, Rad admitted that the popular app, which has grown to rival other location-based dating apps such as Grindr and Scruff, uses an intricate algorithm to measure a “desirability” score, which in turn affected the type of matches that you're presented with.
Known internally throughout the company as the “Elo score”, a term traditionally used in competitive sports to rank skill level and then offer subsequent matches based on the results, Rad said the rating was not publicly available, but it was developed by Tinder engineers to help rank and match Tinder users on a range of variables.
"It’s not just how many people swipe right on you," said Rad.
"It’s very complicated. It took us two and a half months just to build the algorithm because a lot of factors go into it."
While Rad did not offer much further greater detail about the desirability score in itself, Tinder data analyst Chris Dumler told Fast Company each swipe on the app was a little bit like casting a vote.
“Every time you swipe right on one person and left on another, you’re fundamentally saying, ‘this person is more desirable than this other person’,” 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."
Tinder vice president of product, Jonathan Badeen, added the algorithm system could be compared to the mechanics of the game ‘Warcraft’.
"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," he said.
"It's a way of essentially matching people and ranking them more quickly and accurately based on who they are being matched up against."
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