Tinder users are unaware of it, luckily for the ego of some, but the dating app gives them all a rating of “desirability”. Tinder CEO Sean Rad confirmed to the site Fast Company.
Named “Elo score”, like the ranking used to assess chess players, this rating is not only based on the user’s photo. It is established using a “complicated” algorithm, explains the manager. “It took us two and a half years to design this algorithm because many factors are taken into account.” It’s not “just the number of people selecting your profile,” he says, without giving more details on how this tool works.
But we can imagine that the elements that we include in his profile (whether we mention his job or not for example), the number of profiles that we refuse or appreciate are part of it, just like the type of photo that we use.
Tinder Vice President of Products Jonathan Badeen compares this algorithm to the Warcraft video game: you gain more points by fighting a high-level opponent than a weaker opponent. For him, this algorithm is “a fast and precise means” of proposing profiles which can “match”.
Tinder is obviously not the only high-tech company to rate its users. Airbnb or Uber do the same. The VTC company thus allows its passengers to rate their driver … and vice-versa. “The rating system ensures that passengers and drivers are respectful of each other,” said Uber last fall.
That said, as nuanced and precise as Tinder’s algorithm is, what makes a person “desirable” on the app is the vast voting system on which it is built. Whenever a user swipes a profile to the right, they say “this person is more desirable than another”.