Jan 11th, 2016

Tinder screenshots

Tinder is one of the hottest dating/hookup apps on the planet and whether you’ve used the app or not, you probably know how it works. Open the app, and you’re presented with the photos and profiles of potential mates, swiping left or right based on whether or not you like what you see. It’s simple, yet effective, and probably the reason why so many enjoy using the dating service to meet others. But did you know that every time someone swipes left or right on your profile, Tinder is keeping score?

That’s right. Tinder actually assigns each and every user a “desirability score” based on their own internal rating system. This rating — known internally as the “Elo score” — allows Tinder to rank the most desirable users on the service and apparently calculates more than just every time someone swipes yes or no on your profile.

Tinder CEO Sean Rad told Fast Company that “it’s very complicated” and it apparently took them two and a half months to build the algorithm “because of all the factors that go into it,” (although the rest remain a mystery). It’s using this top secret score that Tinder is able to show you potential matches, something you should keep in mind if you feel like the app has only been scraping the bottom of the barrel.

The real question is: if Tinder was able to disclose to you your secret Elo score — would you even want to know? I sure as heck wouldn’t.

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