A 2016 article revealed that at the time, Tinder used a ranking algorithm to assign each user a score based on how people swipe on them – the more left swipes you get, the lower your score goes; the more right swipes, the higher your score rises.
However, it wasn’t as simple as simply adding or subtracting one point every time someone swipes right or left on you. The algorithm is apparently based on the complex ELO score used to rate chess players, meaning who is swiping is also a factor.
If someone with a high score swiped right on you, you’d be likely to jump higher than if someone with a low score swiped right on you. Similarly, a high score swiping left on you would drop you further than a low score swiping left on you.
In this way, people who got a lot of right swipes – the Tinder elite, if you will – had a greater impact on people’s scores than people most people aren’t crazy about.
The New Model
However, in 2019, Tinder announced that they had moved away from the ranking model in favor of something that tracks your like patterns to get an idea of what type of person each user is interested in.
As well, Tinder keeps track of things like how much time you spend on the app, how often you return to it and what percentage of swipes are right vs. left in order to develop a profile of what type of user you are, which it uses to construct your user experience – who you see, and in what order.
In short, nothing you do when on the app seems to go unnoticed. The app knows that data analytics is key to producing a more streamlined product, and they’re not shy about using it. Next time you see someone’s profile pop up, know that they’re being put there according to a very complex set of calculations.