In a world full of Tinderellas, it is already known that an app isn’t where the pursuit for love ends. Yet it’s still relevant, popular and thriving. More so in the pandemic where everybody is stuck at home. There’s no possible way of meeting new people, so the thought swiping away to glory and interacting with new people comes to rescue. But, how does the Tinder Algorithm work? How does Tinder costumize it's interface to match your preferences?
No human has ever been able to predict the success of a relationship, and as it turns out, neither has an algorithm. We’re no strangers to the fact that the current generation has gone through a dating apocalypse. How people meet and follow in love was substantially changed after match-making apps were introduced.
There are a lot of match making apps, yet Tinder remains the most popular one. Even though the USP of all such apps remain to be the fact that ‘They’d like to help you find someone who’d never make you want to be on their app again’. With such a daring stance, if people actually found love and never returned, would the app have flourished the way it has? The answer is pretty predictable.
When Tinder was launched, the new concept received mixed reactions from its target audience. Some thought it would spectacularly change the way dating works, while others thought it was too stupid to even be passed off as something a company does. Yet, we know how that turned out.
In its initial days, it was perceived that maybe Tinder would make the dating scene evolve and become some marketplace of sorts, where singles could shop for each other (Like an Amazon, but to have human companionship to cure loneliness); or maybe it would turn dating into a minimal-effort, transactional pursuit of on-demand hook-ups (like an Uber for sex).
However, it’s like having the primal need of wanting someone and being wanted in return; is being handed out to us in a platter and that is what has us all broken. A recent study showed that compulsive app users can end up feeling lonelier than they did in the first place. But the hope of ‘The One’ being a few swaps away keeps us hooked.
So, what exactly makes tinder so popular?
The innate unpredictability of not knowing how or when we’ll fall in love is what keeps a commodity like tinder growing. Our brain secretes dopamine when we’re in love. Please don’t forget that it’s the same fluid that gets secreted even when we take a hit off of Cocaine. So essentially, Love and other drugs are what keep us hooked to the possibility that someday, someone will love us in ways we can’t love ourselves.
In a Netflix special called ‘Jigsaw’, Stand up comedian Danial Sloss talks about this exact phenomenon. Technically, if you take all the factors into consideration, there are 7 Billion people on the planet. So, the probability that your Soulmate lives within 20 miles of your vicinity is pretty close to nil; But yet, most important considerations that dating apps give preference to is proximity between two users interested in each other.
How does Tinder Algorithm work?
On Tinder, with the system of swipes, the algorithm ensures that the more people that swiped right (or Liked) a person’s profile, the higher they climbed up on the ‘desirability ladder’. Once up the rungs, their profile would be showed to people with similar scores. Thereby keeping the most desirable people interacting with one another. Further, for showing suggestions, tinder algorithm uses a sort of Gale-Shapley algorithm.
This algorithm helps in identifying human patterns. For example, If a girl likes a boy, and so does another girl; there are chances that the two girls have a similar taste. In case either of the girls haven’t been exposed to the other’s pool of ‘liked’ matches, tinder would start exposing them to such accounts and hope it results in a match.
There is a lot more that goes into falling in love or becoming compatible with an individual, but it all depends on the end goal the user is trying to achieve. However, a definite side effect of an app that shows you the world and values quantity over quality, is the fact that you develop some conscious and unconscious bias on which way you’re swiping. Rejecting humans based on poor choice of selection of photos or incomplete bios seem to serve as the basis of executing the deal and tinder algorithm knows it too.
Tinder algorithm cannot be taken as the ultimate gospel truth for finding true love, or even a credible one-night stand for that matter. But in a world where love is scarce and comfort is missing, this is our best bet.