Post Date: January 27, 2020

Like most mobile dating apps, Tinder will try to pair you with the best possible partner based on multiple data points. These data points go into a math equation that we call an algorithm.

The Tinder algorithm works by giving every user an ELO score. These scores are generated based on how many right and left swipes your account gets. Users increase their scores by getting more likes (right swipes). This score acts as a popularity score for the user and helps Tinder decide which users to show to other users on the app.

Mobile dating apps can determine the type of guys or girls you swipe on and instantly present someone who matches that criteria to keep you engaged with the platform.

Explore Tinder in-depth: Take an in-depth look at Tinder by reading The Complete Guide To Tinder, your go-to resource for mastering the art of swiping and matching.

Tinder Algorithm Explained

Tinder’s algorithm uses many data points to match other users. Below is how the Tinder algorithm works.

Tinder’s ELO Score

Tinder gives everyone an ELO score, which helps determine your rank in the algorithm. What exactly does that mean?

According to Austin Carr, writer for Fast Company, every user has an “attraction” score dictated by a number. This score is built on how many rights and left swipes a user gets. Austin could not get much detail about how the algorithm was calculated, but only by number. The ELO rating system helps Tinder understand who is popular and who is not.

tinder logo

During his time at Tinder headquarters, a developer showed him the score, which he had an “upper-end of average” score of 946.

But for the sake of an example of how the system could work. If a user swipes right, you will get 1 point. If the user swipes left, you will get 0 or -1 points.

In Austin’s case, he would more likely be shown scores of around 900, as girls around that number would more likely be in his league of attraction.

This is just an example of how Tinder could use an algorithm to pair up attractive people with other beautiful people. Tinder has admitted that it’s tough to tell what is “attractive.” For some, bears and tattoos may be the main focus when looking for a spouse. For others, that may be the farthest thing of what they’re looking for.

Therefore Tinder has multiple data points to ensure that “attraction” is filled by more than just a pretty face. Profile bio, pictures, and much more go into having a successful profile that can accumulate a high ELO score.

Tinder has also said publicly that there’s much, much more that goes into this core than the previous “ELO” score it used to scale off of.

Check out our complete Tinder User Guide here.

How Do I Improve My Tinder ELO Score?

Improving your Tinder score is essential to find quality matches as you’re swiping through the app. If you’re a girl, it’s crucial to have high-quality pictures that show off your best features.

Tinder swiping picture

The same goes for males. If you have a picture from far away of you holding a fish, your friendly smile or blue eyes may not appear “swipe-worthy.” We recommend a few key general rules of thumb for anyone trying to improve their Tinder score.

Improve Your First Picture

You have one picture and essentially 2.3 seconds before the guy swipes. This is the average time that we found before a male decides when swiping. Females are a bit longer at 4.8 seconds.

Men typically move faster through dating apps as they try to quickly sift through the card stack. Rarely do men read bios and engage with the content you’ve posted to your profile until after you’ve matched.

catfish on Tinder

Especially with Tinder, the way the app is designed, users are given the card stack and have to sift through it as if it’s a deck of cards. Speed swiping is made easy simply by moving the thumb horizontally.

This is why making your opening picture as appealing as possible is crucial. Simply having your best features pop in the first picture will slow down the swiper’s pace and allow them to click on your profile and learn more about you.

Make Your Bio Appealing

We’re all on Tinder because we’re looking for our soul mate, best friend, and someone to make us happy. Slamming your bio with negatives is not the answer to improving your Tinder profile.

Make your bio as appealing as possible with positives and paint the picture of what life could be like dating you. Too often, we see bios stuffed with negative messages and full of red emojis that immediately turn a user off.

Talk about what you’re looking for, and be as transparent as possible. This will help lead to the right quality of people.

If you’re looking for a relationship, state it without coming off mean. Tinder has a reputation as a casual dating app; if you’re not looking for casual dating, express it. That way, you can weed out who the people are.

Active users are more likely to find potential matches vs. someone who just casually uses the app.

Upload Five Or More Photos

Tinder has been around since 2012. The dating world has been completely flipped upside down ever since.

Dating apps are a normality in today’s dating world. New and old members of Tinder can pick out of your photos are old or new.

If your profile features you with a dark tan, and it’s in the middle of March, the user can only assume that it’s an old picture.

Users can easily recognize grainy or outdated pictures. If you happen to gain a little bit of weight or look different than the pictures you’re presenting, update it as soon as possible. The worst thing you want is actually to meet the person, and it’s not what they’re expecting.

To attract the right man or woman, be as honest and transparent as possible for your pictures.

❤️ Better Than Tinder: Tinder is great for casual relationships, but a lot more users are looking for serious relationships on it. Avoid the stress, arguments, and drama if you’re simply looking for something casual.

If you’re looking for a platform with users strictly looking for casual relationships & hookups, we recommend checking out Ashley Madison.

Like other dating apps, Tinder’s algorithm helps them configure a compatibility score. This compatibility score (formerly known as an “ELO” score) is what allows this mobile dating app to best match you with other users.

The more good photos you have, the more Tinder matches you may get. Each Tinder account has the same amount of photos to upload, so everyone has the same opportunity to get the right swipe. Don’t get a left swipe because of poor angles, blurry pictures, and having fewer than 3 photos.

Tinder Algorithm Recap

Your score is essential to finding the correct matches and being shown to the right people. Many men and women will casually throw up pictures of themselves to get started in the dating world. We recommend taking the extra 10-15 minutes and finding the right images (or taking new ones).

It also takes time to fill out a roughly 50-100-word bio. Please don’t write a novel, as there’s a good chance that the user won’t read it.

If you get fewer matches than your friends, we recommend trying Tinder Gold or Tinder Plus. The free version works, too, but if you’re genuinely looking for matches, we recommend spending money on the premium version of Tinder. This will allow you to enhance your online dating experience on the most popular dating apps.

If you liked this blog, learn more about Tinder in these articles.

About the Author

Julia has over 10+ years in the mobile dating app space as a consultant and analyst. Her work has been featured on top websites like Mashable and Women's Health Mag. She writes these blogs to help singles find their true love and life long companion!