If you think that other Tinder users are the only ones judging you on your hotness while you’re swiping through profiles on your phone, you’re wrong. Turns out the dating app itself has been judging you all along, not only on your attractiveness, but on your job and education too. Savage.
The CEO of Tinder, Sean Rad, revealed to Fast Company in an interview that the app spent months designing a complicated algorithm that gives users a rating on how hot or not they are.
They call the rating an “Elo score,” which is the rating method normally used in chess and other strategy games to calculate the relative skill levels of players. So yes, everything you knew about the simple world of online dating is a lie, and is in fact not simple.
Apparently, Tinder gives you a desirability rating so that you can match with people of a similar desirability rating. Putting it bluntly, it’s a way of keeping hotties matching with hotties, and notties with notties to avoid a beauty and the beast situation.
"It’s not just how many people swipe right on you," Rad said to Fast Company. It’s about how many hot people swipe right on you. Or how many hot people shut you down and swipe left, however way you want to think about it. Basically, the more hot people swipe right on you, the more your desirability rating goes up, and vice versa.
Tinder’s VP of product and co-founder, Jonathan Badeen, says the desirability rating is like the video game, Warcraft. "I used to play a long time ago, and whenever you play somebody with a really high score, you end up gaining more points than if you played someone with a lower score,” he told Fast Company as part of a profile on the company.
As Tinder data analyst Chris Dumler puts it, Tinder is a “vast voting system” that uses several factors to rate users’ hotness. When you swipe through profiles in search of a hot date (or booty call), you’re essentially saying the ones you swipe right on are more desirable than the ones you swipe left on, be it because they’re sexy as hell, or because they went to Yale and work at Goldman Sachs and are probably super smart and rich.
The Tinder caste system may sound kind of judgmental, but it’s not all bad. Thanks to the desirability ranking, you’re getting matched with people you’re more likely to get along with, so the people at Tinder are actually making your life easier.
Don’t worry about your Tinder Elo score though, because you’re seriously never going to find out. All you have to do it keep this information at the back of your mind, and sit back, relax, and enjoy your terrible Tinder sex.