Powering Tinder® — The Method Behind Our Matching

We’re constantly asked about Tinder’s algorithm. How are recommended profiles ordered, and why? Is there a way to game the system to get more matches? And is there really something called an “Elo Score?” While we cannot disclose all of our secret sauce, we thought it was about time that we share the main ingredients.

What Really Matters

Allow us to blow your minds. The most important factor that can help you improve your match potential on Tinder is…using the app.

We prioritize potential matches who are active, and active at the same time. We don’t want to waste your time showing you profiles of inactive users. We want you chatting and meeting IRL. And there’s nothing better than matching and immediately striking up a conversation. Using the app helps you be more front and center, see more profiles and make more matches. This is the most important part of our algorithm — and it’s totally in your control.

So when you use the Tinder app, it helps us pick better potential matches for you, too. It’s Algorithm 101.

What Else?

On Tinder, the app doesn’t ask for much from you as a user. Aside from your current location and gender, it’s just your age, distance and gender preferences to start. Proximity is a key factor; it’s always fun when you meet someone in your neighborhood because you share a community. That’s why we consider a person’s distance from your current location. But there’s a lot we don’t consider also...

We don’t care (or store) whether you’re black, white, magenta or blue. Our algorithm doesn’t know if you make $10 or $10 million a year. And we aren’t going to show you all the blondes first because they supposedly have more fun. We don’t believe in stereotypes. So whether you’re celebrating Diwali, Carnival, Eid Al-Fitr, or Gay Pride, we think the party gets better when great people, from all walks of life, can get together. Our algorithm is designed to be open and we love our results.

There’s a reason why there’s been an increase in interracial marriages since Tinder’s launch. And we have the emojis to celebrate it, too.

And depending on where you are, you may see all active users who meet your desired gender and age preferences, within your self-imposed commute time, provided — of course — you meet their preferences, as well.

Imagine the possibilities.

Elo - Is It Me You’re Looking For?

A few years ago, the idea of an “Elo score” was a hot topic among users and media alike. And sometimes, it still is. Here’s the scoop: Elo is old news at Tinder. It’s an outdated measure and our cutting-edge technology no longer relies on it.

What was it, though? It was a part of our algorithm that considered how others engaged with your profile. While our matching system cares about what you like and how you "Like" or "Nope" profiles, it also cares about how your potential matches do, too. If it didn’t, then it wouldn’t be very good at making matches (more than 30 billion to date, btw) and helping you form new connections.

So, this part of our algorithm compared Likes and Nopes, and was utilized to show you potential matches who may be a fit for you, based on similarities in the way others would engage with profiles. Based on those profile ratings you received, there was a “score” — in the sense that it was represented with a numeric value in our systems so that it could factor into the other facets in our algorithm.

Today, we don’t rely on Elo — though it is still important for us to consider both parties who Like profiles to form a match. Our current system adjusts the potential matches you see each and every time your profile is Liked or Noped, and any changes to the order of your potential matches are reflected within 24 hours or so. There you have it.

That’s All, Folks

The case has been solved: Tinder matches you, using your recent activity, your preferences and your location, available in 190 countries. So, jump on the app, send some Likes and start matching.