We’ve come a long way from writing love letters to our crush or spending time at the local bar hoping to find “the one”. Today, thanks to technology and portability, we have the world at our fingertips. Swipe left or right, and you can find love in a few minutes (at least, that’s the promise). Dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish have taken over the dating market and have made the proclamation, “We met online,” or “We swiped right,” no longer a taboo one.
How Does The Swipe Left Or Right Algorithm Work?
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According to Statista, in 2021, Tinder reached a total of almost 67 million annual downloads, with 30-44 years being the largest age bracket of users. It’s not hard to see why swipe dating apps are so popular. The very real need for connections and the search for love is no longer a thing to hide. It’s out there and proudly proclaimed. No matter how old you are, you now have a fair shot at love, thanks to all the mobile dating apps available today.
There are broadly two types of dating apps in the market today. The first is dating sites where you swipe left or right, such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge. The other is algorithm-based, such as OKCupid and eHarmony. Let’s look at the swipe-based apps first.
What is the meaning of swipe left or right? The premise is simple. You open the app and face a lineup of profiles with photos. You then swipe left or right, depending on your interest in the person’s profile. Swipe left means you are not interested, and if you swipe right on Tinder (or other apps that work on a similar principle), you indicate that you like what you see.
If the profile you have swiped right on likes you back, both of you are a perfect ‘match’ and can now take this communication further. There are definite advantages to using dating sites where you swipe left or right. Some of these include:
- They are easy to use
- Dating site swipe left or right is not effort-intensive. You do need to put in too much effort and information to set up your profile. Simply swipe left vs right to meet your mate
- These apps are most effective for looking for dates in your immediate location
- The user interface is fun and light
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However, some of the drawbacks of swipe culture are,
- Swipe-based apps are largely based on physical appearance
- Compatibility and matching on other terms are ultimately up to the many users and their subsequent interactions
- Sifting through the hundreds of profiles can be exhausting, with swipe fatigue being a real thing
- Swipe-based apps have developed the rep of being used only for hook-ups and not long-term connections
- Some of these apps are considered swipe hookup apps
- The urge to swipe for more can result in an easy addiction to dating apps
In contrast, when using algorithm-based apps, you are required to answer several questions and fill in extensive details before your profile is live. Likes, dislikes, interests, preferences, and personality-based questions are necessary to flesh out a person’s profile and find potential matches.
The app, then, uses this information and offers a choice of profiles based on compatibility (as compared to mere appearances). According to Rachael Lloyd, the in-house relationship expert at eHarmony, “We look at core values, decode those, and match with people who are as similar as possible.” While algorithm-based apps can save time in the long run, they are also more expensive and, as a result, have a smaller pool of active users.
AI enters the game
In the past few years, more and more apps have been using AI to improve their user experience. This has led to a deeper data analysis and more matches concerning customer experience and success rates of potential matches. Some apps now use AI to weed out scam accounts and inappropriate content to make the online dating space safer.
While the user experience is getting better every day, there are still precautions that need to be taken when it comes to protecting your privacy and improving your safety online. Make sure you review the privacy policies of any dating app before signing up. Yes, we know it’s tiresome, but it’s a must when you need to know how your personal data is being used (and distributed).
How does it all work?
When Tinder started out, it used something known as the ELO score. In layman’s terms, this was the desirability rating attached to each profile that joined the app. It’s the thing that decides who you see and who sees you when it comes to a Tinder swipe right. As of date, Tinder states that the ELO score is old news, and several new algorithms are in place.
Factors such as age, gender preferences, location, and profession now play a larger role in getting dates on Tinder and other such dating apps (as compared to the earlier days when it seemed to be down to whether you are “hot” or not). And most importantly, these dating apps keep track of people swipe left or right. Ultimately, it’s a two-way street and comes down to these factors,
- Your likes, dislikes, interests, and location
- Your profile – gender, age, profession
- Your swiping patterns – how many right and left swipes you perform in a day
- Who swipes on you – if a person who rates high on the desirability index swipes right on you, your desirability index increases as well
- Who is popular in your location – profiles around you that are more popular will turn up high on your list
Swipe Left Or Right?
Which way do you swipe on Tinder? Is Tinder Swipe right good? Is swiping left good or bad? Which way do I swipe on Tinder? How does Tinder swiping work? So many questions that need answering. Let us help you work through them.
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1. What happens when you swipe right on Tinder?
According to the mechanics of Tinder, nothing immediately happens if you swipe right on someone. They do not receive any notification. Your profile WILL, however, appear on their feed, and if, and only if, they swipe right on you does a new match occur. Once this happens, you are given a chat option, which ideally should be used within 24 hours.
2. What happens when you swipe left on Tinder?
Not much. The algorithm makes note of your preferences and won’t show you the same profile or similar ones, but this only happens after regular and repeated swiping occurs.
3. Will Tinder show you someone who you already swiped left?
If you swipe left on someone, they will not be notified. However, they may reappear on your feed much later. There’s no guarantee, though, so swipe carefully.
4. What if you accidentally swipe left on Bumble?
Bumble works differently. If you accidentally swipe left on Bumble, you can remedy the situation, but you must act immediately. Use the Backtrack on Bumble arrow on the top left of your screen, and you are good to go. With Tinder, you are offered the same service but only if you have a paid membership.
5. How to see who swiped right on Tinder?
Unless you opt for a paid membership, there is no way of knowing who swiped right on you unless you swipe right back and you both are matched.
6. When do you get more swipes on Bumble?
Online consensus lists a few factors that can decrease or increase your profile’s number of Bumble swipes left or right. These include,
- Verifying your profile so that people know your profile is real and active
- Adding Profile Badges to your Bumble Profile
- Having a short and snappy Bumble bio
- Integrating your Spotify and Instagram accounts
- Opting for membership and using the premium features such as Super Swipe
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7. What does Super Swipe mean?
Super Swipe is a feature offered to premium members only. Both Tinder and Bumble offer the Super Swipe feature to let other users know when a match is actually interested in them (and not just swipe right happily). Prices vary according to the app and this feature is usually restricted to two a day, not unlimited swipes.
8. What does swipe surge mean?
A Tinder Swipe Surge occurs when the app has more than usual activity. This can happen at any time of the day, and the chances of matching are increased 250x fold during this time. If you enable push notifications on your app, you will be notified when this surge is happening, and you can swipe right and increase your visibility as well. Best of all – it’s free for all users.
So, the question is, can you crack the algorithm or code and figure out how to maximize your profile on an app? The short answer is no. The only exception is that there ARE ways you can increase your visibility (and subsequently increase your popularity on the app), improving your odds of dating online successfully.
10 Smart Insights That Lead To Better Matches
The various mobile dating apps make several official statements about choosing matches. However, not much can be clearly spelled out when it comes down to brass tacks. So, one has to rely on speculation and observation along with personal experience to glean ways to improve your chances of more matches and finding love online.
Research expert Lin N, in their paper Building a Network Theory of Social Capital, states, “In the market of dating apps, users need to communicate their value in the form of a brand, thus learning how to manage their brand as well as how to decipher the value of the brand of others.”
Disclaimer – This is merely advice and not a guarantee, so proceed with a fair sense of caution and common sense.
1. Improve your bio
An up-to-date, active profile is what the app wants and rewards. Avoid cliches and puns, and put in some work to upgrade your bio. Love a new song, add that to your profile. Have some fun pictures, upload them asap. Want to attract someone with your sense of humor, show it off. Make your bio as personal as you want. In this way, your dating profile will stand out in the crowd and weed out potential partners right from the get-go.
2. Choose your profile photos wisely
If all the pictures in your collection are just a bunch of bathroom selfies, there’s not much one can infer from them. It’s not the problem of purposely not liking your pictures but that none of them gives a sense of the real you. So, your pics should tell a story. Before you start sifting wildly through your albums for the perfect dating app profile picture, take a step back and ask yourself, “What’s my story?”
- If you are adventurous, share photos of skiing, swimming, or rock climbing
- If you are an extrovert, add those pics with friends and at parties
- Do you prefer the indoors? Find pics of yourself curled up with a book or dreamy ones at a beach
You get the drift – show more of who you are, and you will get far more realistic and authentic matches.
3. Show them how you think
While photos show the outside of you, give them a glimpse of the inner workings of your mind as well. The author Dan Slater in his book, Love in the Time of Algorithms, states that “information on dating profiles should never be fully trusted. Men usually give themselves five centimeters more in height, while women remove five kilos of weight.”
You may be able to “fake” a sophisticated, fancy lifestyle through your pics, but you can’t fake a sense of humor or an insightful personality. And between you and me, if you write a catchy, clever bio, the battle is half won, my friends. Just keep it short and try and be different.
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4. Location and proximity
Mobile dating apps will show you more active profiles in your immediate location. The logic behind this is that the app doesn’t want you spending too much time on quality matches that don’t translate into real-life meetings. The chance of meeting someone is higher if they are closer to you; hence, you are more likely to see profiles of people nearby.
If you want to increase your chances of meeting new people (and not just bumping into your next-door neighbor on the app), try swiping right or left at your workplace, while you commute, or when visiting a new neighborhood.
5. Get more active
The more you use the app, the higher your visibility on the app. Tinder’s main goal is to increase the number of quality matches. The more time people spend on the app, the more likely it is that people swipe left or right, increasing the probability of more matches. Also, if you spend more time on the app, Tinder can show you more ads and even upsell their membership packages. All wins in their books.
6. Profiling and user groups
While this may be beyond your control and is largely up to the current algorithm and internal calculations at play, it’s important to know why certain profiles keep showing up for you. The apps create a user group of similar profiles with common interests, likes, and attractiveness scores.
If you tend to always swipe left on short men, then you are placed into the group of ‘short men haters’ (and yes, I’m paraphrasing out here). Now the profiles that THIS group swipes right on are the ones that turn up in your app. So, if you want more variety, shake up those predictive algorithms and swipe right on that shortie the next time, you see him online. You never know where love finds you!
7. Message, chat, and connect
Most dating apps aim to get people connected in real life. So, if your goal is just to brag about how many people you swiped right on or how many you matched up with and leave it at that, your profile will soon drop to the bottom of the list. You need to initiate conversations with your match’s profile. Send the first message, chat with them, and take your connections that extra step further.
8. Choose who you swipe on
There’s a popular mindset that the more people you Tinder swipe right on or OKCupid swipe left or right on, the better your chances of matching. However, if you continue to be swipe-happy and, in desperation, swipe on too many profiles, the algorithm picks up on this.
Be warned that using third-party apps that do the swiping for you (imagine that!) can get you banned from dating platforms, so stay away from these. The trick is to be choosy about who you choose. To save yourself from catfishing, swipe right on people you are genuinely interested in and have a higher probability of matching up with you, and watch the prime profiles come your way.
9. Be kind and be careful
Avoid the un-PC comments and off-color jokes. While having a sense of humor is important, stay away from being too offensive or getting too personal. If a match reports you, your profile plummets to the bottom of the barrel or may even be removed.
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10. Opt for a paid membership
No surprises here – if you opt for a paid membership like a premium subscription or a Tinder Passport, your profile gets naturally boosted. If you are using the Passport feature, make sure you pin your location in the most crowded part of the city you are visiting. Location and proximity to other profiles increase your visibility tenfold.
- Swipe-based dating apps have changed the way we look for love
- While apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge insist that the algorithm used cannot be cracked, there are ways to improve your visibility online
- Tips include being online more often, swiping judiciously, and having a fun, engaging profile
- Care should also be taken not to offend while using these dating apps
Dating apps have broken down conventional restraints to meeting new people, such as distance, time constraints, long working hours, and even low self-esteem. Love is now easier to find – or is it? While technology may have given us access to more people, we are also faced with the “there are plenty more fish in the sea” syndrome. The belief that someone better is just a Bumble/OkCupid/Hinge swipe left or right away can be compelling (and mistaken).
Ultimately, when it comes to dating apps, it doesn’t matter how popular the app is, what matters is how much effort you put into building relationships. No shortcuts there, unfortunately. No algorithm on earth can accurately predict the success of a relationship. The ball is firmly in your court – make that your last swipe!