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Tinder has been secretly ranking how hot you are (which could explain a lot)

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David Cornish
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It's not that flattering profile picture you snapped in Thailand last summer. It's not the witty bio you spent all weekend composing. The success (or otherwise) of your Tinder profile is actually owed (in part) to an internal rating the app has assigned you.

Tinder CEO Sean Rad recently spoke to Fast Company about the dating app's 'Elo score' - an algorithm that helps curate its user base to ensure swipers get a 'better' experience when seeking a date.

Named after a player ranking term from the world of chess, your 'Elo score' isn't a ranking of your attractiveness, but of what Rad describes as a user's 'desirability': "It’s not just how many people swipe right on you," said Rad. "It’s very complicated. It took us two and a half months just to build the algorithm because a lot of factors go into it."

Jonathan Badeen, Tinder’s VP of product, even compared the algorithm to pairing systems at work in video games such as Warcraft: if a new 'starter' to the game interacts with more experienced players, they're more likely to pick up a higher amount of experience points and thus 'improve' their own character at a faster rate. "It’s a way of essentially matching people and ranking them more quickly and accurately based on who they are being matched up against," explained Badeen.

Think of it like this: every time you swipe right (approve) on someone's profile, Tinder will immediately analyse that person's profile - how many photos did it include? How long was their written bio? What was their age? Was their Instagram account connected? Their desirability score will be calculated on the many aspects that go into making up a profile. 

"Every swipe is in a way casting a vote," said Tinder data analyst Chris Dumler. "I find this person more desirable than this person, whatever motivated you to swipe right. It might be because of attractiveness, or it might be because they had a really good profile."

So how can I find out my Tinder Elo score? 

You can't. Sorry.

It's a closely guarded secret that only those within Tinder's data analytics team will ever know - given that they built the algorithms that control it. And even if you did find out your score, it wouldn't change the way you experience Tinder: the system is there to help you find compatible matches rather than limit you to a specific pot of users. 

Try using this guide if you want to 'improve' your Tinder profile. Happy swiping.

[Via: Fast Company]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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