Tinder Gets Smarter With a Beefed Up Algorithm and Profiles
Part of Tinder’s allure has always been its simplicity. A few pictures, a few words (or emoji), a swipe, and the day goes on. But that inherent minimalism also leads to one of its greatest criticisms: Because it’s so limited, users make split-second decisions based on very little info. That’s why Tinder is beefing up profiles and retooling its algorithm to create a more meaningful experience.
Users now have the option of including their job and education information, two things users were including anyway, says CEO Sean Rad. “From the data that Tinder looks at when you’re making a decision on whether or not to connect with someone, a high percent comes down to a very small set of factors—two of which are jobs and education. Users have put that information on their own in their bios, so we’ve taken the next step and enabled people to display it.”
These two snippets are part of Tinder’s new Smart Profiles, an enhancement that shows you exactly what you have in common with someone. Before, you could use Tinder filters to choose the distance and age range of potential matches. Now you can combine those qualifiers with info from the Smart Profiles, which will surface a data point about what Tinder thinks you have in common. Same school? Same hometown? Same profession? All of those things could show up here. Of course, adding your job and education information to your profile is optional.
Rad says the Smart Profile snippets are dynamic, so you’ll see them change as you match with different users. The algorithm takes what it thinks is “the most pertinent piece of information,” he says, and surfaces it for you based on what you have in common with someone. For instance, it can determine if location or school is a better piece of information to show you based on your profile, and your potential right swipe’s.
A new messaging format is also part of the new profiles—the inbox will split messages between new matches you haven’t contact and those you’ve been talking to.
Driving all of this, though, is Tinder’s enhanced algorithm, which isn’t just taking into account the new job and education signals. “There are a broader range of inputs [in addition to jobs and education] we’re considering,” says Rad, though he declined to go into more detail here. “We’re gotten a lot better through machine learning at determining the weight of those data points and the level of importance in determining who’s relevant to you.”
While he won’t get into the specifics, Rad says they’ve rolled the update out slowly and see a “meaningful increase” in matches and the quality of conversations. The update starts rolling out officially today, with the other features in tow.
The update is and isn’t a departure for Tinder. No matter what it’s done, Tinder has had trouble shaking its rep for facilitating hookups. But with each update, Tinder looks a little less like the trigger-happy swiping machine that earned it that reputation and more like a traditional dating site for the mobile generation.