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Online Dating: How the Tinder Algorithm Works

Tinder is a single success story in the dating field. In a few years, Tinder has managed to make online dating salonable – it is no longer embarrassing but a lifestyle. We look at the algorithm that decides about the love of tomorrow.




In short, for those who don’t know the principle behind Tinder (and almost all of today’s dating apps): Tinder shows profiles of contact-friendly singles (or non-singles) in the surrounding area.

With a left-swipe, they are skipped, while a right-swipe shows you are interested. If you right-swipe someone that also right-swipes you, you are matched up and move on to the next stage. At Tinder, there’s no run-around.

But what is the best strategy for using Tinder? Does it make sense to right-swipe as many profiles as possible to increase the chances of a match?

With Facebook, the Tinder profile is created automatically

Since 2012, the social network has been on the market and currently counts over two million users in Germany. To log in to Tinder, a Facebook account is required, which gives the app access to all the information posted by Facebook and automatically creates the profile.

Publicly visible photos, name, age, occupation, location, common friends as well as details  appear in Tinder. In addition, it is possible to add a short profile text. The images can be deleted, supplemented and sorted manually.

If the photos are not enough for Tinder, you can also link your Instagram account. Since 2015, the app has expanded to include a few payment functions: with the appropriate package, you can change your name, hide your age and even see who right-swiped you before you decide yourself.

Other in-app purchases, such as boosters and additional super-likes, are also available. From a privacy perspective, the app is questionable, since peoples identities are basically served up on a silver platter. However, it is assumed that the number of fake profiles is limited.

The “Elo Score” provides information about the popularity of users

The aim of the algorithm is to make as many matches as possible. This is how the ones “Elo Score” is involved. It raises the popularity of users, which in turn is measured by numerous factors.

One part of the “Elo Score” is, for example, the so-called “Desirability Score,” which provides information about the placement of a user in the internal ranking of other users.

In addition, the “Elo Score” is pushed up not only with information from users,  but also by the act of contributing itself. This means that anyone who provides more information to the broad masses is already better off, independently of the information itself.

In principle, one could assume that especially attractive people have a higher “Elo Score.” According to Tinder CEO Sean Rad, however, the factors taken into account are many.

“Play hard-to-get and you’ll be the star!”

But what exactly does Tinder do with the information provided by users? What it does with the hard facts about their age and interests is obvious: searches are facilitated. But this by itself is not an algorithm.

The right and left swipes are relevant to the time and location. For this, Tinder counts the green hearts (right-swipes) that a user gives and then puts them in relation to the green hearts he receives.

In doing so, the awarded green heart gains its value on the basis of the assessment of the other users who return either many or few green hearts. It is, therefore, true that the less green hearts someone gives and the more he receives at the same time, the more valuable the individual heart is – to express it in a very simple way.

Value can be increased

So it does not do much good to simply right-swipe if you aren’t getting more right-swipes in return.  And even with a one-to-one relationship of right-swipes given and received, due to the algorithm, your Elo score is likely to go down.

So the advice for Tinder: “play hard-to-get and you’ll be the star.” Of course, users who are more generous with their likes are not undermined, but they mostly receive suggestions that do not seem to be very selective. And so the circle closes.

Location and time of the likes

Tinder also evaluates the location and the time at which many left or right swipes are made. On Saturday evening, at his favorite restaurant, user X may be able to distribute green hearts more generously than on Monday mornings at the office. However, Tinder has covered the details with regard to his attractiveness and “Elo score.”

Of course, much more information and measurements are still flowing into the algorithm, such as the increased matching with people who share a certain interest in a limited time and a particular location. How many variants there are, can’t be known for sure.

Frequently change user behavior

In summary, it can be said that the only sure way to increase “Elo Score” is by receiving right-swipes. No matter when and to what extent: fewer left-swipes increases your attractiveness and thus your score.

It also can’t hurt to vary your user behavior from time to time and change search criteria. The Tinder algorithm will perhaps answer with a wider range of proposals.

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Is your company GDPR ready? A checklist for start-ups!  



For users it means more safety, for companies, more stress: the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR has been in effect for over a year now and still presents a challenge for companies, especially for start-ups. How can a small company comply with all the regulations? The following checklist can help!  


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Social Media Feed with Juicer: Perfect for Your Website

It is not always easy to keep a company’s website up to date, to constantly add and update content. With Juicer, it’s now child’s play!




It is not always easy to keep a company’s website up to date, to constantly add and update content. With Juicer, it’s now child’s play! (more…)

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PS: I Love You – Hotmail’s Growth Hack

When the Hotmail e-mail service was founded on 4 July 1996, nobody knew the term “growth hacking”. Nevertheless, the ingenious marketing ploy of Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith goes down in history as the first growth hack.




It was the American Independence Day in 1996 – a deliberately chosen day. Developers Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith released their free email service Hotmail that day.

After a little more than 20 days – at the end of July, 1996 – the service was already being used by 20,000 users of the still young Internet. A respectable success, but the two founders wanted more.

The first growth hack in history

And so Smith and Bhatia discussed things with their investors. The discussion focused on the question of how the company could quickly get new users without a significant marketing budget.

The result of the brainstorming was a single line at the end of each e-mail sent via Hotmail:”PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.” This is reported by author Adam L. Penenberg in his book* Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter; How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves.

If you clicked on the blue “Hotmail” link, you were redirected to a registration page. There, you would receive all the relevant information on Hotmail’s offer. In addition, you were given the opportunity to create your own free e-mail account immediately. (That wasn’t standard at that time.)

Microsoft pays 12 million US dollars

Even though nobody knew the term “growth hack” in 1996, it was exactly what the Hotmail founders had succeeded in doing. With a simple trick, the company generated several million users – without having to place an ad.

While Hotmail took six months to break the 1 million-user barrier, the company reached the second million just five weeks later. When Microsoft took over Hotmail for 400 million US dollars just under a year later, the service already had 12 million users. At the turn of the millennium, there were 65 million users.

Today, Hotmail no longer exists. Since 2013, Microsoft has been promoting the first growth hack in history under the name Outlook, which has now spread to millions of computers and smartphones.

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