By Jack Morse
The more getting rejected changes, the more getting rejected stays the same.
Tinder announced in a March 15 blog post that it had stopped showing users potential matches based on the frequency with which people swiped left or right on their respective accounts. Now, using lots of words to explain very little, the company says it just does something even more nebulous and undefined — but you’d better believe that people running for the hills from your terrible profile still affects which potential matches you’re shown.
“Our current system adjusts the potential matches you see each and every time your profile is Liked or Noped,” explains the blog post, “and any changes to the order of your potential matches are reflected within 24 hours or so.”
In other words, the profiles you are shown now change based on how others interact with your profile. Confused? Good. It appears that’s the way Tinder wants it, because what this means exactly is unclear.
We reached out to Tinder for clarification, but did not receive a response as of press time. One thing is certain, however: The Tinder algorithm black box just got even more opaque.
Notably, this amorphous potential explanation as to why your dating-app life is a failure differs in some ways from the past explanation of why it was also a failure. According to Tinder, back in the day the algorithm attempted to show potential matches based — at least in part — on some kind of desirability score.
“[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,” the company wrote. “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.”
The Elo score, as it was called, is no more. When did Tinder stop using it? The company doesn’t say! What exactly has it been replaced with? Tinder isn’t clear!
It seems the people at Tinder decided to partially explain their old profile-matching secret sauce so as to avoid talking about the new one. Fun, right?
But hey, don’t worry, you still have a semi-believable algorithmic excuse for why your potential matches all suck — even if no one except Tinder knows why exactly that’s the case.