It seems that you are not the only one doing the decision between swipe left or swipe right depending on the attractiveness of the person in the posted photo because Tinder ranks its users depending on desirability on an internal level. This ranking system is not available to the public in any way, and it functions similarly to the ELO ranking of multiplayer games like League of Legends or Counter Strike GO.
The algorithm on which this rank is decided was created after a two and a half month process, according to a spokesperson from the company. Taking into account Tinder’s size and massive userbase, the 2 and a half month period is actually extremely long despite what you may think at first glance.
This stems from the fact that a plethora of factors are taken into consideration by said program. It doesn’t necessarily function on a binary system based on hot or not. Although further details about its functionality have not yet been disclosed by Tinder, one might suppose that the odds that two people may chat or get to know one another better after both swiping right to each other’s photo might also be taken into account.
The process is not entirely conclusive, because even if you, for instance, may be ranked slightly below average, you might have qualities that attract different people. By applying this desirability element to its users, Tinder gains a higher degree of efficiency when showing you the photos of plausible partners. Once you swipe right or left, that information is sent directly into the algorithm that may take into account how the photo was taken, the various elements present in the picture, as well as how long it took you to swipe.
Although one might consider Tinder as an app used for somewhat close relationships, the company states that the purpose of the app is only to create meaningful interactions between people. Although this interaction is mainly based on the attractiveness of the person in the photo, by creating an algorithm that takes other elements into account, the accuracy of the proposed matching gets a boost. For instance, because the algorithm was recently tweaked, its accuracy was boosted by 30%, according to the company.
This type of ranking is not rare in the app market. For instance, the Uber car service allows you to rank its drivers between 1 and 5 stars, depending on the quality of their service. The only main difference is that in regards to Tinder, this data is only available to staff. This may be seen by some people with a degree of skepticism, but considering that over 1,5 million people are matched every week through the app, this hidden desirability rank may not impact a person’s decision to use the app by a high degree.
Although Tinder ranks its users depending on desirability, this may not impact the general public by a significant amount. What it does is somewhat showing us the inner workings of its application, as well as pose a rather interesting discussion topic: How much does a single photo of a person influence us in regards to the odds of having a conversation with him or her? The idea that first impressions matter the most may very well still be extremely true.