What science (and data) says to link more on Tinder

Tinder has become a model of modern, fast, practical and selective relationships. Condensing it into an app allows one thing unheard of so far: taking statistics out of the entire process.

This gives rise to analysis, and with its results reaches science. Is there science to link better? Does the data help us to be more effective in "matches"? Which profile best attracts attention? And, much more importantly, what does all this tell us about the relationships of human beings? Tinder, curiously, opens the door to a huge number of questions.

What the Tinder numbers tell us

Tinder is estimated to have over 50 million users worldwide. What is true is that this application has become an icon of modern relationships. And like everything modern, there is a certain "science" behind it. However, there are few studies on this application.Among the most interesting at a general level is this study published in the IEEE, a repository dedicated to technology from a scientific point of view.

In it, the researchers carried out an analysis with different types of profiles, measuring the times between matches (the coincidence between two people whose profiles like each other) and other variable data. Among the results, they came across conclusions such as the following. First of all, all profiles are susceptible to match, including those who do not even have information.

However, those with a filled biography produced four times as many matches than those who did not complete this part of the profile. They also noted a slight, but significant, difference between those whose biography was too long. The best, according to the data collected by these researchers, is to have a "bio" of two or three lines. The photos are also very important, being more successful in general terms those with more photos and, above all, the profiles with real photos (it was also tested with model profiles).

Another difference found by this study, which, we insist, is one of the few (or the only one) that analyzes the generalities of the use of Tinder, is the number of matches between women and men, in an overwhelming way. According to the study, female profiles generally obtain much more attention, crystallized in matches, that the masculine ones, as much of different as of the same sex.

The behavior between the different genres is quite different, something that can also be expected. While women are much more selective, the ratios of matches show that men are not so much. On the other hand, 21% of female profiles contacted almost immediately while only 7% of male profiles do so, limiting communication despite the match.

The secret is in the "bio"

Frivolous as it may seem, others have used this study, and others, to make their own empirical analysis of the application. Leaving aside its scientific validity (that not everything has to be validated by a few peers and presented in a publication with a high impact index), the truth is that statistics can give us some curious, and perhaps even useful, data in the Tinder's "science".

This article by Jeff Shen, which he discusses did his own "Tinderian" experiment, is a good example. Using the data that we mentioned before, we set out to validate several hypotheses from which we can extract potentially useful information. Among them we find a confirmation that the "bios", if you cut, the better. Or at least, more common.

Shen's analysis shows that more than 60% of the profiles with the most matches They contain 30 words or less. On the other hand, emojis are a positive constant, according to him, with a 44% prevalence among the profiles analyzed. Up to an average of four icons are used per profile. These, he explains, are usually used to highlight a word (such as a glass, wine, coffee, friendship, etc.).

He also did a linguistic analysis on the most common words, but this is probably very biased, and would need to be studied further and globally. Another aspect that Shen points out is that it seems that generic data, the most common hobbies (going to coffee, hanging out with friends, traveling) attract less matches. Again, although this does not have scientific validity, their particular data suggest that the "different" profiles, in terms of their "bio", are more attractive.

But biography is more than text. The photographs continue to take the leading part. Among the brief investigations, such as that carried out by Princeton University, it follows that "active" photos, with an "expanded profile", that is, an open (as opposed to shrunken) position in a vital attitude, is 27% more susceptible to match.

The algorithm behind Tinder

As Austin Carr reported in 2016, for The Fast Company, Tinder's algorithm is relatively straightforward. As stated by Sean Rad, founder of Tinder, for this medium, the system is based on an Elo, a scoring system based on a statistical exercise widely used in chess, eSports and other competitions.

And what is Tinder if not a competition class? According to the Tinder algorithm, a profile does have its "eligibility" level according to the number of likes you get. However, not all likes they are worth the same, since it is more or less valuable depending on who gives them, depending on this scoring system. A profile becomes more "valuable" in terms of score as it gets more likes.

This is what Rad calls the "level of desirability". Thus, he explained, they place each profile at its own optimal level. Last year, however, Tinder published a note about a major algorithm change. Among other things, the Elo score is dismissed, they say. Instead, following the note, what matters now is the activity: "That you use enlargement," they say.

"We prioritize potential matches that are active and that are active at the same time. We don't want to waste your time with inactive user profiles. We want you to meet and talk in real life, and for that there is nothing better than being able to engage have a conversation with your matches right away. Using the application [...] is the most important part of our algorithm, and you have full control over it.

The truth is that the real algorithm and its technical details have never been fully revealed. "Tinder matches you based on your recent activity, your preferences and your location, available in 190 countries." That is the brief explanation. With this change, competition is no longer important. Earlier last year, Tinder (well, Match Group) acquired Hinge, another of the many dating apps.

Curiously, this app was famous because its algorithm was not based on competition, but on factors such as distance, preferences ... and activity. Also, there are strategies like Super like, which makes it possible to make a little more noise, and which also make it more difficult to understand how said algorithm really works. With this change also comes the question of whether the previous data will continue to serve with the new algorithm or if it will change the way of interacting somewhat. Despite this, it does not appear that people's perception will change too much, despite the algorithm. It is to be expected that profiles with short summaries, unusual and unusual tastes, as well as "authentic" photos, in an open and irreverent attitude, will continue to attract more matches regardless of whether the application is capable of more or better tuning the pairs we access.

Images | Unsplash

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