Understanding Online Dating apps and playing with their algorithms

One of the highest ranged searches on the internet is ‘best dating apps for relationships’. To many people that can be sad but today, online dating has done away with the stigma around it.

Online dating apps & their algorithms

Studies show that 3 out of 5 people in the USA are not opposed to meeting someone online. But, how much do we know about this online dating matchmaking process?Online dating apps & their algorithms

Online dating websites all have their apps now, and even big sharks like OkCupid and Tinder all are powered by machine learning AI algorithms that match people around their geography.

So, the chances are if you have met your soul mate online, you have to thank algorithms rather than just Cupid, the God of love.

Even though Tinder, OkCupid, eHarmony have managed to keep the secret behind their matchmaking process a secret, researchers at Cornell University have cracked that can wide open.

These days most online dating apps use their AI algorithm to match new users on the following factors initially –

  1. The agreeableness level
  2. Closeness preference
  3. Romantic passion range
  4. Extroversion or Introversion level
  5. Importance of spirituality
  6. The level of optimism or happiness

In addition to these criteria, the algorithm then adds on the new user’s location, height, religion information to draw matches for users.

So, you can see that the algorithm polls in all this information and draws in matches that are closest to the new user’s preference. Hence, you can thank math for that lovely date you had last Saturday.

How do Dating Apps eliminate guesswork

Simply put, the dating app algorithm learns from user data. The AI is designed to not just gather user data but learn from your preferences and actions. That helps the AI to push the matched profiles closest to your preferences.

For example, if you don’t like people with piercings, then the algorithm will quit showing your profiles who have piercings.

This means that all the guesswork in the dating game is out of the window for you. You would not have met all these people had you tried dating offline. Dating app algorithms bring you closer to likeminded individuals and also learning your actions all the way.

Can you play with the Dating App Algorithm

For this, I have to go back to an episode from Parks and Recreation. Tom Haverford, a character in that comedy sit-com opened 26 different Tinder profiles. He did that to ensure his chances of meeting a woman of almost all preferences was higher.

So, yes tacking such preference alterations through multiple profiles can be a big issue for online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, eHarmony, etc. There are some smart apps that detect an unused profile long enough then they also call for the deletion of it.

According to eHarmony, they close 300 profiles a day to advocate for a healthy and non-fraud dating space. OkCupid, Tinder, Bumble heavily depends on users to report abuse against a profile to maintain a healthy dating space.

To add to it, most dating app companies use computer-human intuitions to detect misbehavior. For example, they will read through your activity and see if you have been opening multiple profiles. It can also detect whether a user is pretending to be in a foreign country. You can also get banned for explicit language and behavior.

So, technically, yes, there are ways to play with the algorithm but, it is never advised to do so. Because, even if it is preferential dating math, being yourself online would probably actually find you the love you have been looking for.

A few advises as follows:

  1. Do not swipe right on every profile. Rather, keep it at a healthy 30% to 50%.
  2. Work on your profile. Use a catchy caption — Link Instagram, etc.
  3. Be genuine — no fake pictures or Photoshop.
  4. Try replying to every message. This matters. So if you believe you would be inactive for a while, better deactivate the app temporarily.
  5. Be yourself. Don’t try to spoof anything.

Remember, just like Facebook and Google, the algorithms of dating apps expect their users to use their applications genuinely. Don’t try shortcuts.

Are Online Dating Apps worth it?

Yes! Online dating boils down to strict math but, as true as that statement is; so is the fact that you get to meet different people. These dating app algorithms are designed to bring you closer to someone who shares your beliefs and your ideas.

Making the user in the centerfold of the whole math, you can ensure that you would at the very least end up meeting someone interesting.


There is no doubt that the future of online dating is mobile based for the industry. With more and more people getting on the online dating wagon, users are changing in how they use the internet to find their mate.

So definitely, knowing the algorithm and its preferential math system is going to help you refine your activities in a way, so you are matched with someone closer to your tastes.

Read next: Mistakes to avoid in Online Dating.

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Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.

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