TINDER’S ALGORITHM 2021 – Explained

So, how does the tinder algorithm work? Want to get more matches and don’t really fully understand how the Tinder Algorithm works?

We’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look.

In this article we will 4 important topics:

  • The Basics of the Tinder Algorithm

  • Creating a great Tinder profile that beats the Tinder Algorithm

  • Case Study of a good vs a bad profile

  • Secret Tinder Algorithm hacks and tips to get tons of likes!

What is Tinder’s Algorithm?

An algorithm is a set of rules or a process in which specific problems are solved.

For Tinder, the algorithm is used to optimize the number of profiles you view. As well as the number of matches you receive.

Tinder uses profiles to match you with other profiles who have similar interests to you. They also match you with those who are close in proximity.

guy texting

Understanding the Basics of the Tinder Algorithm: ELO Scores

Tinder makes use of a scoring system similar to the famous ELO Score.

The ELO Score was originally invented to help improve chess-rating games and tournaments. It measures a person’s skill relative to other players.

These days, the rating system is used in association football, American football, basketball and other major league’s to determine match outcomes.

Everyone uses the ELO Score

Virtually all social tech companies have integrated the algorithm to determine what gets seen, what doesn’t in someone’s feed.

Therefore, the more people that swiped right ‘’Yes! I Like’’, the more your score will improve and the more chance there will be of you matching with someone of the same league.

As a result, every time you swipe right you are saying ‘’ This person is more desirable than other people’’.

Example of a graph of the Elo scorin system

This can also be seen as an attractiveness score, although tinder has tried to object this notion.

In March 2019, Tinder published a blog post explaining that this Elo score was “old news” and outdated, paling in comparison to its new “cutting-edge technology.”

”So, how is it possible that Spotify can create a perfect playlist based on my music taste and You Tube show’s me recommendations of great videos to watch based on the videos that I have watched?”

”Yet, tinder is showing me only profiles which I don’t like”

Having Good Tinder pictures is everything!

Did you know, that one of the main reasons for Tinder showing you ”low quality” profiles is mainly due to your own quality of pictures.

Having a great pictures makes a lot of sense as that is the first thing a user sees when swiping on your profile!

As seen down below, in the before and after picture, we can clearly see the difference in quality of the pictures. Taking your time and planning to take a picture will lead to a lot more likes than just taking a quick selfie!


In the picture above we can see that the subject is fully in focus and the colors are warm and inviting. Which one would you rather swipe to?

Algorithm picture Case study #1

In the beginning of this year we conducted a case study using the photo’s we showed above.

We made one profile using the old picture as the main profile picture and one profile with the new main profile picture.

San Picture 2 Algorithm

In the graph down below we can see the total amount of likes (using the gold account) the old profile gained in a case study in February 2021. We can see a slight bump around 14 February due to Valentines day.

Obviously the total amount of likes for our first profile was quite low as expected!

Example of a bad profile

Note: Location: Amsterdam. Tinder Gold account (paid) subscription was used.


Moreover, we wanted to know how the new profile will perform with two new pictures.

The main profile picture was the one with a nice blurry background. The second photo was a fun photo at the beach.

We kept the third profile picture with a friend.

San Picture 2 Algorithm

Instantly, we see a huge improvements, as seen in the graph below! Again, a significant bump around the 14th of February took place in the number of likes.due to Valentine’s day as expected.


Example of a good profile, results.

Note: Location: Brussels. Tinder Gold account (paid) subscription.

Tinder even has an option to select the most attractive picture to show for you. Tinder published in article that they don’t store a person’s features such as skin and hair color. They do however store swipe behaviour.

If you like a specific type of women or men, Tinder will store that information so you are more likely to be shown to a similar people with the same features. This is possible due to the fact that Tinder store’s people in similar groups, for instance: men who swipe right on particular woman who happens to have blond hair.

How to Hack the Tinder Algorithm

We have seen what the scoring system of Tinder is all about. Now, it’s time to go through some hacks on how to effectively gain tons of likes by increasing these variables that effect the algorithm!

Tinder Hack 1: Tinder Location, location, location

Firstly, changing your location will effectively reset you score. Using the passport feature tinder provides can be one option.

However, we recommend using a 3rd party such as Itools for Iphone to actually change the GPS of your phone.

This way, you will reset the algorithm and you will be shown to everyone again. Furthermore, another benefit of using a 3rd party app is that tinder users will see the distance the 3rd party tool generated to them and not your actual location.

Finally, when travelling out of town this can come in very handy to have your location constantly fixed.

  • Change your location once every 2 weeks to reset the score

Algorithm Tinder Hack 2: Upgrade you Tinder Photos

Secondly, having clear high definition photos is a must if you want to see any kind of results. You should have between 3-5 pictures with your main picture being a good portrait shot of your face.

In our guide of the perfect tinder photos we explain how to get the best pictures for the best results.

Here you will find our detailed post explaining step by step on how to take the perfect profile pictures and get tons of likes!

  • Tip: Updating your photo’s with high quality images will boost your results by more than 200%.

texting eachother

Algorithm Tinder Hack 3: Tinder Messaging behaviour

Thirdly, Tinder detects suspicious messaging behaviour. Clearly, using an like an auto-liker will definitely increase the chances that you might get banned or shadow banned (see here for the top 5 symptoms of being shadow banned and how to fix it).

Messaging people as soon as you match and replying on time definitely will help you improve your score!

You Can’t Go Wrong with Being Funny

Sharing a laugh is an excellent way to establish a bond with someone. A funny icebreaker will ensure your match thinks you are a cool and positive person.

The problem is that it’s hard to find a funny phrase while ensuring it’s unique.

You can find a random pick-up line or joke and use it. However, it’s much better if you intrigue the person’s attention. Here is an excellent example of a funny icebreaker:

“Options: kill, marry, and sleep with. Choices: Cristiano Ronaldo, me, Elon Musk.”

Example of Tinder texting
  • Tip: Make sure you respond on time. After 3/4 sentences ask for her/his number and set up a date!

The girl you are writing to might answer “kill” or even “I don’t know, wouldn’t like to offend you.” The former is a better option, but if you get something like the second reply, use this answer:

“I expected you to say kill me, that’s alright. But if you are going to take me out, at least let me take you out first.”

This version is both cheeky, funny, and a great icebreaker. From there, you can use a person’s interest to continue the conversation.

Ask the Right Question

Question icebreakers are great because they get you straight into the conversation.

Avoid yes or no questions since you won’t know where to go from that. Also, try not to be too generic.

Here is some inspiration you might use:

  • Do you prefer whisky, coffee, or tea?
  • How can someone make you uninstall this app?
  • What’s in your fridge right now?
  • Where’d you spend a three-day weekend?

Is It Better to Send a Tinder GIF or Emoji?

While an emoji might be cool, GIFs allow more creativity. The statistics even show that they can boost the response rate by 30%.

You can browse your match’s interest and use a suitable GIF. For example, if they like Friends, sending the GIF of Joey saying “how you doing” is an obvious choice.

Ultimately, it comes down to being original and expressing the right emotion. Whether you try to be funny or polite, try to make your icebreaker personal.

Accessing the Tinder profile of your match can help you to come up with the right line. And feel free to get creative as long as you remain unique and ensure you are conveying the right message!

Algorithm Tinder Hack 4: Make use of smart photo’s

This one is very much overseen by the majority of people. Tinder will select your best photo to be shown first. This can be a huge advantage to welcome people to see your profile with a strongest picture first based on Tinder’s software.

To conclude, with the above steps, we have answered the question ”how does the tinder algorithm work”?

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