Researchers Prove Why Tinder Sucks
If you have trouble on dating apps, the issue may extend beyond your use of “hey” as an introductory message.
In fact, according to a recent study, the reason many dating apps end up as fruitless pursuits may have to do with how we use the app, rather than things like shared interests and pure attraction. To gain a better understanding of what exactly ignites — and squelches — the flame on dating apps (specifically Tinder), researchers from Queen Mary University of London, Sapienza University of Rome, and Royal Ottawa Health Care Group put together an experiment that would test a number of factors relevant to mobile app dating.
The authors handcrafted 14 “faux,” or curated, profiles that were inserted into the public dating pools of London and New York. To cut down on the variables that might influence a person t0 swipe right or left on someone, the 14 profiles only contained headshots—no bios — generally reflecting “average” users. Because some people would be more likely to swipe right on someone in “high-end” fashion and less likely to show interest in someone wearing rags, removing full body shots makes the whole swiping process less complicated for the “real” users. Also, in an effort to try and eliminate the possibility racial prejudice (sad as that may be, all of the individuals in the profiles were 24 years old and represented caucasian users.
Once the profiles were created and active in their respective city’s public pool, the authors implemented software that allowed all of these profiles to automatically “like,” in essence swipe right, for every profile they come across. From there, the researchers sat back, manipulated some variables, and observed the resulting data. The results were pretty staggering.
Here’s how the number of profile pictures you have affects your chances.
For starters, more is more. When the authors toggled the amount of profile pictures for dating users from one to three, women experienced a 37% increase in matches while men saw a stagger 440% increase in matches. So, if you’re the type of person who only likes to put your one favorite photo on your dating profile, note that you’ll probably have more success by bumping that number to three or four.
And your bio, too.
Also, for those of you who slack off on your bios — or think that type of thing “doesn’t matter” — think again. During their initial round of experimentation, using profiles without bios, the success rate of test-profiles was not all that high. However, after adding a short — and probably not too highbrow — bio, the amount of matches started piling up. For men, adding a short bio resulted in a fourfold increase in matches from women (from 16 to 69), while women had a 58% boost on average.
However, the main reason why you might be coming up short on dating apps probably has to do with a misalignment of with men and women generally use Tinder. Authors of this study present the possibility of a “feedback loop” within Tinder that affects the way both men and women use the app. For most feedback loops to be considered positive, it is important that “cases” and “effects” work together towards a common goal. When causes and effects combat each other, it will likely result in a negative feedback loop—which is the type of system created by Tinder, as the authors argue. Here’s why.
From their results, authors concluded that men — who are typically far less successful than women on dating apps — who start to notice a dip in their matches are provoked to swipe more liberally with hopes of receiving more matches. However, this might only end up hurting them because women choose to go about their prospective matches more frugally. As you can see, the male’s increased “thirst,” only drives women to be more picky, thus widening the gap in interest.
So, as the leaves outside are just about ready to change colors — a startling yearly reminder that “cuffing season” is coming — you might wanna try seeking out your winter romance in person, as opposed to Tinder.