The digital era in which we live has brought many changes and the way we seek and find love has changed too.

That intense feeling of deep affection, generated 2.86 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 for online dating platforms like Tinder, Bumble or Match. These matchmaking platforms had over 366 million users last year and by 2027, it is estimated that there will be 440 million people seeking love online.

However, how do they work? How can they find your other half? In this blog entry, we will focus on how the most popular app in the world “to meet new people” works. Tinder is known as the “hottest app in the world” because their spark ignites more than 26 million matches a day.

This is how it works on the outside:

You download the free app (which also offers in-app purchases), then you update your photos, edit your bio to include your gender and sexual orientation, add your work or school info, your passions, or connect apps like Instagram and Spotify. Once you have done this, you can start swiping right when you like a person and left when you do not. If someone likes you too, it is a match!

This is how it works on the inside (3 examples):

  1. Tinder invented bilateral acceptance for two people to match only when their interest is mutual. For this to work, they use VecTec: a Machine Learning algorithm that generates personalized recommendations. Each swipe made is mapped on an embedded vector that represents the potential characteristics of the user (based on their profile). When the system recognizes a similarity between two built-in vectors it will recommend them to each other. This process allows the algorithm to improve its performance in identifying users who could co-swipe and match.
  2. They use an algorithm called Word2Vec that identifies the language choice -also known as diction- of the users: colloquial, slang, poetic, pedantic, abstract, concrete, connotation, denotation. Taking into account this data, similar swipes are grouped together in clusters and the users’ preferences are represented through the embedded vectors already mentioned. Users with similar preference vectors will be recommended by the system more often.
  3. They use another algorithm called Epsilon Greedy in their Smart Photo feature takes into account each individual’s swiping pattern when selecting which of your photos others they will see first. It is a system that gets smarter with more input: the more you swipe and the more you are swiped on, the better the algorithm works.

It is interesting to have a glimpse of some of the puzzle pieces that have to fit together to actually make Tinder work and the levels of complexity that they have gone through to optimize it for users.

We hope that the next time you think about Tinder, you do not think of it as “just an online dating app” but rather a platform that uses complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide a service in the name of love.

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