Tinder doesn’t want you to find love: that’s how its algorithm works

He was born 10 years ago Tinderthe dating app that transforms copulation and affectively. Over the past decade, some 75 million monthly users in 190 countries have frantically and mechanically swiped their fingers across screens in search of their ideal partner or one-night stand, turning the ideal of romantic attraction into a digital marketplace. choice and consumption of bodies. Tinder come on, he doesn’t want you to find love.

The application did not invent flirt online, but promotes turning that experience into addictive fun. Displayed in a digital catalog according to the opinions of others, users only have to move their finger to the right or left (“swipe”) depending on whether they want to connect to the carousel of suitors what’s on the other side of the screen. When two profiles like each other (“match”), they can start chatting. platform quotation marks The most popular on the planet guarantees that in the last decade it has made more than 70,000 million pairings.

The key to Tinder’s success lies in its design, which uses ‘gamificationtypical of video games to attract users and keep them as long as possible within the platform. The app uses the human will to please others: every time we make a “match”, our brain releases secretions dopamine (the pleasure hormone) in a similar way as when playing slots. So the web becomes a space where we can seek reward, be it pictures of happiness caused by the physical validation of our looks or the promise of finding love.

A state of desirability

Besides its psychological impact, Tinder’s success is based on several mathematical gears which explain why certain user profiles are shown to you and not to others. Until 2019, the app used an algorithmic system known as ‘Elo’ – used by FIFA or in chess competitions – which gave more points to the most liked users and then matched them with other users with the same “desirability” status;. As the journalist revealed Judith Duportailfor this, Tinder compiles conversations between flirts word for word, the “likes” of Facebook and connection times.

“Looking for a partner is like an economic transaction: it transforms itself into a product that competes with others in a supply and demand market”

Eva Ilu

Thus, choosing attractive photos and an ingenious description for the profile becomes a learning process to try to climb positions in this internal classification between beautiful and ugly, in a pure competition for the attention of others that drives turbo-capitalist logic to sexual relations. “The search for a partner is formalized as an economic transaction: it transforms itself into a packaged product that competes with others in an open market regulated by supply and demand,” the sociologist pointed out. Eva Ilu.

sexually affected capitalism

However, this system has presented numerous ethical concerns regarding the discrimination that may occur in the internal classification of individuals. “It’s like arriving at a party and not being able to see all the people who are considered too ugly, beautiful, rich or poor,” Duporteille pointed out in his research book “The Algorithm of Love” (Contra), pointing out “patriarchal logic & rdquor ;.

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Tinder claims to have changed this system and replaced it with a algorithm on AI (AI) that analyzes the user’s activity and photos to better understand their tastes and allows them to recommend partners that match their behavior. inclusiveor you can calculate your IQ, your emotional state or your learning to make “matches” more accurate. If you like black people, playing guitar and gastronomy, the app will show you people with the same interest.

Using “gamification” techniques and its social hierarchy algorithm, Tinder searches hook users and drag them to pay subscriptionthe key to your business model and something that more than 9.6 million people worldwide are already doing. The free version of the app limits the number of daily “matches” to 20. To improve your chances of flirting with exclusive features like “super like‘ you will have to pay. Tinder isn’t about finding love, it’s about paying to keep trying. its owner, Matching groupearned $2.983 million in profit last year.

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