Last updated on 2019-11-03
First off, it is important to differentiate whether you’re getting fewer matches than you used to, or getting no matches at all, whether suddenly or from the beginning. If your problem is the latter, I’ve got you covered in the linked post.
If you got significantly more matches in the past, but have seen them dwindling over the past months or year, or if you took a long hiatus from Tinder and just came back to dismal match rates that make you think your app might be broken, then this article is for you and the many people sharing your experience; Because yes, you are not the only one and it’s probably not your fault
Possible reasons for why you’re getting fewer Tinder matches than you used to
There are many possible explanations for the disappointing decline in matches many Tinder users – primarily men – have been experiencing. The following are the most likely theories, in my opinion.
Tinder has been crippling the standard/free experience
While we have seen a gradual decrease in matches over the years following Tinder’s prime in 2014, there have been three noticeable drops in match rates in recent Tinder history.
- The first occurred shortly before the release of the consumable Boosts feature
- The second shortly before the release of Tinder Gold
- The third just as Tinder updated their algorithm, and introduced “Super Boosts“.
In all of the above cases it makes sense from a business perspective to limit organic matches just enough for people to get frustrated and decide to spend some money to help things along.
Boosts let you experience a flood of matches in a short time span, after which the drought of “normal Tinder” seems unacceptable. For many Plus users, the one free boost a month is the only time the app feels worth using anymore. Luckily, you can buy more (/s).
In the case of Tinder Gold, people with limited matches may feel more inclined to use the “likes me” feature to not miss out on any potential matches
All that being said, you do not automatically get more matches as a Plus/Gold user.
Update, 2019-06: Tinder has introduced more potent “Super Boosts” which may actually alleviate the symptoms of boosting, as combined with a steep price increase. Or it may just worsen the situation. Stay tuned.
Update: 2019-11: It has worsened the Situation. Either the introduction of Super Boosts, or the change in the algorithm that has made Tinder even more selective in whom your profile is shown to have all but halted the organic match rates of even paid customers. Ironically, it seems free users get more matches than Gold subscribers now, probably because the latter have already demonstrated a willingness to spend money on the app.
There may be fewer women on Tinder than ever before.
While Tinder, as opposed to Bumble, has never released official information on its user demographics, an unofficial report from 2015 estimated 38% women among its users. Since then, things seem to have only gone downhill.
This is not only bad because of the odds at face value, but because it contributes to the vicious cycle of Tinder that keeps making the app more and more frustrating for guys.
You haven’t been keeping up with the competition
You may still be using the same profile as when you were (more) successful on Tinder, but while this serves to show that there are other factors at play, it may very well be part of the problem.
The competition hasn’t been sleeping and many have been improving their profiles and pictures a lot, taking Tinder and online dating more seriously and putting more effort into it.
It may just be time to up your game.
You’ve been ruining your secret score
Tinder has a secret rule book, and inadvertently breaking those rules (for example by swiping right on everyone) means the Tinder algorithm lowers your desirability score, which in turn means your profile gets shown to fewer people.
Is it fair to set rules to a game and not tell the players? Maybe not, but now that you know you have an advantage.
Update: In Tinder’s updated scoring system, they appear to be using image and text recognition software, which may further limit your pool of possible matches, although the intention would have been to tailor your matches to your personal preferences.
While it’s possible that you are partially responsible for getting fewer matches than you used to, there seems to be a systemic issue with Tinder. Personally, I believe both the crippling of the standard experience as well as the declining percentage of female users are the main problems facing Tinder, and if they don’t do something to address these issues soon, the app may not survive much longer.
The thing that has helped Tinder most so far is a lack of any serious competition in their niche, but it’s only a matter of time until a new player disrupts the dating market as much as Tinder did back in its heyday.
Bumble is a good alternative and may just be the better option for you, and there are many contenders like Hinge, or OkCupid, but depending on where you live, they just don’t have the users (yet).
In the meantime, all you can really do is to work on your profile, maintain a healthy score, and not take it too personally if you don’t get many matches. Or, you could give Bumble and other dating apps a try. One of them might just be a better match.
What do you think? What has been your experience with Tinder as of late? Feel free to leave a comment below, or visit the SwipeHelper Subreddit. See you there 🙂