Last updated on 2020-03-13
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 have 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. To make matters worse the Match Group’s business decisions have worsened the situation for paying customers too.
Even Gold Subscribers Are Not Safe From the Match Group’s Business Decisions
I recently wrote an in-depth report on the ways Tinder has been screwing over its users and customers, but the worst impact of their business decisions is this:
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 and Gold users, the one free boost a month is the only time the app feels worth using anymore. Luckily, you can buy more (/s).
The problem is when people are using boosts, they are effectively pushing back everyone else in their potential matches’ queues. This has led to a situation where even very attractive men are getting around 100x fewer matches than equally attractive women (without paying extra for boosts). Most normal guys meanwhile are struggling to get any matches at all without paying up, even if they are already paying for a Gold subscription.
Super Boosts, as ridiculous as they may sound, have exacerbated the Problem even further, as it seems there are actually people who pay for them.
All things being equal, you do not get more matches, or a higher chance to match with anyone by subscribing to Tinder Gold. You may value the Plus features, but if your problem is getting any matches at all, your only salvation is buying boosts at this point, and you can do that without a subscription. Though I think you shouldn’t, out of principle.
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.
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. With any luck, this new player won’t let themselves be bought out by the Match Group like the promising Hinge did most recently.
Bumble is a good alternative and may just be the better option for you, and there are a few contenders like Hinge, or OkCupid, but depending on where you live, they just don’t have the users (yet). They are also both owned by the Match Group, so they (will) face the same business decision issues as Tinder.
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, as well as trying to meet people in the real world. 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 🙂