For the full explanation of how Tinder works behind the scenes, and all of the advice I currently have to give, I recommend reading The Ultimate Guide to Tinder Post Series. That includes how to build a good profile, messaging, etc.
The short version, i.e. the most important rules to follow nowadays to stay in the Tinder algorithm’s good graces so you’ll be shown to lots of potential matches (apart from being attractive and having good pictures):
1. Keep It Age Appropriate!
As our recent Swipehelper Research Brief reveals, narrowing your age range closer to your own age can net you more matches.
It’s not that Tinder is trying to punish you for trying to date younger women/men/people, but simply that the chance of someone half your age swiping right on you is lower than the chance of someone your own age swiping right on you. That means the wider your age range, or the lower your minimum age setting, the lower the ratio of right to left swipes you receive, which in turn means the algorithm sees you as less attractive, which in turn means it will show you to fewer and less attractive people/profiles.
Yes, they’ll only see you if you’re in their set age range, but you may be at the upper end of theirs and they might not have had you in mind as an exception when they set it. Women tend to stay close to their own age +10 years, max, when looking for a partner. Keep that in mind when setting your desired age range, and keep it age appropriate if you want to maximize your chances on Tinder.
2. Have Some Standards, Man!
Not because I’m worried about your self esteem or your romantic life in general, but because swiping right on everyone will hurt your visibility, as Tinder secretly punishes this behavior. You heard it here first!
Effectively, you may brick your account by spam-swiping right on everyone, netting yourself a shadow-ban. That is, you will still be able to use the app and it may appear to be functioning, including messaging your existing matches, but you will effectively not be shown to anyone anymore and stop receiving matches.
So even if everyone is attractive to you and you’re not just trying to be efficient by swiping right first and then sorting out any matches later, you’d do well to swipe left on at least 20-30% (but not more than 80%) of the profiles you’re presented with.
Also don’t swipe too quickly or too much, even if you have “unlimited” swipes from a premium subscription. Machine gunning it, or swiping more than 2000 times in a day seems to have similar effects to swiping right on everyone, likely because Tinder thinks you may be a bot.
3. Spread Your Swipes!
One of the most important metrics for your visibility on Tinder is how recently you were last active. This means if you’re going to swipe 100 times a day (as an example), then you’d be much better off swiping a few times every hour instead of 100 times in a row during your lunch break or whatever.
Spreading your swipes throughout your day will keep you more recently active in the app and thus you will get shown to more people.
4. Don’t Be too Much of a Digital Nomad!
Even though Tinder Plus comes with a Passport feature, allowing you to change your location, you shouldn’t make too liberal of a use of it. The algorithm really doesn’t like you changing your location more than once a day. Whether this is due to trying to correct user behavior or due to technical limitations and bugs is unclear, but matches seem to drop drastically and permanently after changing locations too often.
5. Message Your Matches!
This one is harder to quantify, but according to user reports and my own testing, it seems to make a slight difference to your future match rate whether or not you message your current matches. It’s entirely thinkable that the app wants to encourage you to make something of your connections, or to spare potential matches a “useless” match with you since you don’t seem to be interested in chatting with anyone.
If All Else Fails, Shell Out the Big Bucks!
This is not so much a rule as a reality of life. We may not like it, we may not approve, but the fact of the matter is that paying for Tinder Platinum does increase the number of matches you get. Though just to be clear, it increases them by a multiple, so if you currently get 0 per day, you’ll likely still get 0 per day with Platinum and you’d do well to make your profile more attractive before paying.
And there you have it. I hope this post was helpful to you. Anything to add? Feedback? Feel free to leave a comment below, or on the SwipHelper Subreddit. See you there 🙂