Can you ‘hack’ your dating app to get better matches?

by | Jan 25, 2023

An illustration showing different profiles from a dating app, with heart and X buttons underneath. A finger hovers over a photo of a silly looking buff man. The other screens show a lumberjack, a woman with cats, a woman fishing, and a man chilling on a car.
Illustration by Tony Johnson / The Verge

Asking a dating exec how their matchmaking algorithm works is like asking Coca-Cola for its top-secret formula: they’ll tell you it’s a mystery, that it’s too hard to explain, that they simply cannot talk about it, Fight Club style.

Tinder says that it looks at things like app usage, profile details, and swipe history to find your matches. Bumble also says it looks at your swipe history, while Hinge didn’t say much, except that its “proprietary algorithm” was based on work done by two Nobel Prize-winning mathematicians.

But there’s a reason why these companies are so cagey about their code. Mathematician Cathy O’Neil says she thinks that if daters really knew how basic the algorithms are, they might not put so much blind faith into…

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