It’s not uncommon for technology companies to give its users ratings these days, and for good reason.
In the gig economy, both customers and service providers now score each other with review systems that help platforms like Airbnb, Task Rabbit, and Lyft weed out bad actors.
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But to me, and likely most Tinder users, it’s hard not to perceive the rating as a definitive scoring of our attractiveness, a supercharged Hot or Not-style algorithm culled from thousands and thousands of signals. And if the company did, would you even want to know it? Rad, who tells me his Elo score is “above average,” stresses that the rating is technically not a measure of attractiveness, but a measure of “desirability,” in part because it’s not determined simply by your profile photo.
“It’s not just how many people swipe right on you,” Rad explains. It took us two and a half months just to build the algorithm because a lot of factors go into it.”He doesn’t go into too much detail, but it’s easy to imagine how many data points could make up your “desirability” score.
(The tacky factor here is high, along with the assumption that you have cropped out your ex! This seems like an obvious statement, but thousands of people upload pics like this. Because we present more emotion with the left side of the face.
) A very wide, far away shot also rated on the poor side of the communication spectrum. To the Left A study out of Wake Forest University suggests that photos featuring the left side of the face are perceived by others as more pleasant when compared with pictures featuring the right side of the face (who knew! This is good news for those who may not have a great picture of their left side – simply make a quick edit so that it appears to be facing the other way. Another study (Tracy & Beall, 2011) looked at the gender differences in ratings of attractiveness of different emotion expressions.
I ask them if the data they’re about to show me will scar my ego. “It’s one thing to look up your personal information.
The beauty of Tinder, after all, is that rejection has been removed entirely from the process, since you have no idea who dismissed your profile. You know how many people you swiped on, but this also includes things like what other people have done, like how many people have swiped left on you.”I started having second thoughts, but it was too late. “It’s on the upper end of average.” It’s a vague number to process, but I knew I didn’t like hearing it.
“It’s a way of essentially matching people and ranking them more quickly and accurately based on who they are being matched up against.”Still, as nuanced as Tinder’s algorithm may be, it ultimately comes down to what Tinder data analyst Chris Dumler calls a “vast voting system.” Every time you swipe right on one person and left on another, you’re fundamentally saying, “This person is more desirable than this other person,” says Dumler.
“Every swipe is in a way casting a vote: I find this person more desirable than this person, whatever motivated you to swipe right.
How many people who you swipe right on, swipe right too? Do you include education and career information in your profile? Jonathan Badeen, Tinder’s VP of product, compares it to the video game .
“I used to play a long time ago, and whenever you play somebody with a really high score, you end up gaining more points than if you played someone with a lower score,” he says.
There was information listed there, he assured me, that I wouldn’t want to see.