Smart Photos can get you up to 12% more matches in Tinder
Smart Photos can get you up to 12% more matches in Tinder. Image credit: The New Economy.

Starting October 13, the American matchmaking mobile app, Tinder, introduced a new function that will reportedly make users more ‘swipeworthy,’ a new algorithm called Smart Photos. The feature was added automatically with an update and disclosed on the company’s official blog the same day.

‘Smart Photos’ will automatically reorder a user’s uploaded profile pictures to seek for the one that gets them the best results. The app will show one profile picture and register how many right-swipes the user gets, then switch to another to do the same.

This algorithm will then choose the photo with the best stats to show first, and reorganize the others photos according to their respective right-swipe popularity. According to the blog post, users who tested the beta version “saw up to a 12% increase in matches.”

How to activate ‘Smart Photos’ on Tinder

The app must update to its latest version which is currently available on the AppStore and PlayStore. Then, users must head to the ‘Edit Profile’ section to activate the ‘Smart Photos’ option that will appear below their photos and above their ‘About You’ section.

‘Smart Photos’ activates by just toggling on the switch. It will automatically start the reorganization process, and update as the user uploads new pictures.

Developing the new algorithm

An article published by Mike Hall, Machine Learning Lead, on Tinder’s engineering blog, named the causes and consequences of adding individual profile pictures. According to the initial research, carried out by the company’s sociologist, Dr. Jess Carbino, here are the main reasons that make potential dates do a left-swipe on users:

  • Not smiling
  • A user covering their face (even if not entirely)
  • The user standing among a group of people
  • Wearing a hat (any kind)
  • Wearing glasses (again, any kind)

This problem inspired them to create an algorithm that tested profile pictures autonomously to create awareness among users of their best (and worst) profile pictures. The biggest issue was how to discover which one was the best without wasting time showing the worst ones.

The chosen solution was the ‘Epsilon Greedy’ algorithm which the developers used to engineer a system that alternates between photo testing and photo exploiting (showing the best one after testing), exponentially cutting testing time as the best photos emerge from the results.

Tinder in a nutshell

Tinder is an app that shows you potential dates in your area by displaying their chosen profile pictures (up to six with the main one), a short bio, age, and name.

The photo appears at the center of the screen and users swipe the photo left (rejecting the person) or right (liking the picture).

Tinder does not allow users to see who made a right-swipe on them, but once it finds two users to right-swiped on each other it automatically ‘matches’ them and allows them to get in contact via the app’s chat service.

Source: Tinder Tech Blog

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