Please explain tinder to me
July 6, 2014 7:52 AM   Subscribe

How is it that every guy on tinder is hot when the online dating sites are full of somewhat creepy looking men? Do they have a rating system that they use to sort people or is it just their demographic? Also, how do I view others' moments or are those just the pictures that come up?

I started using Tinder 2 days ago. I had stopped using online dating sites because of it seemed like there were 3 interesting guys to every 100 no-way-in-hell guys. Tinder is full of great matches for me. I haven't come across one creepy one yet. Is tinder able to rate someone's appearance and then match them up with others with similar ratings? I am truly baffled about this. Do they screen people for tinder use? Or, and this seems really out there, is this just their demographic?

Also, how do I view others' moments or are those just the pictures that come up?
posted by myselfasme to Human Relations (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When everything about the standard online profile is stripped away except for your face, which another person will have give an immediate "pass" or "fail" grade to before they can see anyone else, it's not "out there" to assume that an especially attractive demographic must flock to it.

I'm not supposing that's why, but it's nowhere near the least likely reason.
posted by deathmaven at 8:07 AM on July 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

You are being shown an initially more attractive pool of users to try to retain you as a user, because Tinder's algorithm tries to filter some of the "no-way-in-hell" guys so that women don't burn out and the user base keeps growing. Once it has more data on how people are rating you and messaging you, and you've been using the app longer, it has some idea of how "hot" you are, and it will show you guys that it believes are about as "hot" as you.
posted by slow graffiti at 8:13 AM on July 6, 2014 [20 favorites]

In my experience, Tinder has a much lower barrier to entry (and less stigma associated with it), and consequently attracts guys (potentially more attractive ones) who wouldn't generally use a traditional online dating site.
posted by kylej at 8:47 AM on July 6, 2014

I haven't used Tinder, but if the app puts all the emphasis on looks, the people who use it will tend to be people who have made a lot of effort to have gorgeous-looking photos.
posted by John Cohen at 8:49 AM on July 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Two reasons, I think:

1) Tinder isn't as "serious" as actual dating sites - it's more simple and as a result fun and playful and kind of addictive, so a lot of people who wouldn't typically join an online dating site are comfortable joining Tinder even if just for kicks. The barrier to entry is so low, it attracts a bigger pool of users who might not feel like they've ever "needed" to use traditional dating sites. They want to see what the fad is about.

2) It's kind of a normal people club and its swiping system weeds out a lot (but obviously, not all) of the creeps. I think many weirdos like sites like OkCupid because they can message anyone they want and project their weirdness all over the place even if you didn't match with them. There's more features to keep them on the site, like notifications when someone bothers clicking their profile, etc. On Tinder though, "oh hell no"-types don't get any matches, and if you don't get matches you can't even talk to anyone and you won't get any activity. I think they get bored and frustrated and quit the app/become inactive in favor of places where they can go send weird messages to women freely.
posted by windbox at 9:02 AM on July 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

If by "other online dating sites" you mean OKCupid, their sorting algorithm works the opposite way - they show you people who have been rated roughly equally to you. So if other users rate you 5 stars, you get shown 5-star people. And vice versa. It does wonders for one's self-esteem, doesn't it?
posted by dekathelon at 9:25 AM on July 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

Tinder is the new hotness in online dating sites, so it's attracting two groups of people who are more likely to be attractive:

1. People who are young and new to dating. These hotties won't be single for long, and they just happen to have chosen Tinder as the place to experiment with online dating,


2. People who are "early adopter types"/the terminally hip, who've fled OKCupid because it's lame.

I remember when OKCupid was the new hotness, the average person on there was better looking and more intriguing than is currently the case.

That said, my Tinder is full of normal looking people with bad selfies who "love to laugh", just like every other dating site, so I'm not sure you're noticing something that is objectively true.
posted by Sara C. at 11:37 AM on July 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Tinder definitely tweaks the order in which they show people to you. From what I can tell, new users get the hottest of the hot early on, but over time, your sessions will start with a pool of noticeably less-hot people.
posted by the jam at 3:30 PM on July 6, 2014

In my experience (as a dude) a fair portion of the profiles are spammers, scammers, Instagrammers looking for followers, and prostitutes (whether real or fake, I've never taken the time to find out). Naturally these types are going to use very attractive, probably stolen pictures.

they show you people who have been rated roughly equally to you.

If this is really true about OKCupid then I am not nearly as good-looking as I imagined.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 8:46 AM on July 7, 2014

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