Tinder uses a rating system based on the ELO score that determines whose profile you are shown, who sees your profile, and in what order. Many other dating apps use similar matching algorithms to yield the highest amount of matches possible.
When a Tinder account is first created, it has no rating. Users are allowed to swipe on a wide selection of profiles. Based on whom a user matches with and swipes on over the course of the first few days, a score is determined.
Many analysts explain the ELO score system as a 1-10 scale. If a user is a 5, they will be shown profiles that are 4-6 and rarely anyone else. If the user swipes and matches with more 4s than 6s, they will then become a 4. On the other hand, if they swipe and match with more 6s than 4s, they will become a 6.
Users believe that if they are pickier with their swipes and reserve them for “more attractive” profiles, their ELO score will increase. This is false. The ELO score also depends on which matches you actually send messages to.
There are also some users who swipe right on every profile in order to dig for as many matches as possible. This is worse than being picky, in terms of ELO score. A new Tinder update recognizes users who abuse the swipe right feature as bots. These users are flagged and given a very low score, making them mostly invisible to non-bot users.
However, Tinder Plus users are rumored to get a free pass from many score lowering behaviors. For example, Tinder Plus users can swipe as much as they want while being as inactive or active as they would like without any ELO score penalties. On the other hand, non-Tinder Plus users who swipe over 2,000 in one hour will automatically have their account flagged and locked for twelve hours.
It is estimated that swiping right on 30-70% of profiles a user is shown on a regular basis is ideal. Being inactive even for a few days is something that can greatly decrease your ELO score as well.
Essentially, if two users with high ELO scores swipe on one another, they actually help boost each other’s score. However, after a certain ELO score threshold, it becomes increasingly difficult to raise a user’s ELO score. Interestingly enough, it takes only a few swipes on lower-scoring users and/or inactivity to dramatically decrease any user’s ELO score.