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The Ugly Truth: Tinder Keeps Secret Desirability Ratings for All Its Users

Courtesy of [Flickr user Denis Bocquet](https://www.flickr.com/photos/66944824@N05/14837259957).

Courtesy of Flickr user Denis Bocquet.

Do you have a Tinder account? If so you’ve also been given a “desirability rating” that is used within the company to help facilitate better matches among its users. The rating (which Tinder employees refer to as an “Elo score”) is not available to the public, so you have no way of knowing your own score. However, if you’ve noticed Tinder sending you an influx of potential matches who are… less than desirable, there’s a good chance your own score isn’t all that high.

But before you make that call to your local plastic surgeon, it’s important to note that the rating system is not based on looks alone.

“It’s not just how many people swipe right on you,” Tinder CEO Sean Rad said during an interview with Fast Company’s Austin Carr. “It’s very complicated. It took us two and a half months just to build the algorithm because a lot of factors go into it.”

Tinder data engineer Tor Solli-Nowlan agreed, stressing that people find user profiles desirable for a multitude of reasons.

“This [Elo score] isn’t a universal attractiveness,” Solli-Nowlan said. “People are really polarized on even just a photographic level: Some people really favor facial hair, while some do not. Same thing with tattoos, photos with pets or children, excessive outdoors shots, or photos of you with a tiger.”

But regardless of the actual criteria that factor into the score, it’s easy to understand why some people might view the rating as a snapshot of their own self worth. During the interview, Carr was given access to his own score. Even though it was considered to be in the “upper end of average,” it left him feeling less than confident.

As Carr put it, “Something about ‘upper end of average’ didn’t exactly do wonders for my ego.”

Read Carr’s entire article at Fast Company.

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