Fast Company has a big new profile about Tinder and its CEO Sean Rad.
The interview with Rad was conducted back in November but the story was published on Monday, and it looks like the Tinder CEO is trying to rehabilitate his image.
In a follow-up story to the profile, writer Austin Carr also explains a facet of Tinder you’ve probably never heard of before: your secret Tinder score.
It’s a scoring system that’s only meant for internal use, but Carr was offered a glimpse of his own Tinder score during his visit to the company.
Referred to internally as your “Elo score,” (yes, like the rating system used by chess players), it’s described as a complex algorithmic score that takes into account multiple factors. It doesn’t measure how attractive you are, but it ranks your desirability.
Since you swipe on people based on their perceived attractiveness, your score is theoretically representative of how you represent yourself on your Tinder profile overall.
“It’s not just how many people swipe right on you,” CEO Sean Rad told 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.”
A lot of what goes into this complicated algorithm isn’t explained. Jonathan Badeen, Tinder’s VP of product, says the Elo score is like the video game “Warcraft”: “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 told Fast Company.
And a Tinder data analyst named Chris Dumler called it a “vast voting system.” “Every swipe is in a way casting a vote: I find this person more desirable than this person, whatever motivated you to swipe right. It might be because of attractiveness, or it might be because they had a really good profile,” he explained to Fast Company.
Carr was shown his Elo score—946, or the “upper end of average,” according to Tinder—at Tinder headquarters, so don’t expect to be offered a peek of your own score inside your Tinder app; though not much detail is provided about these scores, they appear to be used mainly as an internal analytics tool.