Here's How Hinge's Algorithm Works To Make Sure You're Getting Compatible Matches

by Christy Piña

Trying to keep up with social media and the ever-changing algorithms of dating apps can be frustrating, especially when these algorithms are hard to understand. In a perfect world, you'd get tons of options for compatible matches that you could get along with great. But because dating apps filter through their users for you, it's impossible to see every single member of every single dating app. Hinge, for example, filters through matches they think would be best for you. But how does Hinge's algorithm work? What decides who shows up as a possible match for you? Why certain people, and not others?

"Hinge's algorithm is specifically designed to introduce you to potential dates who meet your preferences (and whose preferences you meet)," Jean-Marie McGrath, Director of Communications at Hinge, tells Elite Daily. "You'll only see people who you can actually connect with." Recently, Hinge started introducing its members to their "Most Compatible" match every day. The "Most Compatible" match depends on everything the app knows about you so far, based on the information you inputted at the beginning, such as your religion, ethnicity, if you have kids, political views, and more. The app also takes into consideration the three questions you answered from its prompts.

But, how exactly do your three questions and basic information help Hinge find your "Most Compatible" matches? Well, the app uses something called the Gale-Shapley algorithm (aka the Stable Marriage Problem) to match you with the users it thinks you would best connect with. The algorithm in general takes two things, (in Hinge's case, two people), and gives them a set of preferences (i.e. the three questions you answered and your basic information). It then matches you with someone else based on your set of preferences, or rather, how you answer the questions you were prompted with and how your "Most Compatible" match answered theirs.

That information in your profile and your possible matches' profiles helps the app configure a new "Most Compatible" match for you every day. "Considering everything we know about you so far, your 'Most Compatible' is the person we think you would be most interested in dating, who would be most interested in dating you," McGrath says. As you continue to add more information to your profile, and the app starts to learn more and more about you, "Hinge will refresh your 'Most Compatible' every 24 hours, taking into account the new information we’ve learned about you."

The purpose of Hinge's "Most Compatible" feature is to help solve a major problem in today's digital dating world: "Too many options, with too few results," McGrath states. "Through a combination of machine learning and the Nobel-prize winning Gale-Shapley algorithm, 'Most Compatible' pairs members with the person they’re most likely to have a great first date with." And if, for some reason, the first date ends up being not-so-great, Hinge has created a something for that, as well: the "We Met" feature.

The "We Met" feature prompts matched members to answer two questions (privately, of course). The first question is if they actually went on a date with their match, and depending on the answer, they're prompted with a second one. It asks if the members would want to see their match again. "What we're trying to do is bring the best dating experience possible to users," Hinge CEO Justin McLeod previously told Elite Daily. "We're trying to continually improve our service by making sure we're tracking who's going out on dates and if the dates are actually good."

So, there you have it. Now you know why exactly Matt from Chemistry lab popped up on your Hinge the other day. Chances are you have a lot more in common than your Tuesday and Thursday mornings.