Youve probably heard of Tinder, the dating app that lets people in your area swipe left or right on your photo to indicate whether theyre interested in making a match. Swiping right indicates youre interested in matching with someone and swiping left means you are not interested in matching with them.
If you swipe right on them and they swipe right on you, then you have a match! When theres a match, Tinder enables messaging so you can message your new match to get the conversation started, and possibly schedule a date.
Of course, one of the most important elements in whether someone swipes right on you are the photos that you have uploaded to your Tinder profile great photos will attract a lot more right swipes than a mediocre photo. But of course, defining a “great” photo isnt always so easy. Is it one where youre smiling? Where youre outdoors? Where youre socializing with friends? Everyone has an opinion but nobody really knows.
Thats why Tinder introduced their Smart Photos feature a few years ago. If you turn Smart Photos on, instead of you picking what you think your best photo is, Tinder instead randomly shows a picture from your photo set each time someone views your profile. Tinder then collects data on which initial photos generate the most right-swipes, and then sets your best-performing picture as the picture that it usually shows to a potential date who sees your profile.
The idea is to let the performance of your actual photos decide which photo to show first. That is, instead of guessing which photos the best choice, you left potential dates decide on which picture should be the primary profile photo. If one particular photo inspires more potential dates to swipe right on your profile, then that photo should be your primary profile photo. Essentially, the best photo wins when Smart Photos turned on in Tinder.
How Tinder Smart Photos works
In theory, Tinder Smart Photos makes sense. It analyzes all the swipes you get, what image was being displayed at the time and selects the image that gets the most right swipes to be your main picture. It uses machine learning to do all this work in seconds so every single interaction is used to provide the data needed to determine which photo is the best.
Tinder Smart Photos alternates the images it shows on newer profiles and tracks which image gets the most right swipes. It builds this data over time and gradually refines the image order until you have the highest performing images appearing first when someone views profiles you are included in.
The idea is that the algorithm will always present your most ‘successful image first in order to become more successful on the app. If Smart Photos changes your main image, you will see a notification the next time you log in. You should also see a different image on your profile pic on your login page.
The flaw in Tinder Smart Photos
There is one potential limitation in the systems accuracy, because of the way that some people make choices on Tinder. Not everyone uses Tinder in the same way. For example, when I used the dating app I would look at all of the images first and swipe at the end. A few people I know, both male and female, do the same thing.
This means the Smart Photos data the algorithm gets from users like me is skewed. I dont swipe right on the best image. I check them all out first. I then read the profile if I like what I see and then swipe. Either way, I tend to swipe left or right on the final image, rather than the best image.
While probably a tiny percentage of all of the swipes that happen each day on Tinder, those users like me who swipe on the last image instead of the best are not generating the right kind of data to give you the best chance of success.
Taking smarter photos for Tinder
Smart Photos can certainly help you out, but rather than trying to pick the best photo out of a mixed bag, I think it is better to take your fate in your own hands and make sure every one of your Tinder images is a showstopper. Here are a few top tips for taking smarter photos for Tinder.
Mix smart and casual
Include one image with you in casual dress and one of you in your work or smart clothes. Some people prefer seeing profile pictures of someone looking relaxed and casual while others prefer more formal. Cover both areas with an image of each. If you look good in a suit, wear one!
Smile or not?
I tend to use my own personal bias and say smile in Tinder pictures but not everyone agrees. Smiling is engaging and draws the eye. Men like to see women smile while women arent quite so choosy. A more straight look with no eye contact or more flirty look directly into the camera can also work.
Much depends on your face and whether you look best with a smile or with a different expression. Ask friends and family what they think, or experiment and see which you prefer. Because of Smart Photo you can experiment ese
To pet or not to pet?
Without wanting to pander to gender stereotypes, there are definitely those who respond better to pictures with animals. However, most of us have seen hundreds of cute kittens or puppies in dating profiles so it can work against you. If you College dating service have a great looking pet and it can bring out the best in you, feature it. If it doesnt, dont.
Quality is everything
Finally, selfies are so last year and should never feature on a dating app, especially one as competitive as Tinder. Always use a good quality camera and get someone else to take the pictures. If you can afford or justify the cost, pay a professional to take them for you. The results really will speak for themselves.
The great thing about Smart Photo is you do not have to know which photos are the best. You can add photos and let Smart Photo sort out which photo gets you the most right swipes. Your intuition on which photo or type of photos the best may or may not be correct. Dont guess, test the photo against other photos using Smart Photo,
Tinder Smart Photos doesnt guarantee success, just the potential of an increase in right swipes. It is entirely up to you whether you use the feature or not but I would say everything is worth trying once even if you dont end up using it.