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Does Tinder Delete Old and Inactive Accounts?

Posted by Jamie on March 2, 2019

As part of our Tinder coverage here at TechJunkie, we tried to find out if Tinder deleted old and inactive accounts. It’s a question that gets asked a lot and there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer. That prompted a little investigation on my part to see if the profiles you see on Tinder are all active. Here’s what I discovered.

Does Tinder delete old and inactive accounts? The short answer is no I don’t think they do. The longer answer is more complicated.

Tinder profiles

Tinder does not release any official data about how it works, its algorithm or any of its secrets. However, enough people use it and have used it long enough to have anecdotal evidence we can use to make fairly accurate suppositions. These are just educated guesses but we think we know how it works.

We think that Tinder does not delete old and inactive accounts. We also think that some people think deleting the app from their phone is the same as deleting their account. How often you see old or inactive profiles depends on where you live and how many more active users there are.

The numbers game

If you live somewhere like Los Angeles with hundreds of thousands of single people using dating apps, the pool is as wide as it is deep. Depending on what filters you set, your pool of potential matches could be huge. As far as we can tell the newest members would appear first, anyone using boosters would appear next, those rated hot by the algorithm would be next and all others after that.

We know that new users receive a brief boost to help them achieve success and get them hooked. We know that boosts temporarily send your profile card to the top of the list if you buy the boost or subscribe to Tinder Plus. We also know there is an algorithm within Tinder that rates your hotness depending on how many other hot people swipe right or left on you. All of these influence where you appear in someone’s deck.

Only once you have exhausted all of those would you be likely to see any old or inactive accounts. They tend to appear at the bottom of the pile, either to bump up the numbers or because the profiles are technically still live.

If you live somewhere smaller like rural Idaho or somewhere, your experience is likely to be different. Your local pool of potentials is going to be much smaller so the likelihood of your seeing old or inactive accounts increases. Unless you widen your location range or set it to your nearest big city it is more likely that you will see inactive profiles.

The case for and against showing old and inactive accounts

There are pros and cons for Tinder to show old and inactive accounts. In the pro column it’s a boost in numbers. While there are enough users in the world anyway, loading up a free Tinder account and only seeing a dozen people in your area is not going to get you excited or convince you to subscribe.

In the con column, if you swipe right on an inactive profile nothing is going to happen. Unless the person decides to come back to Tinder they won’t see the match and won’t respond to it. This isn’t going to endear you to Tinder at all.

In the practicality column, there is quite an administrative overhead in deleting old and inactive accounts. If you delete the account, the person is less likely to come back. If you keep it there, they can log in and begin swiping right away.

If Tinder does indeed send old and inactive accounts to the bottom of the pile and only show them when you run out of other options, it is a half decent option. It would be better to take them out of circulation altogether but until they do that, leaving them until last is the next best thing.

If you don’t want your profile circulating while you’re doing something else you can delete your account. It will stop anyone stumbling across it and asking awkward questions and allow you to begin again should you want to rejoin.

It takes 30 seconds to delete your Tinder account:

  1. Open Tinder and log in.
  2. Select your profile and select Settings.
  3. Select Delete Account and confirm.

If you subscribe to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold you should cancel your subscription first otherwise you may still be billed even though you closed your account.

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