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How Does Tinder Pick your Top Photo?

Posted by Jamie on December 14, 2017

If you’re new to Tinder, you may have been initially surprised that you while you pick your own main profile image it isn’t always used. Or more accurately, you do select what you think will be your main image and then Tinder decides whether it should be or not. So just how does Tinder pick your top photo?

When you initially set up your Tinder profile, you add images as normal and get to select the right ones for the right audience. When your profile goes live, Tinder Smart Photo analyzes your images and uses a secret algorithm to decide which of your images would perform best.

Tinder Smart Photos

Tinder Smart Photos uses big data to decide which characteristics perform best in profiles. As we all swipe left and right in the app, each action is recorded and then compared to the image we were presented. Tinder then analyzes this data to decide which images and which types of images get the most right swipes. Tinder Smart Photos then uses this data to put your ‘best’ image to the top.

As you swipe left or right on profiles, Tinder Smart Photos records each move. As others swipe left or right on your images, it does the same. The more you use it, the better it understands which images you like to see. The more other people use it on you, the better Tinder Smart Photos understands which of your images works best. Essentially, the more right swipes one of your images receives, the more likely it is to be selected as your top photo.

The idea is to make sure all Tinder users have their best performing image presented to as many people as possible. After all, if we don’t get success, we stop using the app. We can only take so much rejection after all!

To be successful on Tinder, you still have to put in the effort to provide good images for Tinder Smart Photos to work with.

How to take successful images for Tinder

In order for Tinder Smart Photos to work its magic, it needs good quality material to work with. As Tinder is all about the looks, it makes it doubly important to make sure your images are good ones. Here are some tips for taking images for Tinder that increase your chances of success.

Quality is everything

Forget selfies. There are millions of them on Tinder and few are really worth a second look. Go for top quality images taken by someone else. If you know someone who is good with a camera, use them. Otherwise, pay a professional to take some quality shots for the app. Many pros will recognize the particular needs of Tinder and be able to deliver good quality images.

If you don’t use a professional, bear these things in mind:

Copying isn’t bad

Everything is fair game in dating so if you have to copy someone to achieve success, go for it. Find out who the most popular people are on Tinder and copy the style and setting of their images. If not the most popular, the most appealing of your gender and copy them.

Look at the pose, the expression, the setting and the image itself. Take screenshots if you like and copy them for yourself. Put your own personality into the image so it isn’t just a pastiche of the original though.

Head and shoulders above

The most successful images on Tinder are head and shoulder shots. A good quality image of you on your own with a clear view of your face is going to win the most right swipes. Leave group or hobby shots for the supporting act. Your main image should be of you, smiling or looking cool.

Get a second opinion

Once you have a decent selection of shots to use on Tinder, get a second, third or fourth opinion. Make sure to ask members of the sex you are trying to attract to make sure you are giving them what they look for. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism either. Use it to your advantage and integrate it into your images wherever possible.

Don’t be afraid to look away

While a good quality head shot of a smiling person making eye contact with the camera can be powerful, so can looking past or away. As long as the profile isn’t too narrow and the image shows a good view of the majority of your face, it should work. It also adds atmosphere and a little mystery to a shot which can work wonders.

Tinder Smart Photos is clever but it needs good material to work with in order to do its best for you. We may not know exactly how Tinder Smart Photos selects the top photo but we know that it uses what you have to deliver as much success as possible. That alone makes investing in good image worthwhile doesn’t it?

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