Ask Reddit who have worked for dating apps want you to know these little known facts:
1. Guys swipe right on 47% of profiles. Women only swipe right on 12%. I knew some guys would swipe right more than women but wasn’t prepared for how little women swipe right!
2. I used to work at Bumble, although this was about 4-5 years ago. Globally, about 90% of the users are men, so there is a huge male to female disparity, although it’s not that bad on a per country basis (for some countries).
The most depressing stat though was the histogram of word count in messages. Something like 91% of opening messages were just one word “hey”, and ~85% of conversations were just one exchange long (“hey” -> no reply ever).
Looking at human, digital mating habits splayed out in data science form was really depressing.
3. I ran operations for an online dating company (notably not affiliated with Match). From database analytics I can tell you a few things. Men initiate contact around 80% of the time in straight matchmaking, and if you are a woman looking to date other women and you simply initiate contact with another woman you have a good chance of success simply because it’s very very very common for women to match but then neither initiates contact.
We were able to determine that it takes on average about 3 dates before sex happens (I don’t recall how we worked that out, I’m not a data analyst, but presumably it was some keyword-based algorithm looking at chat messages).
4. I used to work with a guy who had been an engineer for Match.com. He said 99% of the profiles were inactive, and that 80% of the active profiles were men.
He didn’t provide numbers but also said the was a huge disparity between the average number of messages sent to women versus those sent to men. According to him, all told the site was mostly men reaching out to dead profiles and never getting responses.
5. A friend wrote her master thesis about the different criteria in online dating and real life. Almost half (43%) the female participants who were in a relationship told they’d never have swiped right on their current partner. Other interesting results were that over 60% of men they wrote with on apps and agreed to go on a date, would have no chance, if they asked in real life.
6. I worked for Match for a couple of years. This is probably widely known but women frequently lie about their age and weight and men lie about their height and salary. Also, it’s a big problem that women are inundated with DMs while most men get none.
7. I used to moderate OK Cupid. The amount of unsolicited dick pictures men would send women, not even accompanied by any words was horrifying. I mean, you’d expect it because online dating is a cesspit but the sheer amount would still surprise you.
I had to look at each reported picture and say, ” Yes, that’s a penis.”
8. Most dating sites and apps are owned by one company, The Match Group. They have a near-monopoly. I think Bumble is one of the few not owned by them.
9. Female dating app users tend to sign off for the day several hours earlier than male users, which results in men who login after ~10PM generally not encountering many logged-in female users.
10. I did a study on how dating app usage affects someone’s narcissistic tendencies (whether adaptive or maladaptive). I found out that someone with a more pathological form of narcissism (maladaptive) is more socially and emotionally impaired when they aren’t getting the results they desire. Since narcissism runs on a continuum from grandiose to vulnerable this shows how damaging this can be for anyone expressing these tendencies.
Most people know about grandiose narcissism but many don’t know about the other side of narcissism which is the vulnerable side. The best way I can describe these people are these are the ones who look for someone to idolize and will do ANYTHING for that person. Since they are looking to fulfill a sense of self they are missing they look to others for that purpose (hence the idolizing). Dating app usage is extremely dangerous for these people because they spend hours searching for someone and when they don’t match with them it causes a narcissistic injury.
11. I read a blog by a guy who used to work for OK Cupid.
He said the creepiest thing about it is every move you make on the site, every photo you click on, every message you send is logged.
Also, they keep track of the accounts that receive the most attention, and use their images in their advertising and around the site.
All of this in an effort to commercialize and commodify our need for intimacy and human contact, and perpetuate and reinforce culturally imposed standards of beauty.
If that isn’t creepy I don’t know what is.
12. I don’t know if it’s changed but my roommate used to work at one of the big dating apps and one of the issues they had was that their algorithm changed at one point to more emphatically enforce dating “pools” where people who got more right swipes would only see profiles of people who get more right swipes etc. With the idea being that it would put people in similar “tiers” to actually match.
13. I helped software engineers optimize their profiles.
Men get VERY FEW matches, regardless of how good their profile is.
Women get A LOT of matches, but most of those matches are useless.
14. We used to create fake accounts and chat with users. It was everything from someone having a premium account that wasn’t getting responses to bored employees.
15. Lots of gay guys get banned from Grindr selling weed. Would get a lot of emails of “why am I banned?” Go to their profile and will say “HMU for that 🌳”
16. My ex bf worked for the Yahoo Italy dating site back in the earlyish 2000s. His job was to pretend to be a woman, and message male customers just as their accounts were going to expire. This would encourage them to pay to renew their subscriptions. Once they renewed, he would ghost them.
He only lasted for a few months due to how unethical it was.
17. Almost every dating app has a significantly larger percentage of men than women.
18. My old boss was the financial controller of a big dating site. He kept on seeing these big invoices for modeling agencies and initially thought it was because of the big parties they used to host. When he asked about it it turned out it was just content for the fake profiles they created to lure in users.
19. Many apps seed attractive bots to keep people engaged. The bots will send / respond to a couple of substandard questions. “How was your week?” “What are you looking for?” Then ghost.
Despite the ghost, the high of matching with a super attractive person that spoke to you is enough to get many people hooked and chasing the dragon.
I have a theory (unproven – I work on the comms side, not engineering) that these bots created ghosting culture. The bots just abruptly stopped chatting which isn’t how a normal actual human ends a conversation but people became so used to it happening to them, they started doing it to others. Learned behavior.
20. Get some decent profile photos. Go get your talented friend or just hire a photographer to take some really nicely-lit well-composed photos of yourself and watch your match rate soar.