Is Tinder Racist? Statistical Analysis and Tricks to Win The Tinder Game

So the question of the week is: Is Tinder Racist?

I won’t tease you with this one. We already know that minorities receive less replies via OKCupid’s analysis and probably the rest of the online dating world. The short answer is “yes”. Tinder is racist. So is online dating. So is society. But the data may surprise you as far as how racist it really is vs. what we expect.

For those of you that don’t know, Tinder is a fast growing app that allows users to “like” or “reject” a profile based on that person’s picture. If both users “like” each other, a match is made and you can then message the person. People praise it for weeding out the “creepy” factor because girls get to choose which guys they prefer based on their Tinder pictures. Other people complain that it is based on superficial factors like one’s photo and physical attributes.

tinder ui

Hypothesis: Tinder is racist.

Methodology to test hypothesis:

  1. I created 6 profiles of different types of people
  2. I ran a hacked automated tool that likes everyone in your area on Tinder
  3. Each profile had multiple pics and distinct tag lines, and I only included below the primary profile pics
  4. We recorded the number of return likes in 24 hours, and the number of messages each profile received

So, without further ado here are our contestants:

Profile #1: King Booth

King is relatively normal white guy who we consider good looking. He does’t have the coolest picture, just pics with his friends hanging out

king

Profile #2: Prince Caspian

You may recognize Cas from the PUA community – we needed his pic to test out the “girls like guys with muscle” theory. I have another friend who’s latino and has a lot of success with a shirtless pic on Tinder. Not all of Cas’s pics are muscle pics, only his primary photo.

cas1

cas5

Profile #3: AlphaWolf

You’ll have to believe me when I say I’m a 8.5. I’m Asian too. Instead of the muscle route, we went with the “high class” business photo:

aw

Profile #4: Vince Lin

One of our cherished Asian model / actors, Vince Lin was supposed to represent the epitomize of Asian looks and an “Asian 10″. You may argue that his pic is less friendly and the black and white distills emotions a bit more than colored ones, so this is worth another test with a different Asian model who’s working full-time in America. We should also test half Asian models like Daniel Henney.

vince lin

Profile #5:  Harry Goodwins

One of the top rising male models of our time, Harry is the traditional good looking all American model with a European bone structure. We picked him to contrast out model vs. mortal data and also to compare him to Vince Lin, our Asian model counterpart.

harry3

harry5

Profile #6: Esmeralda HB9

As a control, we setup a pretty hot  girl Tinder profile, to see what type of responses we would get. We wanted a solid 9 girl but not a perfect 10 because most women, if they take care of themselves can reach this level of physical attractiveness.

Holly R

Holly R4

Results

tinder racist general results

Yes, all search conditions being equal, white guys performed better than Asians, with the exception of the Asian model vs. normal white guy.

When we arrange the data to reflect top conversions:

tinder top conversions

1. You will notice like all online dating, girls get a disproportionate amount of attention from guys. EVERYONE wants to meet her.

2. Our male model got the highest conversion rate, but even then, it is only 10% of what the HB9 girl got! Women just have much more streaming inbox messages than men. This is an important mindset. At all levels of the game, women get bombarded with interest. If they ignore you, it is usually not because what you said was wrong, but rather, you didn’t stand out among the hundreds of guys messaging / liking her.

3. With normal guys me and Cas competing with King, King got a slightly higher percentage conversion than we did, but not as much as we expected.

Let’s arrange the data by race only:

tinder asian vs. non asian

If you look at the difference between 0.39 (me) vs. King Booth 0.52, the difference is only 0.13%. In the grand scheme of 1000+ likes, this is not that big of a deal. However, it is 34% higher than me (14 vs 13), but I had a larger like pool of 3335 vs. his 2684. Given that King’s picture is just an everyday facebook pic, and mine was properly taken with photographers and all, his profile pic still outperformed mine. Basically, at the “normal guys” level, being white gives you a slightly higher likelihood of being “liked”. So we confirmed what we already knew for a long time: Asian, black,etc, minorities have to stand out an compete more fiercely with their white counterparts to get the same results.

Also, I was surprised that Cas did not receive more likes. I’m not sure why, and another profile pic is worth a test.

At the model level, Harry got over 162% more likes than Vince Lin. 69 vs 14. This requires further testing. First, his picture was in color, and he had more pics. Vince only had 2-3 pics. Nonetheless, Harry was bombarded with messages mostly from fat girls and medium-looking white girls. The really hot white girls still did not message him initially.

Difference 8.5 0.13% 34%
Difference Models 1.63% 162%

 

Conclusions

1. Yes, Tinder is racist. Normal Asian guys need to break stereotype quickly and stand out to compete for white girls

2. Most ok-looking white girls are down, the real hotties never message first, and are usually on Tinder for vanity and will occasionally go out with a hunk of their choice at their time of choosing. Most of them get overwhelmed with likes and messages on other sites, so Tinder’s app allows them to really distill based on looks

3. Fatties and black girls are more down to message all guys of any group
A normal looking white guy can outperform a muscle Asian guy or Asian guy in a suit

4. Even at guy model level, response rates were around 2.6% vs. HB9’s 20%. Girls just don’t ‘like’ everybody

5. If you are a minority, you can compete at a high level with most normal guys in society by working out and having an edge. However, anyone who thinks that everything is fair and that racism doesn’t exist is ignoring reality.

6.Overall, the percentages were not as high as I thought they would be for racism. It is more likely that girls are overwhelmed online, and also with Tinder, they are more selective about the types of guys they like. The whole demand-supply issue is more of a factor than race.

7. My other white friends have reported getting no matches and quitting, so it is possible that the picture has a huge factor to do with results.
In Scottsdale AZ, I ran Tinder auto app and got tons of likes from pretty hot girls @ about 5%. It all depends on the male-female ratio and hotness level of girls in your city.

Game on player: yes America is still a little racist. We’ve come a long way. There’s nothing stopping you from getting yours, just maybe a wall or two to jump over.

Further Testing

1. Tinder seems to have some issues on their servers and sometimes a bunch of likes come in at once, it is possible our data was corrupted by some of their scaling issues. Most tests needed over a longer period of time, perhaps 1 week.

2. We can test response rate on Tinder by sending messages and see how down the girl is. I didn’t do this because it was too deceiving and I didn’t want to lead anyone on.

3. If you put a white guy in a suit vs. Asian guy in a suit, will percentages change?

4. Have a variety of male models with different “looks” emo. vs. classy vs. hunk and see which ones perform better. Have white and Asian models

5. Test Asian girls vs. black and white girls. Do they have an “Asian fetish” advantage, or does racism apply to Asian girls too?

Update: here’s the post, step by step, on how to make Tinder auto-like all matches.

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  • Comments

    43 Responses to “Is Tinder Racist? Statistical Analysis and Tricks to Win The Tinder Game”
    1. HMS Kuti says:

      The UK is just as bad for men, especially for ethnics.

      • alphawolf says:

        In every country the minority race is always at odds you just have to work harder to stand out. Compared to 10 years ago we’re much better off now than ever

    2. Pepe says:

      Tinder isn’t racist.. white people are.

      Actually white Americans aren’t so bad.. its the British who’re really very racist .. I mean literally every white British man, woman and child participates in institutionalised ritual race hate….. fully endorsed and encouraged by the British government and the media.

      • Chiu says:

        @Pepe

        Sorry but I don’t find that the British are that racist, compared to some other countries.
        Every County has its fair share of racists but for me personally, I have found that Turkey has been the worst.

    3. Alohian says:

      I would love to see how other races of men would do compared to a White male, say a visibly looking Latino or a Black male just to see if it is bad for all minority groups or some. You also ran the experiment in AZ which has a fairly liberal scene, why not in Texas and other areas to see if it makes a difference?

    4. Chiu says:

      Just wondering what the results would be if u changed all the Asian profiles to white and change the white to Asian, but leave the profile pictures up.

    5. Chris says:

      When I see the 26% conversion ratio of the girl my first thought was “what?? 3 our 4 guys swiped left on her???” I’d think her conversion ratio would be 100%. That girl is hot.

      • alphawolf says:

        @ Chris

        Keep in mind that some people don’t check Tinder regularly and I did it on a 24 hour basis. She probably would have gotten more replies within 1 week timeframe.

        So 1/4 25% swiped yes on her within 24 hours.

        • Chris says:

          I’ve recently been running some Tinder experiments of my own like what you guys did above. I have a white guy that’s definitely top 10% looks though not quite as modelesque as the guy Harry Goodwins you have above. He is more of the all-American former college athlete sort of look. The conversion rate he got was 23.5%. This was tested in a medium-sized city in the south after clicking yes on the first 2,000 girls that came up. I’m not sure why the guys you used got such low conversions. Maybe running it in different cities would’ve yielded vastly different results. I also tried the same thing with a very handsome black guy who is also top 10% in looks. He only got a 0.6% conversion ratio in the same city. The white guy got 37x the response of a comparably good-looking black guy.

          One other thing very importantly, where can I find that script that automates the right-swiping function? I want to try this experiment in different cities using different races/looks of guys to see how well they do in various markets. Having to click 2,000 girls manually by hand is tiring and time-consuming.

          One last thing, 24 hours is about all you need when waiting for matches. I’ve tried this experiment with my own photos multiple times and found that 95% of my response come in the first 24 hours. Even when I left it up and running for 4 days at a time. Beyond about one day, matches stop coming.

          • alphawolf says:

            Hey Chris thanks for the data

            1. I did this in San Diego and Scotsdale, AZ. I noticed in late 2013 that Tinder app was slow and sometimes, matches that updated would take more than 24 hours. They would all come in at once. I think this problem has been fixed on Tinder’s servers since.

            2. The script is called Tinder Autoliker. Google Android marketplace banned it, so we’ve been transferring the data from phone to phone manually

            3. For bigger cities I think people have stuff going on sometimes I don’t check Tinder for 1-2 days and I only converse with girls 1-2 days later between messages. Some people are hardcore users, others less so.

    6. CON CAC says:

      Australia is even worse and more backwards than any western country out there….

      • alphawolf says:

        I though Australia would be more open since its close to Asia and gets a lot of Southeast Asian immigrants?

    7. Angela says:

      I agree with Con – Australia is worse. No doubt racism exists just about everywhere in the world, but in Australia being ‘Australian’ is tied up with Whiteness. Even though many non-white people are born in Australia, white Australians may not regard them as Australian enough. I’m Asian-Australian and when I was younger I would get asked a lot by (white) adults “What nationality” I am. When I said Australian they’d keep probing. “Where were you born?” and an assortment of questions you might get asked at an immigration and customs interview. Most people asked in a friendly tone, just wanting to make small talk, but after I revealed that I was ‘Chinese’ that’s all they’d see. “Oh so you’re Chinese. Do you eat dog?” and other stupid questions. John Oliver was right when he travelled to Australia and said that Australians are casually racist. It’s very common to categorize people by race here. I find that older people (baby boomer or older) tend to be more racist. Younger generations born after 1975 were raised in a more multicultural society so I rarely encounter racist remarks or attitudes from younger people.

      • alphawolf says:

        Thanks Angela. If someone asked me if I eat dog I would be like “woof woof! Woops. I had too much puppy last night!”

        • Angela says:

          Lmao! By the way this article was really interesting, good data analysis and all that. My friend linked me to it because he we both decided to use Tinder for a week and see what it’s like. These were my personal results: Nobody liked me. I liked 3 profiles (all white guys – because 98% of the profiles that popped up in my geographical area were white guys) and I got one response. I’ve resigned myself to not being likable on Tinder. Oh it’s a hard life.

    8. Yu Mad says:

      Lol Asians complaining about racism. Asian people are much more racist than white people.

    9. JamalsBBCLife says:

      I’d like to see some analysis re: who those profiles matched with. I’d suspect that Vince Lin would get a lot of Asian matches, while Prince Caspian would get a lot more white/black matches.

      Some more further things of note: Prince Caspian (SquattinCassanova) has a great body, but he’s really not a good looking guy at all.

      Vince Lin is very good looking but his picture kinda looks like a stock photo or an old-timey photograph (ie not authentic).

      Harry Goodwins is extremely good looking but he’s also very skinny. I wonder what the results would be like if you found a good looking male white model that was also jacked.

    10. You called me Prince Caspian lol. Apparently the bodybuilding community found this blog post.

    11. alphawolf says:

      Sup homie. Sorry shouldve asked your permission first ;) thanks for being cool

    12. Brady says:

      This can’t be right. I’m East Asian and nowhere near as good looking as those guys and I still got 47 matches after about 2000 swipes in 24hrs.

    13. alphawolf says:

      @Brady so you’re at 2.35%, which city are you in? How long was the sample (how long did you wait until counting the 47?)

      I think Tinder has some lag issues when I conducted this experiment months ago

    14. Mando says:

      Lol i think my tinder is broken I dont get nothing – i’m a black guy, consider myself about 7.5-8.0 out of 10. I have to swipe through about 50-60 white chicks before I get to a black chick, it’s tiring – they need to give you an option to seperate it by race or something.

      My friends tell me “Just spam the like button, you haven’t got time to go through each profile one by one”

    15. Lurker says:

      All this talk of ‘racism’ is absurd, as if you had some sort of right to date outside your race, that women of other groups had an obligation to make themselves available.

      Since most of that boils down to the degree which white women will date non-whites whats the problem there? Anyone? (It also tells us that white women have, on average the highest SMV, that means race is real, that means ‘racism’ is not)

      OK, there arent enough white women to go around, if every non-white feels they have some right to date (and mate?) with white women there will very soon be none at all will there, what with whites being only about 10% of the worlds population.

    16. Asian Man says:

      My experience is pretty much on par with Mando’s. I must have swiped 100 yes’s for one measly woman who actually messaged me. I swiped about 20 yes’s for her but turned her down thinking something better was coming down the pipe. I was wrong. I would swipe another 80 for zero new matches. It’s rather depressing and emasculating. My eHarmony isn’t doing much better either.

      P.S. I do work out and have more muscles than I did before.

      It does frustrate me to white guys with no game getting dates. And it frustrates me to no end to see Asian women dating white guys. I truly feel sorry for these self-hating bitches, but not as sorry as any boy children they have. Kids, your Mom’s a witch.

    17. Jared says:

      Sexual market value? White race value is real? White women going extinct? Sounds like a classic 1700s white supremacy argument to me. Totally valid, white power, let’s preserve our superior heritage.

    18. Will says:

      I made a few videos on my Youtube expressing the topic on this. Was pointed to this video by a viewer. My only piece of advice for everyone reading this is simple: Taking the wrong thing out of this article will only hurt you and not benefit you. Also, this is not conclusive evidence. There are variables unaccounted for such as the group/friends effect. King booth had pictures with a bunch of friends while the asian pics were Loner pics. Finally, the difference of a fraction of a percentage cannot be stated as statistically significant until some mathematical statistics regarding p^2 were used to make sure.

    19. Freddie Wong says:

      Is Tinder racist? No.

      Is wanting to date someone of the same heritage as you racism? Would you fault a black girl for wanting to be with a black guy?

      Did you run your experiment using Tinder in Thailand or Singapore? What about in Africa? I think you’ll find that an Asian is most likely to be popular in most Asian-majority countries, etc. White people who live abroad in excess of a year become *much* more attracted to people in the nation they are visiting.

      So what’s going on here? Not racism. People are just psychologically proven to be attracted to those who they perceive as similar to them:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpersonal_attraction#Similarity_attraction_effect

    20. elroma says:

      Sorry, but I find that hard to believe. No guy is going to get that percentage of girls interested in him, even in real life with someone who is a rich famous celebrity.

    21. Ricardo says:

      Interesting article, even here in Brazil most of people care about race, but here is basically about being black or not, in south is even more distinct.

    22. 4D0L0 says:

      You do realize that Asian guys aren’t the only minority, right? I can understand you’re ethnocentric as all hell and consider yourself on the level trying to show the world you’re better than White guys…but so are Black and Latino guys…truth is, that same OKCupid study found Asian women as the pickiest and Latinos in general as the most desired…could your ego not be able to take seeing some of these White and Asian girls wanting Black and Brown cock? Strive for more in life than being a banana.

    23. 4D0L0 says:

      Australians themselves are “immigrant” spawn of all of Europe’s generates, criminals and undesirables…you really think they understand and are tolerant to something as complex as race?

    24. Mike says:

      i don’t think most of you, definitely the author here, know what racism is. Look up the definition. It is about thinking one race is superior to another. It doesn’t make someone a racist if they are not attracted to a certain race of people. People like what they like. It is ok not to be into a certain type of race, that doesn’t make a person a racist. I won’t argue the results or the experience of any social app user, but let’s find a better word than racist. You are watering it down with your usage and its a slap in the face to anyone who has to deal with actual racism.

    25. David says:

      It’s not really Tinder itself that is racist but it’s more of a reflection on our society and Western culture.
      Being white is strongly idealized in our society’s media (look at films, TV shows, novels). The sexy, protagonist that serves as viewers’ hearthrobs are almost always white.

      Western society also sees Easter society as feminine, weak and oriental versus the Western society’s masculine, strong and traditional. Thus while asian females do get some screen time on shows and movies, and are seen as sexy and desirable, the asian male is seen as effeminate and weak.

      The stark lack of asian males in media (try finding one asian that’s not there for comedy or kung-fu) in any role as a protagonist has had a profound effect on the way that they are viewed in Western society. Asian males should develop some coordinated system of advocacy that promotes a healthy representation of other cultures in the white-dominated media.

      In any case, I also just wanted to say congrats on outperforming Cas.

    26. Hari says:

      You have no idea :). The US is paradise for minorities compared to Australia. The immigrants just stick to themselves and live in their own communities. Their prime minister said in a speech a few months ago that Jesus intended a place for everyone and everyone has their place. This from a country formed by convict immigrants :D

    27. Snowpeas says:

      You guys gotta gtfo of America and travel. American women are prudes. I recently spent about 8 days in Korea, and in that time I probably got twice as many matches in a 4 week period back home as I did in Korea. All of my matches were expats, mainly white and I matched up with very few of the locals. I guess it’s true what they say about Korea- it being a homogenous society.

      After Korea I traveled to Hong Kong for about 4 days. Let me tell you something, the rate at which I was matching up with chicks there was Un-Godly. I had a total of 45 matches, got 6 numbers, and went on a date with at least 1 of them. I actually set up a date with another chick but went the first one because sounded she was more open and fun.

      It wasn’t just the locals I was matching up with but also some of the expats there. At first it was exciting, to realize I was getting results I never got before this but at the same time depressing because it was all going to be shortlived. So I made the best of it and tried every tinderline there was known to man. It’s amazing to see how much your mindset changes when you go from state of scarcity to a state of abundance. Sure enough when I got back home my results plummeted.

      I tried to analyze everything I did and even left the same pics and profile before and after I left. It wasn’t that white chicks didn’t like me, or I was unattractive or not good looking enough. The most logical conclusion I could come up with is that home grown American women- regardless of ethnicity are ethnocentric. In other words if you’re not white you’re almost as good as being a foreigner.

    28. Adam says:

      Please tell us also about the quality of the matches for all the types. If the asian model and white model both get x number of matches are the girls who swiped yes for the white guy hotter?

    29. Tom Hofman says:

      I’d also like to see the results like Adam above asked. Must be interesting to know. Great test BTW! I don’t believe Tinder is racist though. ;)

    30. pete says:

      There is one other conclusion I can draw from this. It is much better to grow a pair and hit on a woman face to face, the very fact you are using tinder means you are already emasculated to the point that you cannot talk to and ask women out on dates in real life, so if you have been using all those finapix myspace facebook tinder shiet trying to find a lady, you just screwed yourself.

    31. Stan says:

      To those who say that claiming that you’re not attracted to a certain race is totally unracist.

      Think of what you’re doing when you’re making a statement like that. You’re making a value judgment. When we say that we’re not attracted to overweight people, we’re making a value judgment that fit is more desirable thanfat. When we say we’re not attracted to ignorant people, we’re making a value judgment that informed is more desirable than dumb. When we say we’re not attracted to rude people, we’re making a value judgment that kind is more desirable than mean. And so forth.

      And don’t bring up the hair color preference here because in most cases,we are quite flexible on things like hair or eye color. We may have certain preferences, but they’re often not deal breakers. In contrast, race often stops everything before it can even begin.

      So what value judgment are you making with regards to race? A lot of people seem to be saying that same-race relationships are more desirable than interracial relationships. Okay, that’s somewhat understandable because we do seek people with whom we can share particular experiences and cultures.

      But when it does come to race, it seems to be saying that White is more desirable than non-White, at least when it comes to men. It’s awfully convenient that in a White male-dominated world, White men seem to get sexual privileges over other groups of men. Even many non-White women prefer White men! In contrast, White women show the lowest rates of interracial attraction out of all groups of women.

      This can’t just be a coincidence. Much like how almost every other segment of society is tilted to favor White people, especially White males, so is dating.

    32. Thinkitthrough says:

      The same is true in Asian countries. The non-Asian males tend to be less successful than the Asian males. It’s just a matter of upbringing and environment.

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