Ever feel like the more convenient the process of meeting someone online becomes, the creepier it gets? Sure, it’s great to have access to an entire pool of eligible dates from your phone, but doubts about the motives of the stranger sending you a digital request can make it a bit unsettling. This could explain why Tinder’s Super Like feature gives some users the heebie-jeebies.
Tinder launched the Super Like in 2015 with what seemed to be the best of intentions. The gist of the feature is that you get one Super Like to send to your favorite potential match each day. This lets the recipient know you’re really interested in meeting up with them. The Super Like feature also helps users avoid serial Tinder daters who are addicted to swiping right. Sounds pretty great in theory, right?
The problem with this feature is that it tends to make the sender seem a bit clingy, maybe even desperate, and the recipient feel a little creeped out. Fortunately, AI could clear up some of the confusion and help this feature reach its full potential.
Tinder launches the Super Likeable test run
Tinder recently announced the test launch of a new AI-powered feature called Super Likeable. The feature analyzes a user’s swiping history and then deploys machine learning to identify and suggest profiles that might pique their interest. Users cannot search for or purchase Super Likeable suggestions. Rather, the app randomly surprises users with a card of four Super Likeable profiles during their regular swiping. When a user lands on a Super Likeable card, they also receive a free Super Like to use on one of the suggested profiles.
Tinder won’t divulge the exact workings behind the algorithm, but at the Machine Learning Conference in San Francisco earlier this year, the company announced the feature would be powered by a machine learning tool called TinVech. Tinder’s chief product officer stated in a recent WIRED article that “TinVec relies on users’ past swiping behavior, but that swiping behavior takes into account multiple factors, both physical and otherwise.”
The Super Likeable feature is currently available in New York and Los Angeles. Tinder says this artificial intelligence-powered experience will “delight and surprise” with its new approach to introducing users to people they might be interested in meeting.
So how might this make the Super Like less creepy?
Normalizing the Super Like
Adding AI into the mix could help both senders and recipients of Super Likes feel a little more comfortable with the concept. First, senders will likely feel less reluctant to send a Super Like when the app suggests the idea and offers a free Super Like for additional encouragement. This will help more users send Super Likes which could, in turn, make the practice a bit more standard in the Tindersphere.
Second, having more insight into the sender’s motives could reassure recipients. The likelihood that Tinder’s algorithm suggested the Super Like could help recipients understand the sender’s potential motives. AI could take the blame for the user’s eagerness to match and could help the recipient see the sender as an opportunist rather than a desperate dater.
Only time will tell if the injection of AI will help normalize the Super Like. Eliminating some of the mystery behind this urgent request for a date could transform the feature from a desperate plea to an attractive offer. For now, however, it might be wise to ease up on the Super Likes until results from the Super Likeable feature’s test run are in.
Cosette is the guest post editor for the AI and Transportation channels at VentureBeat.