It’s called the dating game, right? And games need a strategy.
For most of us, the aim of online dating is a hookup, a long-term relationship, or maybe just some distraction from a dull day at the office. To win this game, we need matches. So it makes sense to swipe right a lot. More swipes, more matches, right?
Wrong! Within the Bumble app, there’s another high-stakes game at play.
The Bumble algorithm is pitting us against each other in a constant battle. And unlike most games, the rules of this one have never been made public. Dating apps fiercely guard the secrets of their algorithm, so all we can do is guess.
And in this game-within-a-game, swiping right might actually be disadvantageous.
Oh, the subterfuge. The intrigue! It’s like one of those unfollowable spy thrillers, with twists and double-crosses. Tinder Tailor Soldier Spy, anyone?
Fortunately, in my swiping days, I’ve gathered thousands of hours of evidence. And I’ve chatted to enough seasoned Bumble users to have figured it out. Expert advice coming right up.
So let’s figure out if it’s bad to swipe a lot on Bumble, and how the Bumble algorithm works.
Don’t hate the player – hate the game.
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Is It Bad To Swipe A Lot On Bumble?
If you want more matches, it seems like a solid strategy to swipe right on everyone. But once you understand the algorithm, it becomes clear that’s not actually the case. The Bumble algorithm rates users based on ELO, which scores you relative to other profiles. Swiping right a lot can hurt your ELO.
So is it bad to swipe a lot on Bumble? If you swipe right too much Bumble will consider you a lower-value profile. You’ll be shown lower-quality profiles as a result, and you could end up with fewer matches overall.
Let’s be clear – we’re talking about right swipes here. If you’re swiping a lot, and most of those swipes are left swipes, then you’ll make the Bumble algorithm value you higher.
But if you’re asking, does swiping right on everyone hurt your ability to get matches? Then yes. Swiping right on everyone is a terrible strategy, for a few reasons.
Swiping right on everyone hurt your ELO, meaning you’ll be lower in the swipe deck and shown to worse-rated profiles. If Bumble knows you’ll swipe right on everyone, why would it bother showing you the most attractive users?
What’s more, you’ll also end up with matches that you’re not actually interested in.
We’ve all got standards. You’ve swiped right on every Nickelback-loving, flat earther. You’ve swiped right on every girl within 100 miles! How far are you really willing to go for a hookup?
When you waste time on worthless matches you end up ignoring them. This hurts your ELO too. You might even run out of people to swipe on and give up on the app.
Fortunately, by following a few rules and tips for Bumble swiping you can get loads of matches and ensure they’re all high quality. You just have to know how the Bumble algorithm works.
How Does The Bumble Algorithm Work?
Bumble’s algorithm is their secret sauce. It determines who’s in your swipe deck, effectively controlling who you’ll see on Bumble. Unfortunately, this is one secret recipe that’s not getting leaked. They don’t want Tinder stealing the ingredients, but they also don’t want you to know how to game the system.
So everything we know about the algorithm is conjecture – but after countless swiping hours, some serious analysis, and a dash of common sense, there are a few things we can be pretty sure of.
So how does the Bumble algorithm work? The Bumble algorithm takes information from your swiping habits to determine both your preferences and your relative value within the app. It calculates the “ELO” of Bumble users to determine how attractive they are based on who they swipe on and how often they swipe right.
There are a few other factors that the Bumble algorithm considers. Bumble will usually boost your ELO when you update your Bumble pics and bio, for example.
Here’s everything we know that affects your ELO on Bumble:
- The number (and ELO rating) of people that you swiped left on.
- The number (and ELO rating) of people that you swiped right on.
- The number (and ELO rating) of people that swiped left on you.
- The number (and ELO rating) of people that swiped right on you.
- How often you update your bio, prompts, and pics.
- Never messaging your matches and conversations going nowhere.
Unlike the Tinder algorithm, Bumble doesn’t seem to penalize users who take a break from the app. So if you feel like chilling on Bumble for a while, hit snooze.
How Does Bumble Decide Who to Show You?
Our lives are increasingly guided by the invisible hand of the algorithm. The jobs we get, the music we discover. And even our Bumble matches and the dates we go on. Bumble’s algorithm is constantly shuffling your swipe deck, deciding who you’ll see.
So how does Bumble decide who to show you? People in your swipe deck should match your filter preferences – age, distance, gender, and more advanced preferences for Premium users. But they’re also based on the ELO of your profile, basically, a “desirability” score that determines whether you see more or less attractive users.
Bumble’s algorithm doesn’t take a look at your profile pictures and rate you out of 10. After all, what’s a robot’s type? Any profile with a sexy fridge-freezer in the background would probably rise to the top.
Instead, the algorithm rates you based on how often you swipe right and the quality of the profiles you’re swiping left and right on.
If you swipe right on everyone, it’ll filter out more attractive profiles. So be careful how you swipe.
How To Get Seen More On Bumble (10 Ways To Get More Matches On Bumble)
Swiping right on everyone isn’t the best way to get more matches: you need to bump your ELO so the app values you higher. Then you’ll be at the top of the swipe deck for more users – getting seen more means more right swipes. That’s just maths.
Getting seen is half the battle – if you want matches you also need to hack the algorithm and build a strong profile to ensure everyone that sees you wants a taste. Here are 10 solid ways to get more matches on Bumble.
- Swipe Both Ways
Swiping left to reject profiles boosts your ELO and tells the Bumble algorithm that you have some taste. Considering your swipes carefully and swiping left as often as you swipe right will turn you into a desirable user according to the algorithm.
- Verify Your Account
Using Bumble’s photo verification process lets users know you’re the real deal. People are less concerned you’re a fake account and more likely to match. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion the algorithm rewards verified accounts.
- Upgrade Your Profile Pictures
Your first picture has to make a good impression. Use good lighting, choose the best angles, and avoid group photos for your first pic. Additionally, add at least six pictures for a complete profile.
- Add Profile Badges
Profile Badges flesh out your profile and give other users more to go on. Indicating that you’re a moderate smoker, occasional drinker, or religiously open-minded can boost your chances of a match – by up to 70%, according to Bumble.
- Optimize Your Bio
A punchy bio grabs people’s attention, leading to a right swipe or a complete browse of your profile. Don’t take it too seriously – a little humor in your bio goes a long way.
- Use Profile Prompts
Profile Prompts, like “Two Truths and a Lie” or “Greatest Travel Story” make people want to know more. It provides something to open the conversation with and makes people more likely to swipe right on you.
- Integrate Your Socials
Adding your Spotify account or Instagram account shows another side of you, your musical and aesthetic tastes. (But if your Instagram isn’t up to date with a few pictures of your best life then it might be worth leaving out.)
SuperSwipes are a controversial tool, but they definitely help you stand out and according to Bumble guys are twice as likely to match with a SuperSwipe.
- Use A Spotlight
Spotlight is a paid feature that jumps you to the top of the swipe deck for 30 minutes. You’re guaranteed to get more eyes on your profile that way – and up to 10x more matches according to Bumble’s own data! Remember to use the Spotlight at the best time: peak times in the Bumble app are between 6 and 9 pm according to CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.
- Start from Scratch!
If you’ve blown it with the algorithm you might need to start from scratch. Resetting your Bumble account can lead to way more matches if you game the algorithm with your new profile. Proceed carefully when resetting your account so the Bumble app doesn’t realize you’re the same user.
Does Bumble Penalize You For Swiping Too Much?
The Bumble algorithm is obviously pretty complicated, ranking you based on a ton of factors. And one of those is how you swipe.
So does Bumble penalize you for swiping too much? If you swipe right too much then the algorithm will penalize you, demoting your Bumble account and restricting who sees you. You’ll see worse-quality profiles and be seen by fewer people. If you swipe too much either way you’ll run out of swipes for the day and have to wait for it to be reset.
The best strategy is to swipe both ways, after considering each new profile.
And because Bumble treats men and women differently, guys out there might be wondering: are there penalties for swiping right too much as a guy? Don’t worry – the algorithm seems to be the same for men and women. But guys will swipe right more than women in general, so the same rules in the algorithm affect people differently based on their behavior.
How To Beat Bumble’s Algorithm
Once you realize that there really is a dating game going on behind the scenes, you know there are winners and losers. At the casino, the house always wins but from personal experience, I’ve found that when it comes to Bumble’s algorithm you can beat the system. Channel your inner Benedict Cumberbatch and let’s go.
Here’s how to beat Bumble’s algorithm at a glance:
- Build a solid profile
- Get verified
- Widen your filter preferences
- Swipe left on everyone outside of your preferred age range and distance
- Consider each right swipe carefully. Don’t swipe right on anyone you’re not really interested in.
- Don’t ghost your matches and keep the conversation going.
To beat the algorithm, you have to teach Bumble that you’re a high-value user. First, you need a profile that appeals to others as you need as many right swipes as possible.
That means crafting a witty bio, adding a good number of quality profile pictures, and using prompts and profile badges. Fortunately, there are a lot of easy rules to follow when building a great bio. Get to work and don’t forget to get verified.
A good bio helps but it’s not enough. Now you need to tailor your swiping behavior to teach Bumble you’re hot stuff.
So don’t go swiping right on every profile. In fact, it’s better to swipe left a lot. You can do this without ruining your chances with good matches by expanding your preferences. Widen your age and distance range, and then manually reject everyone who falls outside of your preferences.
Sure, it’s a bit more work. But by changing the ratio of left and right swipes, the algorithm will see you being picky. Every user you reject should boost your ELO score a little.
Lastly, take your matches seriously. If you’re a woman, make sure to send the first message before the match expires. And guys, focus on keeping the conversation going.
Does Bumble Have A Swipe Limit?
You might think your swiping is a harmless distraction from work or family Thanksgiving dinner. But actually, every action on the app is used to score you within the algorithm. And ultimately you’re going to run out of swipes anyway!
So does Bumble have a swipe limit? Yes. There’s no official limit but most free users run out of swipes after around 25 likes. Your likes will be frozen for 24 hours if you hit the swipe limit. Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium users get unlimited likes.
For free Bumble users, likes are a finite commodity. So use them wisely.
They won’t reset for the next day either. Your daily swipe limit resets after 24 hours, so if you run out of likes at 4 pm one day, you’ll have to wait until 4 pm tomorrow for more.
Unlimited likes are one reason to upgrade to Bumble Boost or Bumble Premium. But my advice is not to go on a swiping frenzy anyway. Limiting your likes will boost your score in the algorithm and ensure you’re seen by more attractive profiles.
How To Get Around The Bumble Swipe Limit
If you’ve been exercising your swiping thumb all day, you might run out of likes. And what if that happens when you come across the One? That elusive perfect match with a profile packed full of niche movie references that only you get.
So you’re wondering how to get around the Bumble swipe limit. If you run out of Likes, you have to wait 24 hours for them to reset. The only way to get around the swipe limit is by purchasing Bumble Boost or Bumble Premium.
While paid Bumble gets you unlimited swipes, swiping right on everyone you come across is a losing strategy.
You might get a few more matches today, but tomorrow the algorithm will start burying your profile deep in the swipe deck and only showing you to less attractive potential matches.
The dating game reveals itself to be full of twists and turns, and if you want to win the game you have to know the rules.
Swiping right a lot on Bumble is a short-term strategy. It ignores the zero-sum game at work in the Bumble algorithm and hurts your chances of quality matches long run.
All of the most popular dating apps use an algorithm to determine who sees who. Bumble and Tinder rely on ELO scores whereas Hinge uses the Gale-Shapely algorithm to optimize matches for meaningful connections. If you want to figure out which dating app will work for you, try my quiz.
It’s common sense to build the best profile possible on Bumble – but it also gets you ahead in the algorithm. Once you add some tactical swiping into the mix, you’ll rise to the top of the deck.
The ELO scoring system was first used to rank chess players. Once you’ve cracked the Bumble algorithm, you’re playing 4D chess. And hopefully mating.