Tinder matching auto-bot ‘worked too well’, says developer

10 Feb 2015

A software developer, bored of using matchmaking app Tinder, has built a bot that automatically goes through each profile on the app and judges whether he’d like the person behind the profile or not.

Canadian Justin Long explained in a lengthy blog post that he became bored with the whole process of swiping right or left to decide whether they like the person or not and decided he wanted to automate the entire process as a development challenge.

Using facial recognition software called Eigenfaces, Long was able to insert the bot into the Tinder program that automatically swipes right when it finds a similar match in terms of facial structure to Long’s previous choices, swipe left if they didn’t and even start a conversation with profiles which proved successful matches.

Calling his creation Tinderbox, Long explains that it took him as little as three weeks to build into the Tinder API that which re-creates the entire Tinder app on to the user’s desktop.

There is a little work required before Tinderbox can be used however with the bot requiring at least 60 matches made manually before it can learn what your personal preferences are, as long as the profiles contain images of a clear, close-up shot of the person’s face.


Eigenfaces software at work using Tinder profiles. Image via Justin Long

So how did he get on with his Tinder bot experiment?

Long says that in the space of 48 hours, Tinderbox made 21 matches that included four long conversations with women who were none the wiser about the fact they were talking to a piece of code.

Amazingly, 10 dates still agreed to not run away in fear when he brought up the fact they had been talking to a date all along.

In the end, Long says, it worked far better than expected, “Am I still using the bot? I’ve actually turned it off for now. Admittedly, it worked too well and started to conflict with work. Although in a couple cases I had follow-ups and I’m still seeing one person.”

Coding love image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic