Watch out Tinder! New dating app creates mathematically perfect matches
Brand new dating app pear launched in London just last week. It promises to solve the dating app congestion issue that apps such as Tinder present. Is it just what we were waiting for?
More and more people use online dating sites and apps, in fact about one in five relationships start online in the UK and USA. Despite its popularity, online dating still presents some areas for improvement.
There seems to be a congestion problem, whereby women tend to receive a big number of matches and messages from male users; however these matches and messages aren’t backed up by a real interest. Some men tend to ‘like’ or match with a large number of women simply to have a better chance of success. This dilutes the quality of the signal women receive from a match. It also produced an overload of notifications for men, who have to deal with dozens of matches and messages and sort through them every day, trying to figure out when it’s worth chatting and when it’s not.
New dating app pear aims to solve these issues. On pear, users are asked to choose who they prefer between two profiles, so everyone has an incentive to reveal their preference honestly. They can also choose not to be shown a profile ever again. Then, pear’s algorithm uses these rankings to match users with people they rank highly, who also rank them highly
How does that work? pear runs a Nobel-prize-winning algorithm developed by scientists Gale and Shapley in the research paper “The Stability of Marriage.” This algorithm has been used in the US in real-life situations, such as assigning medical students to their first hospital appointments. To date, Gale and Shapley’s work is the main quantitative tool social scientists use to study who marries or dates who in modern societies. pear’s founder Daniele Condorelli saw an opportunity here to use the accurate algorithm to develop a dating app, which would create meaningful matches.
The algorithm runs in the background of the app, creating rankings for each user, and then works its way through the rankings to match users who rank each other highly. Users can of course broaden or narrow the number of users they are shown by selecting age range and distance. There is also a limit to the number of matches each user can have – so they are encouraged to choose carefully when they compare users.
The algorithm ensures that each user is only matched with users who honestly like them back. The ‘pears’ it creates are mathematically optimal. If pear matches you with someone, you’ve both chosen each other over other people.
Hopefully this new approach to online dating will help users who don’t enjoy using Tinder find more meaningful matches