Have you seen a gold-colored diamond icon on a profile picture while you were browsing through Tinder? Have you seen the diamond icon at the top of your Tinder browsing screen? If you have, you’ve probably wondered what the heck you were looking at. The answer is that these icons are part of Tinder’s “Top Picks” program. In this article, I’ll explain how Top Picks works.
The Top Picks feature rolled out in the summer of 2018 and for quite a while was completely limited to Tinder Gold subscribers. The feature first ran as an experiment to see how it went down with users and was rolled out to Tinder users in the UK, Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Sweden, Russia, and the Netherlands before being rolled out to the US and across the world.
Tinder Top Picks
So what is Tinder Top Picks  and what can it do for you? It’s another premium service offered by the app. The way it works is fairly simple. Every day, the whirring supercomputers at Tinder Global HQ go through all the potential matches in your area and use an algorithm to pick out between 1 and 10 people that the algorithm thinks match your profile particularly well. If you tap on the diamond icon at the top of your browsing screen, the Tinder app will display your matches of the day in a 2×2 grid of smaller profile cards. You can then look at the profiles (at full size) and do the usual left-right-up swap decision dance. If you see the diamond on someone’s profile while doing normal browsing, that just indicates that this person is one of your Picks for the day.
It used to be that only Tinder Gold subscribers saw the diamonds; it was part of the elite-only experience and regular common folk did not have access to the Top Picks feature. Now, however, the powers-that-be at Tinder has decided to throw the little people a scrap.
Starting in May of 2019 or so, regular Tinder users got the diamond icon at the top of their screen and can look at their Top Picks just like the nobility. We can look at the profiles as much as we want. However, we only get one swipe per day – you can pick one of your Top Picks and swipe on them, but after that, it’s looking only… though of course, Tinder will be happy to sell you access to Tinder Gold so that you can swipe on all your Top Picks each day.
How Does The Algorithm Work?
So how does the algorithm work? Are powerful supercomputers running facial analysis programs on our profile pics and doing deep analysis to recreate our genetic code, then matching us with individuals with whom we would have super cute children? No, although that would be pretty cool. The algorithm doesn’t have a whole lot to go on, specifically, your bio.
Essentially Top Picks scans your bio and looks for certain keywords. Those keywords are then used to assign a label to you, like “Creative”. The match program then finds other users who have the same label(s) in your area and age range.
According to the Tinder rumor mill, the algorithm also analyzes your past swipe pattern and uses this information to figure out what kind of people you are most interested in. For example, if your age range is set to 30-45, but you always swipe left on people older than 40, the algorithm will screen out people over 40 from your Top Picks. It is unknown what exact things the algorithm is analyzing.
The difficulty with Top Picks seems to be that our bios don’t give a lot of information, and much of it is unreliable. If I post in my bio about how I hate mountain biking, the algorithm is just going to see “mountain bike” and put me in the “Biker” label. I have looked at my Top Picks for several days, and I don’t see any particular pattern indicating that these people would be a good match for me. The main usefulness of Top Picks seems to be cutting down on your swiping time a little bit, or who just want to swipe right on a few people each day and let the rest sit in the match queue.
Using Tinder Top Picks
Everybody gets to look at their Top Picks, and even to swipe on one Pick per day, but only Tinder Gold subscribers get to swipe on everybody. Here’s how to use the Top Picks feature:
- Open Tinder and select the diamond at the top of the Discovery screen.
- Check out the selections and swipe left or right as you see fit.
- Wait for Top Picks to refresh daily (you can also purchase additional picks if you’re a Gold subscriber).
If you see the diamond icon in a Tinder profile, it means that person is in your Top Picks. That’s all.
One last thing you need to know about Tinder Picks is that they are time-limited. They refresh every 24 hours, so if you find someone you like, swipe on them right away. Depending on how wide your pool is, they will likely appear again in the usual rotation but if you live somewhere with lots of users, that may be a while. This time limit encourages users to be proactive and engaged with Tinder. The more we use the app, the happier Tinder is.
Other Tinder Icons Explained
Just like Snapchat and other social media or dating sites, one of the easiest ways to convey simple information is by using symbols. Whether it’s emojis or icons, app developers took the idea and ran with it on several platforms.
Tinder is no different. There are several icons with different meanings so let’s review the others you may have seen while swiping.
- The Purple Lightning Bolt – You get one of these free each month and it boosts your presence in your area.
- The Green Heart – This means you’ve liked a profile.
- The Yellow Heart – Another user with Tinder Gold has liked your profile.
- The Blue Star Icon – This means you “Super” like someone. It serves to gain their attention.
- A Red ‘X’ – You do not like that profile, so you’ve chose to dislike it resulting in a red ‘X.’
Have you had good or bad experiences using Tinder Picks? Share them with us below in the comments!