Chicago Tribune

Prospective daters navigate algorithms that drive apps

CHICAGO –– A front-row seat in a crash course on app-based dating was the perfect place for JoAnn Thissen.

Online dating takes a lot of nerve, and the 68-year-old retired marine geologist was working up her courage. She's dabbled on dating websites and apps, and even asked for a subscription to dating site Match for Christmas. She hasn't had any luck yet, but she's still determined.

That's why she was there, sitting in a Loop hotel among dozens of other attendees interested in crafting the perfect online dating profile. There were men and women, millennials and baby boomers, singles and people in relationships.

The holidays are peak dating season, and the love lives of tens of thousands of Chicagoans hinge on how algorithms behind popular dating apps like Tinder, Hinge and Match piece together their data. Even a decade

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