Dating services gather tons of data about their users, so what are the best ways to boost the odds of finding that special someone with whom to share your heart and wi-fi password? Here’s what to do.
Put some thought into those photos
Online dating service, Okcupid looked at the data of various sexual orientations, and the pattern was obvious. Tip: If you upload more than one photo, you get at least twice as many likes.But what are these photos of, exactly?
OkCupid found out that profile pictures that involve doing something interesting (but leave a little to the imagination, OK?) resulted in a 40 percent chance that a message would lead to a conversation.
A smile goes a long way
They say a smile is a universal welcome. Apparently that is only half true. OkCupid crunched data from more than 7,000 member photos and found that women’s profile pictures were more popular when they smiled flirtatiously at the camera. But according to a 2013 study published in BMJ journal Evidence-Based Medicine, that smile must look genuine. It must reach your eyes and make them crinkle at the corners.
Men’s profile pictures were more popular when the man looked away from the camera and didn’t smile. In other words, far less work.
People love travel
Another winner is travel. Show yourself in an exotic location and your message is 30 percent more likely to lead to a conversation.
“The more clearly you can show your life through the images and the text that you write, the easier it’s going to be for someone to start that conversation,” said Laurie Davis, an online dating coach and author of the book “Love @ First Click.”
Show that face
You would think online daters would have figured this out by now: Make sure your face is clearly visible in at least one photo. People are looking for dates, not knock-off Ray-Ban glasses.
But don’t just take photos of your face. For both men and women, online dating service , Zoosk found full body photos get 203 percent more messages.
Context matters too. Selfies, for example, work better for some people than others. Zoosk found that men who posted selfies received 8 percent fewer messages. But women received 4 percent more.
If you really want to show a selfie, consider the location. Also, be careful not to use too many selfies. Apparently, one study found that they can make you come across as narcissistic and self-objectifying.
Not all selfies are made equal
Bathroom mirror selfies are the worst. “I don’t think it looks like you’re looking for a relationship” said Alex Williamson, Vice President of branded content for dating app, Bumble.
These photos are so despised that Bumble decided to ban them outright in October, saying people tended to pass most frequently on profiles with those pics. So, if you try to post a bathroom mirror selfie, one of Bumble’s human moderators will spike it in real time.
Bumble didn’t just ban the photos for aesthetic reasons. Eighty-six percent of profiles reported to Bumble for bad behavior had the dreaded photo.
Tell, don’t just show
Granted, if you hop on a dating app like Tinder or Bumble, you’ll run across profiles with not a single word written in their bio or interests. You can probably figure out what those people are looking for.
“You’ve got a lot of people on there who have an agenda, and the agenda is not romance,” said Marcia King-Gamble, a longtime online dater and romance novelist.
But if you’re into more than a wham-bam-thank-you-whoever (brief sexual encounter with no strings attached), experts say details matter. Don’t write vague statements about being fun, easy-going and enjoying long walks. “We want to create visual images,” said Kim Vergez, Senior Writer at .e–Cyrano , a service that helps online daters craft their profiles. “It’s like a screenplay — you don’t want to have Bruce Willis turn to the camera and say, ‘I’m tough but I’m tender.'”
Vacation talk is good, family talk isn’t
Predictably, there’s a catch. Dating app, Hinge found there are certain topics that attract people better than others. For example, profiles that smack of spontaneity, including those that mention bucket list items or vacation plans, are more than twice as likely to spark a conversation.
Silliness works, too. Profiles with confessions, like a riff on the Two Truths and a Lie game, or a reveal about the worst date you’ve ever had, are 59 percent more likely to lead to conversations.
Subjects that don’t go over so well may surprise you. Talking about family is 44 percent less likely to lead to a conversation, and specific date ideas are 46 percent less likely.
So, if your ideal date is bringing along your niece to see that new movie, keep it to yourself. And definitely leave your mom out of this.
Bottom line: A study from Evidence-Based Medicine found the best approach to a profile is to spend 70 percent of it discussing yourself and 30 percent about who you’re looking for.
First impressions matter
OkCupid found that you have an 84 percent chance of being ignored if you send a message that just says “hey.”Instead, try something visual.
Tinder also found that messages using emojis or animated GIFs are 30 percent more likely to get a response. Conversations that include either of those graphical elements go on twice as long.
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Additional Source: Cnet