What makes a successful online dating photo?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Dating site OKCupid uses data from their members to overturn myths about what makes a successful online dating profile photo. A fascinating & funny read.

Online Dating Photos - Best Contexts For Men


men – mysteriously looking away from camera, unsmiling, holding an animal
women – flirting into camera, outdoors, with a hint of cleavage

They also did another great data-piece about what to say in an opening message.

[via Waxy.org]

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Show Comments ( )

  • http://www.madcynic.com madcynic

    That last link needs fixing, but quite an interesting bunch of stats there.

  • Endy

    Interesting and sometimes exhilarating !

    It’s just a shame their diagrams don’t have error bars.

  • http://vollman.blogspot.com Robert V

    They need a graph that explains why women smile at you and then don’t even reply when you take the time/money/effort to write them.

  • Zhatt

    I don’t understand why they’re drawing the baseline where they are. For example, in the graph above, the bars are starting at about just below the 6 mark and the bottom of the graph is cropped at 4. Apparently with travel photos you can meet women 4 out of 10 times, but the bar on graph is showing it as the most negative possible value. A negative value doesn’t make sense in this context.

  • Richie M

    So all I need is a picture of me flexing my muscles while making papier maché with my dog and I’m sorted!

    • http://whatmakesasuccessfulonlinedatingphoto? janette

      I have just read your comment & well done matey,you made me laugh out loud !!! Hope you found someone genuine ?

  • Jonny

    Women are just as rotten as men. It should come as no surprise to any guy when you’re kind to a woman and she doesn’t even care. For all you know she could think you’re fishing for approval, which smacks of either fear or intuition. But perhaps you really are fishing for approval, which is why you’re just as rotten.

    So, the best thing to do is to party like its your last day on this rock and invest your time and energy into whatever makes the most sense to you. But don’t expect to get a woman, get married, and have kids. Sometimes natural selection decides you’re not worthy of producing offspring and you need to be whittled out of the human race. That’s beyond your control, no point in trying to get your own way here, just roll with the punches and see what happens. No point in deciding for nature that you should die a virgin, let nature decide on her own, she’s pretty smart I’ve found. Kicked my butt around the block a few times anyways.

    By the way, Richie M has the right idea. The rest of you pay attention to Richie M’s comment, study it, over-analyze it, enter into it, feel the circle of life all around you. And all that B.S.

  • http://animaldoc-transitions.blogspot.com/ Valerie

    How very interesting! I make a point of skipping over profiles of men “mysteriously looking away from camera, unsmiling, holding an animal” and engaged in other profound things. The man who won my heart had a smiling picture of himself doing nothing very “interesting.”

  • vicki

    I agree with Zhatt… having bars above and below the mean/median (I assume) implies positive *and* negative values… and having a smaller number with a larger bar confuses the matter in a way that the graduated color scheme just can’t make up for.
    But I love most of the rest of your stuff and envy your job (or “job” as it may be)

  • CJR

    You must remember that OK Cupid is basically full of broke, polyamorous, wannabe artists, writers, musicians and grad students.

    …painting with a broad brush obviously. But I’m guessing what works on that site, is different then what works on a site like E-Harmony or Match.com which are considered to be more “conservative”.

    Cool stuff nonetheless. The OK Cupid folks do a good job at trying to visually represent their data and get people thinking. Check out the heat-map they developed that is connected to sexual preferences!

  • Mork

    One of the big seduction gurus once noted that his students got extremely high responses with pictures of them with dolphins.

  • http://guygetsgirlcode.com/ Getting a Girl Guy

    Wow, there really some interesting responses to this post. Dolphins? Who would’ve thought? I agree with Valerie – smiling is always a good approach.

  • jerry

    Interesting, and beautifull website but wouldn’t it have made more sense to use picture examples (cropped or resized) as the bar charts?

  • alex

    This chart is contradictory; “drinking” and “doing something interesting” are one and the same.

  • http://www.fark.com Zenaida Kramer

    I think 1 of your ads caused my browser to resize, you might want to put that in your blacklist. What makes a successful online dating photo? is really a cool name for a blog BTW ;)