Use Interesting, Active Photos Instead of Head Shots for Online Dating
If you find yourself at Inbox Zero more often than you'd like on your dating site of choice, there are certain types of profile pictures that are more likely to get attention. Namely: use something active, that shows off your hobbies and personality.
Tinder CEO Sean Rad puts it well:
Headshots don't work. People like to see personality in Tinder photos, they want photos of say you skiing, rather than modeling, that expresses what you actually do.
Data from OkCupid found something similar. Photos (of female user) doing something interesting has a 40% chance that the message leads to legitimate conversations (instead of the "Nice rack" type messages). And they were definitely more successful than "MySpace shots" or cleavage shots.
That means the most attractive profile pictures aren't glamorous in-studio shots, they convey your passions and interests. Play guitar? Love roller coasters? Movie aficionado? Share these elements of yourself with the rest of the community. Photos with animals and travel photos did similarly well (Of course, it's also about the kind of people you're hoping to attract, too-not everyone will be attracted by the exact same types of photos).
When in doubt, remember this rule rule from the recent Wired trends piece examining the top 400 most popular OkCupid profiles: "Stay fresh, stay clothed, get out." That means you should swap out your primary photo frequently, keep your clothes on, and ensure your photos are in the outdoors.
Photo by somjuan.