Dating site OK Cupid analyzes profile pic data, examines myths

Image by helenaa75; if this was your profile pic you would be too busy for the OKTrends blog.

I love the OKTrends blog; dating website OKCupid has some brainy sexy nerds working there, for sure. They have a fetish for completing data and stat crunching projects about dating and member habits, with fascinating results. One of the really great things is that they are very sex-positive and openly write about sex with no judgment so we can see the data for ourselves and decide how we feel about, say, Utah’s interest levels regarding rape fantasies. Another great thing is that they carefully explain how they cull and define their data sets, and seem to have a ridiculous amount of fun doing so.

Case in point is today’s long-awaited post, which includes a favorable shibari pic, The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures. Here’s a snip:

Granted, the benefit of a self-shot photo is small (I’m not exactly sure what a guy’s supposed to do with that extra tenth of a girl he talks to), but given our expectations and the prevalence of advice against taking your own picture for a dating profile, we thought this result was noteworthy. Perhaps what these photos lack in technological quality they make up for in intimacy, and it’s undeniable that at their best, self-shot pics can have an approachable, casual vibe that makes you feel already close to the subject.

This finding led us to investigate a controversial women-only subset of the self-shot picture: the universally maligned “MySpace Shot,” taken by holding your camera above your head and being really darn coy.

We were sure that everyone thought these pictures were kinda lame. In fact, producing hard data on just how lame got us all excited. But we were so wrong.

In terms of getting new messages, the MySpace Shot is the single most effective photo type for women. We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place—so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again. No change: it’s still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pics (more on those later).

At least from the perspective of online-dating, and perhaps social media in general, the MySpace Shot might be the best way for a woman to take a picture. (…read more,

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  1. Aren’t digital cameras the bomb? We can now take pictures over and over again of ourselves (making certain our arm sticking out is not noticeable) till we get that great final one that gets to be posted as our profile pic. I especially like the ones taken in a mirror where you really see the camera. But the fact is…NO ONE CARES. As a matter of fact if you had a partner that would willingly take your picture you wouldn’t be posting it on a dating site in the first place. hehehe.

    Thanks for another great post!

  2. Thats interesting. I just spent almost an hour reading all their old posts on race, gender, orientation etc and those response rates from a statistical view… I’m not sure what to say other than thanks for turning me onto that blog. Those are some very telling statistics.

  3. I’ve been on there as well on and off for a few years with some success stories and thankfully no psychos. (user name marrz13) They used to be 100% free when I joined and now they ask $5 a month for a premium amount.

    I have issues paying monthly fees and it’s why I never played WoW but It’s not much and when these surveys come out I feel like what little money they ask for is being used well.

    Keep up the good work OKC

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