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January 21, 2010

Data mining can help you get a date

Posted: 04:58 PM ET

If you think online dating profiles with self-shot camera-phone pictures that scream "Check out my MySpace!" look ridiculous, well, you are probably right, but, according to a statistical study by the dating site OKCupid, these comical self-portraits work.

My impromptu attempt at a 'MySpace pic.' Note: Works better with women.
My impromptu attempt at a 'MySpace pic.' Note: Works better with women.

OKCupid analyzed over 7,000 profiles of "average-looking people" to determine which pictures most successfully attracted other users.

In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong.

According to OKCupid, the statistical data reveals four myths about successful profile pictures. Perhaps most surprising of these myths is the discovery that "the universally maligned 'MySpace Shot,' taken by holding your camera above your head and being just so darn coy" actually works.

Christian of OKCupid writes:

We were sure that everyone thought these pictures were kinda lame. In fact, the prospect of 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.

Before you break out the camera phone for your personal glamor shoot, recognize that OKCupid did not rate the type of attention these images received, only the frequency of communication between users.

For a full description of the data analysis and the four myths check out The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures.

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Filed under: computers • Facebook • Internet • mobile phones • MySpace • online dating


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Mike   January 26th, 2010 11:34 am ET

I like how the myspace pic on this article was taken in a bathroom... classy!


Carmela   January 26th, 2010 2:04 pm ET

Mike–As most myspace pictures are! lol Cheers!


Koal   January 26th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

Who still uses myspace?


anapuna   February 1st, 2010 2:54 am ET

umm i do believe that the "myspace shot" shows higher activity on female pages, due to the fact that a large number men believe that the shot is lame and dumb. hence, she isn't that smart so she is easier to score with.


simon   February 3rd, 2010 10:22 am ET

it also helps that the top-down, see-my-cleavage angle tends to obstruct any revealing shots of gut or butt. They may generate a lot of hits, but hits don't equal dates.


Kenneth Spicer   February 3rd, 2010 10:50 am ET

Most profiles are carbon copies of eachother.
And usually just eyecandy leftover from dead accounts anyway.
The point of any marketing (and this is marketing) is to get noticed first, and worry about message later.
And the effectiveness os the female profiles tells more about the male mind than the females themselves.


MeAgain   February 7th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

I find a head and shoulders shot with just enough room at the bottom for display of one recent bank statement is enough for a new date daily! Would you agree many women on AnySpace or AnyFace are pretty superficial and are seeking a fat bank account? Try it and judge for yourself how many women will sleep with a goat for a chance at money.


Kenlcimb   May 16th, 2010 10:42 pm ET

NiksWath say: It is an amusing phrase

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Lexi Adams   October 1st, 2010 10:57 am ET

camera phones are very convenient coz they can take picture and calls at the same time:`-


Security Light    October 18th, 2010 3:55 pm ET

camera phones are very popular coz everyon likes to take pictures::;


Dress Pants ยท   November 7th, 2010 3:47 pm ET

well, camera phones always come in handy whenever there are important events and parties ""


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