Love at First Swipe – Tips for the Best Profile Photo
When trying to get to know new people, the first impression is usually decisive. Appearances are often in the foreground and play a major role on various dating platforms nowadays. Research shows that a good profile picture in online dating generates up to 90% more inquiries. Which photos you upload should therefore be well thought out. But what exactly is a “good” profile picture and how does one come about?
To get to the bottom of these questions, we at ifolor carried out a study to find out what motivates singles from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to “swipe to the right” - a sign that signals to other users that someone would like to get in touch with you. Together with Parship psychologist Markus Ernst and the team from Pep-Shot, an online photo dating agency, we analysed the results and came to surprising conclusions.
In the following article we will show you what is important when it comes to dating photos and give you helpful tips on how to spice up your dating profile.
A total of 2000 singles from German-speaking countries were used for the study. The questions asked of the participants should help to identify certain trends or preferences. In order to be able to determine which dating profiles are appealing to participants, the participants were asked about different photo scenarios. On the one hand, this should make it clear which photo motifs prompt you to swipe to the right. On the other hand, it should also be shown which feelings emerge in the pictures.
What do singles look out for in dating profiles?
To find out which profile on dating apps is particularly popular, the participants in the study were asked, among other things, what they pay particular attention to in dating profiles. Our results agree with previous studies. More than a third (40%) of the respondents said they were more likely to swipe to the right if the person has a good profile picture, even if their attached profile description is not at all convincing. The external appearance must therefore be appealing so that it is swiped to the right. The fact that almost a third (26%) of the respondents change their profile picture every month is therefore certainly justified.
It was also found that the face of the person has to be convincing. More than half (55%) of the participants stated that they first look at the person's face. Again, 15% said they pay special attention to the person's eyes. With 10%, the first glance falls mainly on the body. While the results were generally relatively gender-neutral, there was a large difference between men and women when it came to the relevance of the body. Of the 10% mentioned, only 4% of women and 13% of men said that the first thing they should do is take care of their bodies.
To better illustrate the results of our study for you, we have summarized the most important findings. The following sample pictures show you what men and women pay particular attention to and which features are particularly popular with them.
But not only your dating profile picture should be convincing. Our study also showed that 65% of participants also search for their Tinder matches on other social networks. So, you'd better remove embarrassing photos on Facebook, Instagram & Co from your profile.
What does your profile photo reveal about you?
With photos, you reveal important information about yourself that can lead to other people's attention and interest in you. Always pay attention to what additional information you share with others on the dating app. Our survey results show, for example, that people mainly swipe photos to the right when pets can be seen in addition to themselves (36%), when they are on vacation (35%) or when their hobby is shown (45%).
The use of objects in photos, posing with pets or exercising hobbies can also reveal a lot about you and add information to your profile. Together with our experts we give the following tips:
• No props for your main profile picture: The use of objects adds information to your profile, which can be both good and bad for your counterpart. For this reason, we advise you to use photos with any objects only for additional images.
• Show only what is important to you: Your dog is part of your life, so it belongs in a picture. Interestingly, profiles with dogs get more matches and more messages.
• Stay away from controversial profile photos: Political or religious attitudes belong to a person and sometimes have a great influence on personality but should not be conveyed in the picture. "The exchange about such aspects belongs in a personal conversation, in which the other then also has the opportunity to ask questions and classify a certain attitude completely differently," says Parship psychologist Markus Ernst.
Who is looking for sex and who is looking for a serious relationship?
What people look for on dating platforms can vary widely. While some are looking for great love, others are looking for a one-night stand. Finding the right match based on the photo can be difficult. However, we can help you with this through our survey and the opinion of our experts.
Anyone who still believes the cliché that dating apps like Tinder are only used to find someone for a one-night stand is wrong. For example, our survey results show that half (49%) of respondents are looking for a serious relationship on dating apps. Only 14% said they had looked for casual sex.
But how do you know from the profile picture what the other person is looking for? In order to obtain even more details and important information about the selection process for dating profiles, we primarily sought the opinion of our experts at this point.
“You signal your intentions with what you show in the background, with your clothes, posture and facial expressions. The signals are not always conscious, but they are there,” reveals Pep-Shot photographer Jasmin. People who are looking for a long-term relationship are also far more open and vulnerable in their photos. In comparison, people who are not looking for a serious relationship are more likely to refer to trends and "often talk in general about what women find attractive or what men want to see." Based on this, suggestions for poses or facial expressions are made, that you expect to be well received by the other person.
Markus Ernst is also too clear here: "Anyone looking for a partner for a serious and long-term relationship should in any case refrain from very revealing photos." Otherwise, the viewer will quickly assume that short-term fun is more in the foreground.
How Corona Has Affected the Dating World
Meanwhile, the aim of our survey was to find out what effects Corona has on people's dating behaviour and swiping. Our survey results show, for example, that 47% of the participants have used dating apps more frequently since the beginning of the pandemic. The Pep-Shot team also noticed changes. It therefore seems as if singles are increasingly looking for other contact persons and opportunities to get to know each other. The desire for a stable relationship increases, especially in these times. Parship psychologist Markus Ernst sees it similarly. He notes that “the exchange between singles has become more intense. Due to the limited opportunities to meet in person, the telephone / written exchange has gained in depth and intensity. ”Our survey results also show: 49% look for a serious relationship on dating apps.
So how can you convince on dating apps?
"Pictures often say more than 1000 words". A proverb that is justified in view of our results. So in order to be able to convince on dating apps, it takes a lot more than uploading any picture.
The results were clear and showed that you can score points with your counterpart with one or two little tricks. We have summarized the most important tips for you here:
- Make sure that your face is clearly visible on the profile picture. If you also smile in your photo, according to survey results, your chances of being swiped to the right increase by 61%.
- Be aware that it is not just your dating profile picture that is being screened. Pictures of you on any social media network will almost certainly be reviewed as well.
- With photos you reveal important information about yourself. So always only show what is important to you. However, photos of you that suggest controversial statements should not be published. Such aspects should rather be discussed in a personal conversation while getting to know each other.
- Clear intentions can be signalled with photos. Those who are looking for a serious relationship are therefore much more open in their photos, instead of just imitating trendy poses. Anyone looking for a partner for a serious and long-term relationship should also refrain from very revealing photos.
- It is about portraits, not advertising images: Don't brag about your lifestyle and don't try too hard to pose for the camera. Naturalness is best here. Our survey results also show: Almost two thirds (60%) of the participants prefer pictures of people in which they behave and show themselves naturally.
- In general, if you want to convince on your profile photo, you should try to come across as authentic. Therefore, always try to present yourself as you are. Photos of you in your favourite place or in your favourite outfit help you to feel more comfortable in front of the camera, which means you can be more relaxed and thus more like yourself in your photos.
Follow all of our tips and you will see the number of your Tinder matches will steadily increase. Would you like to have your great profile pictures not only available online, but also in printed form? Then come to our photo area and use ifolor to create digital photos in 9, 19, 11, 13 and 20 cm formats.