We’ve all done it. We’ve worried about which profile pic to upload and show the world. So what makes us decide between the pic that shows off a little boob and the pic that features a furry friend?
Up until now, most of us have relied on instincts to decide what’s hot and what’s not. But can we trust our instincts? Are the profile pics we’re using working hardest for us?
According to OKcupid, the self-proclaimed world’s best dating site, “much of the conventional wisdom about profile pictures has been wrong.”
So what works? What will get potential mates, customers, etc. to not only check out our profiles, but to start a conversation with us?
If your profile is female:
- The ‘Myspace Shot’, “taken by holding a camera above your head and being just so darn coy” is the single most effective photo context, better than ‘straight up boobs’, ‘on the bed’ and definitely better than ‘posing with an animal’.
- ‘The Cleavage Shot’ is very successful, drawing 49% more contacts than average.
- Although ‘The Cleavage Shot’ will yield more contacts, a pic that shows you ‘Doing Something Interesting’ is more likely to lead to an actual conversation.
If your profile is male:
- The photo context ‘posing with an animal’ is just as effective as ‘showing off muscles’; surprisingly the aforementioned photo contexts are the most effective (much more potent than the ‘travel photo’ that I’ve been using on Facebook).
- It’s better to look away from the camera and not smile. As OKcupid points out, “maybe women want a little mystery. What is he looking at? Slashdot? Or Engadget?”
- ‘No shirt’ is much more effective than wearing clothes. However, if you’re shy about showing off the 6-pack, or you drink too many 6 packs to go shirtless, it’s better to wear normal clothes than fancy ones.
Now before you rush off to change any profile pics, take a moment and consider the larger brand lesson that Okcupid is offering. If you have some data, flaunt it. Because the data you reveal just might attract more eyeballs than the most carefully crafted image.
P.S. for more analysis on profile pics, visit OKcupid’s blog.