Ever wonder which of your five or six dating app pictures is best? You probably assume it's the one you have as your main pic, but now on Tinder, you'll never have to second-guess yourself or crowdsource all your friends on whether you should go with the selfie where the lighting is just right or the one where you're laughing after your first parasailing excursion (Hint: go with that one) ever again. On Thursday, Tinder launched Smart Photos to prove they're the only ones who can really help you make the right photo choice. With the brand new feature, the photo first seen by other users will automatically alternate based on how it's performing on the app — so your most-swiped one will be first. During testing for Smart Photos, users saw up to a 12 percent increase in matches.
"We developed Smart Photos because users were constantly asking us how to best improve their Tinder profiles," Tinder's Sociologist Dr. Jess Carbino, tells Bustle. "There are a number of things people can do to increase their chances of success in being right-swiped, such as smiling or facing forward. We knew Smart Photos would help our users by showing them which of their photos performed well and, ultimately, allow them to put their best face forward."
Think you know which pic will be most popular? "Given that people tend to be most critical of themselves, users may be surprised by which photos perform best," Carbino says. "These biases are largely based upon perception, however. Now Tinder users will learn what photos look best to their prospective matches, which is an incredible advantage. Even if a picture is surprising to a user, you can’t argue with data!"
The Smart Photos algorithm brings users one step closer to the ~mysterious~ science behind Tinder. Earlier this year, the dating app told Fast Company that every Tinder user has a top secret internal rating, which based on a number of factors, determines how desirable you are on the app. Dating experts advise switching up your profile pictures frequently, and now you have a surefire way of knowing what's effective.
So what can you learn from this new feature — other than it's probably time to chill with the selfies? "The themes that we are currently seeing validate our existing data regarding what photos perform best," Carbino says. "For example, photos in which the person is smiling tend to perform better than photos in which the person is not smiling, and bright colors stand out more than neutral ones."
But Tinder isn't the first dating app or site to clue users in on their internal photo testing. Here are two others that will show you which of your photos are hot or not:
When I was on OKC for about a month earlier this year, I switched up my main picture to one I thought was better after about two weeks on the site. I had no idea that the site did A/B testing with photos but soon after I swapped photos, I got this email telling me I had made a huge mistake.
I was actually at OkCupid's office when I received the email titled "The Internet has spoken!" and Chief of Product, Jimena Almendares, told me that this email goes out only when there's a drastic difference in how your photos are performing.
Dine, a dating app focused on trying new bars, restaurants, and cafes in your city, also plays around with your photos and gives you percentages on how they're performing. You can choose to auto sort them or keep them as you please.
Images: Fotolia; Tinder; Screenshots