When you're single and looking to mingle, there's absolutely no shame in turning to online dating (aka the ol' millennial standby) to help you find someone. There's also no shame in doing some research to figure out how to get more matches on dating apps — because putting a little time and effort upfront into updating your dating profile can really pay off in the long run. One thing that can seriously make all the difference? Knowing what kinds of pictures to use on dating apps, and which ones are better left to collect virtual dust on your old Photobucket account.
"I like to call dating app photos 'prime advertising space,'" Meredith Davis, Head of Communications at dating app The League, tells Bustle. "On The League, you only have up to six photos to advertise what is important to you whether that be family, sports, travel, etc. Rather than trying to optimize for the most hearts, I always suggest trying to optimize for the right hearts. The people with similar passions or interests as you will get excited about potentially matching if they see that you also enjoy hiking, cooking, or hanging out with your family."
In the fast-paced world of online dating, first impressions make a big difference, and the photos you choose should say something about who you are. So if you feel like you need to hit refresh on your dating profile, here are 11 hacks for making the most of your profile pics — and hopefully raking in even more matches as a result.
1Pose With Your Mom
When you see your mom this upcoming Mother's Day, you might want to press pause on brunch to ask her to pose for a few pictures with you: according to new data from The League, users who have at least one photo with their mom saw a seven percent higher match rate than those without. Because who doesn't want a date who appreciates their mama?
2Take Off Your Hat And Glasses
According to a 2016 study from Tinder — which analyzed 12,000 photographs from users aged 18 to 40 from multiple major U.S. metro cities — you're better off ditching hats and glasses in your dating app pics. Users wearing glasses in a profile picture (prescription or sunglasses) were 15 percent less likely to be right-swiped; for those wearing a hat, their chances of being swiped right on decreased by 12 percent.
3Wear Something Bright To Stand Out
If your goal is to attract a mate (or just a date) online, you might want to take a leaf from the peacock's book and flaunt some brightly colored attire in your dating app pics. According to the Tinder study, 72 percent of Tinder users opt for outfits in neutral colors like black, white, or beige in their profile pictures — which means if you wear something bright, you'll be more likely to stand out (and hopefully catch a cutie's eye).
4Don't Upload Only One Photo
If you're camera shy, coming up with more than one or two good photos of yourself for your dating apps can be tough — but it's totally worth the effort if you want more matches.
"I would encourage users to provide multiple shots that feature them in different ways, such as a full-length shot, a shot from the waist up, etc.," Dr. Jess Carbino, Bumble Sociologist (formerly Tinder Sociologist), tells Bustle. "You should be providing different perspectives of who you are in all facets."
5Take Candid Pics
According to Hinge's 2017 Profile Picture Report, 80 percent of Hinge users' profile pictures were posed — but those that were candid were 15 percent more likely to be liked by other users. Some practical advice? Have a handful of both candids and posed shots to get the best of both worlds and wow everyone.
6Pose With Your Friends
Although it's not a good idea to have *only* group photos on your dating apps (no one can tell who's who!), having a couple shots of you and your friends enjoying a night out can go a long way. Hinge's Profile Picture Report found that pictures of users having fun with their friends somewhere were 74 percent more likely to get a like.
7Show Off Your Pearly Whites
You might have put a lot of hard work into learning how to perfectly smize, but a regular old smile might be more beneficial for your dating profile: the Hinge Profile Picture Report found that photos of users showing off their pearly whites were 23 percent more likely to be liked.
8Get Old-Timey With A Black & White Filter
You might typically be Team #NoFilter, but trying out a black and white filter for one (but not all) of your dating app pictures might not be a bad idea. According to the Hinge Profile Picture Report, although only three percent of users' pictures were black and white, those that were were 106 times more likely to be liked than color photos — talk about good odds!
9Channel Your Inner Sporty Spice
If sports are your thing, you're in luck: the Hinge data found that photos of users playing a sport or doing something athletic performed 75 percent better than the average, non-sporty photo. If you need me, I'll be over here editing donuts out of my pictures and replacing them with basketballs.
10Share Photos Of Your Travels
In a 2017 study to see if travel photos fare better than other dating app photos, Hinge analyzed around 180,000 user photos and found that, while only 3.4 percent of were of travel, those that were received 30 percent more likes. There you have it: a ready-made excuse to book a plane ticket to the exotic locale of your dreams, all in the name of boosting your dating profile.
11Avoid These Profile Picture Cliches
If you're wondering what you should absolutely not do in your dating app pics, here are the biggest no-nos, courtesy of the Hinge Profile Picture Report: wearing sunglasses, using Snapchat filters, posing with a possible significant other, beach photos, and selfies — particularly bathroom selfies.
Ultimately, the trick to getting more matches online is simple: don't be afraid to make a real connection, and always be your most authentic self. So upload whichever photos make you feel like your best, most beautiful self, and watch as the matches roll in!