With millions of singles skimming profiles on dating sites every day, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd.
But according to results from a study WIRED’s Caitlin Roper conducted with OkCupid and Match.com, there are some strategies you can use to hack the system.
For one, using certain words in your profile are proven to make you seem more attractive to other users. WIRED worked with data analysts at the two dating sites to come up with the 1,000 most popular words, shown in the chart below (pink for words used by females, green for words used by males).
Surfing and yoga were attractive keywords for both genders, while London and New York were the two most popular cities mentioned.
When it comes to pop culture, it pays to agree with the experts. The critically-acclaimed shows “Homeland” and “Arrested Development” were the most popular in terms of what made users attractive, while “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Pulp Fiction” were the top films.
Online daters tend to value good taste and intelligence in general. In fact, men who use “whom” get 31% more contacts from the opposite sex, regardless of whether they used it correctly.
The data crunchers even analysed the 400 most popular OkCupid profiles to see if their profile pictures had anything to say about what attracts responses. According to their findings, you should look straight into the camera for your picture (88% of the most popular users did so) and show your teeth when you smile, as 54% of the hottest users did.
And if you’re a guy, skip the selfie — although it’s more than acceptable for women to post a selfie (45% of the hottest straight women did, in addition to 42% of the most popular lesbians), men posting selfies didn’t fare as well (13% straight, 25% gay).
The full report can be found online at WIRED.com and on newsstands in the magazine’s March issue.
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