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The Tinder Test

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With 1.6 billion swipes a day and over 9 billion matches, it's no surprise that Tinder has become one of the most popular dating apps in the world since its launch in 2012. Research shows there are around 50 million active users on Tinder, checking their accounts up to 11 times per day, so you can ensure that it's your profile that gets people swiping right. We wanted to find out if dressing well can affect your chances of getting a match and therefore appear to be more attractive. Do clothes really make a difference when it comes to online dating?
We created 2 Tinder profiles and ran them for a period of 2 weeks each. Each profile was identical apart from the photos. We kept the 'discovery settings' the same with an 18-35 age range and 20km distance, with all swiping taking place from a central Manchester location.

Using the same model, each profile reflected two distinct styles. Profile one was dressed to the nines in on-trend designer clothing and accessories. we used a professional photographer to capture relaxed, smiling images of our model.

Profile two took the focus away from the clothes, with the photos here showing no indication of style. We kept the photos basic, opting for a classic moody selfie with little attention to background or time spent getting the shots.


We used the same bio and unleashed Phil, 24 into the world of Tinder.

The Results

"Being well dressed on Tinder can increase your chances of matches by 450%!"
The results speak for themselves, Well Dressed Phil increased his chance of a match by 450%, getting 72 matches over the two week period and a lot more engagement. So what was it that sparked the interest? Can clothes really make that much of a difference when it comes to online dating? We asked some dating experts to analyse our results.
"It's no surprise to me that dressing well boosts your chances so much. When you do this it automatically makes you look more successful, sexier and more intelligent too. That's because many studies have shown that to women, a man's sense of style is more important than his looks, personality or income. Clothes can give you the advantage to stand out from your competition as they completely change the way others view you.

The successful photos also have another big difference to the others - he is smiling in them. This is essential if you want to get matches. With online dating and apps, women don't have much to go on so judgments are very quick. They'll automatically reject anyone who looks too serious or unhappy. Smiling, positive photos make you look like you are more trustworthy and fun to be around. If you are happy then they will be naturally happy in your company."

James Preece
James Preece (Dating Guru)
jamespreece.com
@jamespreeceguru
Match
Tinder Match
"The profile featuring the well dressed guy was the most popular for the simple reason, people aren’t just looking to see what you look like in your photos but they’re actually looking for clues about what kind of lifestyle you lead to see if your lifestyle matches theirs or more accurately the lifestyle they aspire to lead. They’re making judgements, quickly and often subconsciously, about what you’re wearing, what you’re doing, where you are etc.

The other profile not only doesn’t show the guy at his best but also there is very little in the background of the photos to give people a clue about his life and lifestyle. He’s definitely more of a risk for people who are looking for someone with a good lifestyle. The worst dating photos are those that are poor quality, out of date, have other people in the shot or even worse, other people cut-out of the shot. Your face needs to be visible, don't hide behind sunglasses and ensure you remove any red eye. Don't settle for poor lighting and avoid those 'halfway up a mountain’ shots."

Saskia Nelson
Saskia Nelson (Dating Photography Expert)
heysaturday.co
@SatNightAlright

Advice for online dating

If you're looking to boost your own dating profile, we've put together the key dos and don'ts to help you build a profile that works.

Don't resort to naked pics

Remember, it's designer suit, not birthday suit. Even if your hard work at the gym is paying off, nothing will have a potential match 'swiping left' like a grainy headless shot of your torso.

Don't rely on group shots

Don't turn dating into a game of Where's Wally. Potential matches should be able to clearly spot who you are, not trying to pick you out of a gang of lads on holiday. One group shot in the mix of your solo shots is enough to show people that you're a fun, sociable person, but make sure they know exactly who they're swiping!

Don't use old photos

One of the worst things you can do on your online dating profile is use old photos. If your hairline has crept back, or your 6 pack has long since abandoned you, don't try and fool others with a 5 year old photo. You may end up getting a date, but your match ay end up leaving disappointed. Be honest and take our advice for styling your profile, with the right clothes and confidence in yourself you're set for dating success.

Don't include snaps of the ex

You may look great in that romantic shot of you and your ex on holiday, but for potential matches, it’s a red flag. It should also go without saying that you avoid photos from past weddings, regardless of how good you look in a suit. Photos with an ex can lead people to think you’re just after a casual ‘hook up’ rather than a relationship.

Don't lay down ground rules

Your profile is there to attract a match, don’t scare them off at first glance by adding a list of ‘rules’ to your bio. Telling matches exactly what you want is an easy way to ensure they swipe left. Even if you do favour brunettes or someone who can run the same distance as you, keep your profile open and friendly.

Show your style

We’ve proved that making the effort with your clothes makes a difference when it comes to online dating, so make sure you show your own personal style. If you do manage to get a date, remember to make the same effort with your outfit on the day. If your profile shows you suited and booted, go for a smart casual look that shows you’ve put some thought into your look, not sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Have a GSOH

Although you should take your style seriously, make sure you inject some of your personality in your profile. Crack a joke and let your potential matches know you have a great sense of humour.

Have a fun bio

If you only have 50 words to describe yourself, why waste it? Use your bio as a way to show who you are, what you like and what you’re looking for. Be honest and open, think about what really makes you unique and don’t just drone on about how much you can lift, or what you got up to on your gap year in Thailand.

Show your hobbies

If you’re a keen footballer, runner or you spend your time travelling the globe, don’t be afraid to let people know. Shared interests are a great conversation starter and can help make sure you stand out from the crowd. Try not to overdo it though, a casual mention or photo is enough!

Imagine your dating profile as a CV
(would your boss want to see that?)

Dating and CVs may not seem like they go hand in hand, but if you look at your dating profile with the eye of a future employer, you can avoid some common pitfalls. Consider your language and remove any photos that could be classed as ‘bad taste’. That fancy dress outfit might have gone down a storm with the lads, but it probably won’t have the same effect on potential matches.

Style, Snap, Swipe

It's an old cliche but you really only have one chance to make a good first impression, so making an effort with your style is a must when creating a dating profile. Enlist the help of a friend to take top quality shots and choose your outfits carefully, you don't have to be top to toe in designer clothing but a well thought out look can speak volumes to someone swiping on their phone.

Tinder is also trying to help users craft a 'swipeworthy' profile, launching the Smart Photo feature to help organise profiles based on the most attractive images. Smart Photo alternates the photo that's first seen by others on Tinder, noting the responses as others swipe on you, your photos are then ordered to show the best first. By adding this layer of photo analysis, Smart Photo users saw up to a 12% increase in matches during the testing phase.

Our results show that there really is a science behind the swipe, with style playing a vital part in sparking that initial connection.

Remember Tinder is an aesthetic experience, think of your profile as a shop window, does it look good enough to tempt people to have a look inside? If not, it’s probably time for a profile renovation.

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