As a dating writer, I'm always curious to hear about other people's experiences on dating apps, and to find out which strategies achieve positive results and which don't work as well (at least for the majority of people). There's a lot of interesting data out there about what is attractive on a dating profile, and dating experts have all kinds of advice about how to create a winning snapshot that accurately showcases your personality. When it comes to what kinds of photos get the most Tinder matches, most professionals will agree that you should use recent pictures that show your smiling face, preferably where you're doing something you're passionate about or in a place you enjoy spending time. But apart from that, what types of photos will encourage users to swipe right on you?
I was curious about whether having other people in your photos affects the number of matches you get — and if so, in what way. So, I decided to do an experiment. I changed my profile photos three times, swiped until I hit 15 right swipes with each set of photos, and tallied how many matches I received. While the numbers weren't drastically different, there was a clear winner. The results made sense to me, and lined up with my prediction.
I chose these two solo pictures of myself to start. They're both recent photos, and I feel like they send the message that I like to explore new places, especially if they're anywhere near the water. I also like the fact that neither one is a selfie, and that the second photo shows my figure — a suggestion I was given by dating app expert Meredith Golden when she helped me improve my Tinder profile. I swiped right 15 times, and got seven matches. This number seemed pretty high, which supported my hypothesis that solo pictures tend to do the best on dating apps.
Next, I chose two group shots of me and my girlfriends. What I didn't really think about was the fact that it's the same group of girls in both pictures, and that they're also from the same night. These facts likely made it even more difficult for potential matches to know which one I was, potentially causing them to swipe left rather than try to figure it out. I'll admit, I've definitely swiped left on profiles made up of group pictures, because sometimes it's just too much work to try to locate the person who the profile belongs to.
I swiped right on another 15 profiles, but this time I only got four matches. Still not bad, but I couldn't help thinking they might have swiped right not actually knowing which one I was. In fact, one of my matches sent me a message saying, "Hey!" quickly followed by, "Which one are you lol," which was of course a completely valid question.
Finally, I updated my profile to include two photos of me and (two different) guy friends. Personally, when I see dudes on Tinder posing with other girls, I can't help but wonder who these women are. And if the guy is with the same girl in every photo, that's a big red flag on a dating app, and I'm likely going to swipe left. But I can't claim to understand how the male mind works, and I thought maybe they'd prefer seeing pictures of me with my guy friends for whatever reason.
After 15 right swipes, though, I got a whopping total of one match. So much for that theory, I guess. Then again, these photos are the least recent, and I don't feel like they're as flattering or indicative of my personality as my previous choices.
Before I began this experiment, I assumed that good solo pictures are always the best way to go on a dating app profile. The data I got from putting this theory to the test proved that I was right, at least in my particular case. Everyone has different preferences, of course, but in my opinion and personal experience, you can't go wrong with a few stellar photos of just you. It is your profile, after all, so why risk confusing potential matches by adding other variables into the equation?