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When it comes to profile pictures, it seems that everything most thinking adults assumed would be true is false—those awful "kissy face" pictures, the My Space angles, phone-pics-in-the-mirror, and pics that don't even your face are apparently quite effective in generating interest in the opposite sex.
Popular dating site OKCupid has made a habit of running data analysis on its usage trends and posting the results on its blog.
Men just seem to love that angle no matter how misleading it can be.
Similarly, OKCupid found that photos posted by your typical meathead are pretty successful among women as well.
go-to when people decide it's time to meet someone new.
One advantage to it all being on the Internet, though, is that we can discover what works—do people really respond to the things they claim are important to them?
According to OKCupid, the average chance that message will lead to a back-and-forth discussion is at about 27 percent, but a photo of a person doing something interesting (say, playing an instrument, playing a sport, crafting something, etc.) is much higher at a hair over 40 percent.
The categories that are below average for conversations are cleavage shots, My Space angles, having fun with friends, and most dooming of all, photos of the subject drinking.
"If you want worthwhile messages in your inbox, the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated," says OKCupid. There are times that a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and the old maxim that you never get a second chance to make a first impression rings true here, as the image you choose makes a significant difference in whether you'll get messages or not.
Going back to another recent large incident, here's how the data on Linked In breaks down: This is obviously a really different split; Gmail is now well and truly out front which is more commensurate with what we'd expect today.
Keep in mind that Linked In was hacked in May 2012 so now we have a window somewhere between then and 2007.