The only way to avoid an online romance scam is to be aware of their occurrences and also to know how to spot them before they begin.
In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong.
We used to think that the one iron-clad rule of Internet dating photos was to at least show your face.
In fact, we used to give this very advice on Ok Cupid’s own photo upload page: When at first these results came back, we didn’t believe it.
from the camera is the single worst attitude a woman can take.
Certain social etiquettes apply even online: if you’re going to be making eyes at someone, it should be with the person looking at your picture.
But, contrary to everything you read about profile pictures, if you’re a guy with a nice body, it’s actually better to take off your shirt than to leave it on.No change: it’s still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pics (more on those later). The male “Ab Shot” has the same reputation as the My Space Shot — it’s an Internet cliché that supposedly everyone thinks is only for bozos.To wit: a journalist was visiting our office recently, and when we told her we were researching user photos, the first thing she said was “please tell me people hate it when guys show off their abs.” We hadn’t finished running the numbers yet, so we confidently reassured her that people did. Of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages.We installed all kinds of sophisticated photo analysis software libraries, ran scripts to measure the percentage of face in each of our photos, generated diabolically meaningless scatter plots: But the facts were stubborn: your face doesn’t necessarily matter.In fact, not showing your face can in fact be a positive, as long as you substitute in something unusual, sexy, or mysterious enough to make people want to talk to you.One final point, vis à vis men, their torsos, and the clothing thereupon: if you’re not the type of guy who can show off your muscles, don’t veer off in the opposite direction and get all dressed up.Outfits more sophisticated than a simple collared shirt fare poorly: There are no clear myths associated with showing cleavage in your picture.We looked a level deeper and analyzed what resulted from the incoming contacts. And we discovered the following:even though the two women are basically the same age, spend the same amount of time on the site, have similar profile length and quality, and have the same “attractiveness” as rated by Ok Cupid’s male population.If you want worthwhile messages in your inbox, the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated.Men’s photos are most effective when they look away from the camera and In terms of getting new messages, the My Space shot is the single most effective photo type for women.We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place — so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again.