Scientists Unravel Secrets of Online Dating Profiles

After having a hard time finding love online, they sought to solve the problem.

ByABC News
February 13, 2015, 6:11 PM

— -- Just in time for Valentine's day, scientists have unraveled the secrets to creating the perfect online dating profile.

Khalid Khan, lead author of the new study, and his co-author Sameer Chaudhry pored through more than 86 studies to determine what makes a profile successful. The idea for the study, published this week in the journal Evidence-Based Medicine, came after Chaudry told Khan he wasn't having success finding love online.

"He was asking me to improve his profile to figure out something to do differently. I had never done online dating myself," said Khan, a professor of Women's Health and Clinical Epidemiology at the Queen May University of London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

"I said look let's search the literature," Khan told ABC News.

Here's what they found:

  • Users who picked screen names starting with letters toward the beginning of the alphabet got more clicks, pings and swipes than those whose names started with letters in the second half of the alphabet.

  • A good profile photo is key, but doesn't have to be fancy. Khan found that a "genuine smile" and head tilt made the person in the profile photo appear more attractive.

  • When women wore red in their profile photo, it translated to more attention from men online.

  • In photo galleries, group shots with friends having fun also earned more clicks, pings and swipes from the opposite sex.

  • Users appeared more intelligent if they kept the language in their profile headline "simple."