Sam Yagan, founder of OK Cupid, on how to score a good date online

At the moment, the video seems to be overloaded (since it was just posted), but since there is a transcript of his talk, some points worth mentioning:

There are all kinds of gems that we’ve managed to dig up.  Some of them are somewhat obvious, but when you put a number to them, it makes them more interesting.  So for example, for – any woman who has ever gone out to a bar knows that what you wear impacts whether guys will come and talk to you.  and in particular, how low-cut your shirt is, is a very important driver of interest.  So that’s not a surprise.  But what we were able to do is to actually quantify the impact of showing some cleavage in an online dating photo.  So it turns out that you do get more messages if you have a more revealing photo.  But we found that was actually more insightful was that the cleavage advantage, as I call it, actually increases with age.  So when you’re 18 years old, if you have a photo that’s more revealing, you’re going to get about 24% more interest than a non-revealing photo.  By the time you turn 32 that advantage increases to 79%.  So that impact that everybody knows exists, you might not have realized actually changes with time and increases with age. 

One think that we’ve found is, to not compliment the woman’s physical features when writing a message.  So if you use the words, “sexy” or “cute” or “beautiful” in a message, you’re going to get about a 30% worse response rate than if you talk about interests that she has in her profile.

So on the photos we’ve learned a bunch of things.  We’ve learned that you should be doing something interesting.  We’ve learned that if you are a man, you shouldn’t look straight into the camera because that’s intimidating to women.  If you are a woman, you should be looking into the camera because men don’t want to imagine you looking at some other guy.  They want you looking straight at them.

So, I’ll summarize the findings: if you want to score a successful date, appease the sexist fears of insecure men while you show cleavage.

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