Bad Jokes, Messy Backgrounds and Pictures With Mates May Be Ruining Your Chances Of Finding Love On Dating Apps

  • Forget the bio – it’s all eyes on the body
  • Dodgy bios and backgrounds – the biggest turn-offs
  • Men take longer to view profiles but less picky, swiping right more often
  • Women shallower than men? Looking at body first and for longer

Dating apps are the go-to for singletons looking for love and fun in the modern age, but with app downloads spiking during lockdown, how can you be sure you’re projecting the best version of yourself to prospective matches? Or worse, what if your profile and painstakingly curated photos are leaving you in the left-swipe pile?

With some users spending just seconds reviewing a dating profile before deciding what way to swipe, how can you be sure you’re making an impact? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what are people really looking at on dating apps? An eye-tracking study of user behaviour commissioned by Scrivens Opticians has revealed just that – so if you’re looking for lockdown love in time for Valentine’s day, you might want to read on.

Research has shown that the average user can spend up to 90 minutes a day on dating apps and with over 6,000,000 profiles currently active on Tinder, the stakes to find a match are definitely high. With this in mind, Scrivens Opticians commissioned a qualitative study, utilising cutting-edge, eye-tracking biometric technology to uncover exactly what users’ eyes fall on, linger on and what they’re really looking for whilst viewing dating profiles.

First impressions count

As the old saying goes, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. Of those analysed, the majority (40%) looked at the body as soon as swiping on to a new profile, with only 10% looking at eyes or face first.

Maybe unsurprisingly, half of 20-30-year olds’ eyes scanned straight to the body first, whilst nearly the same percentage of participants aged 31 and upwards looked at bios first. Women were more likely to look at bodies first (22% vs 18% of men) and for longer.

Whilst perhaps not surprising, these results would suggest that you’re more likely to receive a right swipe if you show off your body in a profile image.

What do they see before they swipe?

Just over a third of all participants looked at a person’s name, age and bio before deciding which way to swipe. This suggests that users looked to personal info to confirm whether a profile was the right fit.

Participants eyes hovered over age, hobbies and job titles (when included); similarly, bios with jokes in were viewed for longer on average but didn’t necessarily correlate with positive swipes- so if you’re going to include a joke, make it a good one!

Can’t take my eyes off of you

The shortest time spent viewing a profile was six seconds, whilst the longest profile view topped one minute. During their time studying profiles, users’ eyes lingered on the body for the majority of the research session.

Women seemed slightly more fixated, with 25% focusing on bodies for the longest time, slightly fewer men (18%) studied this section longest. It seems hairstyles were the least interesting as participants’ eyes fixated on this area of profiles for the shortest time. So, it seems you don’t need to bother with a brush or worry about that bald spot if you’ve got the bod!

Background basics

Based on the eye-tracking data, although backgrounds aren’t the first thing most people look at, they’re certainly one of the more important parts of your profile. Around 20% of people decided to swipe left after their eyes focused on a profile background – suggesting what they’re seeing in these final few seconds is potentially a turn-off.

Of the profiles viewed, common background themes included exotic locations, groups of friends, cars and bedrooms. Given the average profile view lasts around 30 seconds, a background needs to show as much about a person as possible. Profiles featuring historic landmarks or luxury holiday destinations were swiped right faster than those featuring a group of friends, a messy bedroom or busy background. With limited time to make an impression, groups of people make it harder to stand out and messy bedrooms suggest an untidy person- go for a clean, pleasant view or show off your passion for exploration with a visually interesting backdrop.

Gemma Jones, Marketing Manager at Scrivens Opticians commented on the study results; “We were really interested to discover what people are actually looking for when using dating profiles.

“We wanted to help those looking for love in lockdown by showing people exactly what users see when viewing a profile and ultimately the areas that draw and hold the eye. We hope this study will better singletons’ chances of finding a match in time for Valentine’s day and making sure all eyes are on them.”

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care is a family business which was established in 1938. It has 174 stores in England and Wales and more than 1,000 employees. For more information, visit scrivens.com