Why it Pays to Show Your Face

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

hidingLots of online dating websites, including Muddy Matches, have a ‘hide your profile’ function. This function is designed to allow users to keep their profile, but to obscure it from view when they need a break from online dating.

However, some people use this function to remain anonymous while they browse the website. This might sound like a smart idea as you can check people out without them knowing that you have viewed their profile, but a new study shows that it’s not just sneaky, it can actually be harming your chances of meeting your perfect match.

The study

A research paper called ‘To Hide or Not to Hide’, which was published in Management Science, found that people who choose to hide their profile while browsing through other people’s profiles had a lower chance of meeting someone and when they did find a match, they were perceived to be of a lower quality to those who had their profile in full view.

The study took 100,000 dating website users and asked 50,000 to browse anonymously and 50,000 to browse with a live profile.

The research found that women were more likely to look at a wider range of people when they were anonymous, but that they were less likely to make the first move than their male counterparts. Under normal circumstances the people whom they had viewed would receive a notification that they had viewed their profile and some of the men would have used this as a sign that they were interested in them. Some of the men would then go on to make contact with them at this stage, which would have increased their chances of meeting their match.

Showing interest

Showing interest in someone online comes in three progressively important stages; looking at their profile, liking their profile (by adding it to their ‘favourites list’) and sending a message.

Looking at someone’s profile means that you have shown an interest in finding out more about them after viewing their basic details, but it doesn’t mean that you will go on to like them after finding out more. This is known as a ‘warm lead’ in marketing terms and they may be worth approaching. However, adding someone to your ‘favourites list’ or sending them a message is a sure sign that you are interested and is regarded as a ‘hot lead’.

If someone adds you to their ‘favourites list’ it means that they would like to find out more about you and it’s a great opportunity for you to send them a message.

So, in conclusion, you should only hide your profile if you wish to take a break from online dating and you should send a message to people who add you to their ‘favourites list’.