Online dating can be weird, and confusing, and frustrating — but if you’re even a little bit of a data nerd, it’s also a gold mine.
In January, Redditor chaios24 submitted a popular post to the subreddit r/dataisbeautiful titled “My 180 Days of Lesbian Online Dating.” chaios24 shows the success rates of sending a message versus a GIF and of initiating a conversation versus responding to someone else.
The most intriguing finding: Sending a GIF was slightly more likely to result in a date than sending a message. (Tinder allows users to send GIFs; OkCupid doesn’t.)
chaios24 sent 15 GIFs on Tinder; three received no response, nine prompted a conversation that eventually petered out, and three ended in a date. By contrast, of the 16 messages chaios24 sent (on OKCupid and Tinder), two received no response, 12 petered out, and two ended in a date.
chaios24’s observations are supported by broader findings from Tinder. BuzzFeed reported that sending a GIF on Tinder instead of text or an emoji means you’re 30% more likely to receive a response from your match. And conversations that include GIFs on Tinder last twice as long as conversations without GIFs.
chaios24 also broke down the numbers for messages received. Of the 28 messages someone else sent, chaios24 didn’t respond to seven, 17 petered out, and four led to a date.
To sum up, only nine of the 59 total threads that chaios24 analyzed ended in a date. chaios24 also created a graph that shows the success rates of messaging on OKCupid versus Tinder.
chaios24, a late-20-something in a large East Coast city in the US, wrote that their profile “stated that I wasn’t l looking for anything serious.” As of January 9, the person was no longer single.
To be sure, this is just one person’s experience, meaning it’s hard to draw conclusions about online dating in general. Perhaps the greatest takeaway here is that if you approach life as an experiment — as this Redditor seems to have done — the inevitable frustrations that come with being a single person looking for a date may become more tolerable.