Swiping By Numbers

Recently I found myself with a lot of time to kill. I’d headed to climb Everest, but as my brother got altitude sickness I instead found myself looking after him in a hotel for over a week in the jungle with literally nothing to do.

So I swiped.

And I swiped.

And I swiped some more.

Most of the dating apps I’m on are location based, which made them pretty useless as I wanted to arrange some dates with people once I was back in the UK, but one – Plenty Of Fish – wasn’t. It matched based on where I said I was on my profile rather than my GPS, so that’s the one I used.

I had tried upgrading that to a paid account, just to see what that was like, and realised that one of the benefits of that was that I could see the status of messages I had sent. For those who haven’t upgraded on it before, it tells you whether your messages are read or unread, along with whether they are then deleted or not.

I soon realised that this was an opportunity for a bit of an experiment, so I started recording the numbers to see how I did. I set myself a few criteria to try and make it fair though; it’s not exactly scientific, but it’s at least got a degree of consistency:

  1. I would only swipe right on women I actually wanted to meet
  2. This meant they were sometimes more attractive than I’ve any right to swipe on
  3. Every message was unique, flirtatious in style and called out something in their profile (no copy and paste mass messages for me)
  4. No swiping on women with only one photo or nothing in their profile
  5. I’d go for five days

So here’s the numbers. In five days of swiping I messaged 157 women (I swiped left on seven times that number though). Of those, 58 remained unread for the whole time; I can only assume either they didn’t like the look of my face or, and my ego prefers this explanation, they simply didn’t log on and look within that time. 17 more were unread and deleted; they definitely didn’t like the look of my face!

That left 82 messages I’d carefully crafted which were read. 20 of those were read and deleted; obviously I’m not as witty or engaging as I thought. That left 62 which were simply read.

I got 56 profile views from across that entire spread of 157 women – way, way higher than ever before! I also had replies from 10 women, of which 8 lasted more than a single message. From all that I’ve continued conversations with 4 women, with 2 of the 8 dropping out as soon as they knew I had children and the rest simply disappearing for whatever reason. I’ve got dates lined up with three over the next few weeks.

So what does that tell me? My maths may be shaky, but it looks like I’ve got a:

  • 52% chance of having my message read
  • 36% chance of getting a profile view
  • 6% chance of receiving a reply
  • 2% success rate in terms of turning a message into a date.

Not massively encouraging numbers, are they?! 98% of my messages won’t end in a date!

There’s a decent carry over from my messages being read to getting a profile view, but a massive drop when it comes to actually getting a reply. This suggests my profile needs some work, though having reread it I’m still relatively happy that it reflects me. It does mention I’m a dad though, which may help explain the significant drop.

Still, more encouraging is my just-over-one-in-three success rate in terms of turning conversations into dates (and I may even have another of my conversations turned into a date soon too). That’s much more reassuring; seems like my text-based flirting game is coming on okay.

It’s a shame that my paid-for period is over; means I can’t keep an eye on these stats going forward. That being said, if I’m still single in a year’s time I’ve no doubt I’ll be more than happy to pay out in the hope that I can make the stats work better for me!!!

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