Tinder users face one eternal question: How can I get people to like me? There are some obvious answers to that query, although you should never stake your self-esteem on an app. Fortunately for all of us just trying to find love through our smartphones, Tinder’s staff sociologist (yep, that’s an actual job), Dr. Jess Carbino, has been studying what gets reactions, and the short answer is that visuals trump anything else, at least at first. Don’t freak out yet, though, because it’s not your profile pic that makes all the difference!
Carbino regularly interviews Tinder users to see what they react to, and she told Engadget that GIFs and emoji are a good way to break the ice, in part because of the difficulty in reading text. There’s no such thing as a smooth opening line in online dating, so sharing a cat GIF instead is probably a good place to start. In fact, GIF messages are 30 percent more likely to get a response than non-GIFs, according to Tinder.
What you may be wondering, of course, is why GIFs? Carbino believes sharing short snippets of video from popular culture illustrates compatibility, much like reeling off a movie quote the other person immediately gets would. Everybody knows the feeling of bonding over Charlie Sheen explaining that he looks like a can of smashed rectums, and GIFs can offer that. Besides, if you’re bad at making a good first impression with your charm and skill for wordplay, picking a GIF makes the whole thing a lot easier for everyone involved (well, until Tinder releases a study that reveals you’re doing GIFs all wrong).