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Thinking about online dating? 4 rules for nailing the perfect profile picture

Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid shares 4 tips for mastering the perfect profile picture in the world of online dating.
/ Source: TODAY

If you're thinking about venturing into the world of online dating, there are a few things you should think about — after all, it's the first impression you'll likely make on someone swiping from the opposite end.

As part of TODAY's Summer of Secrets Series, Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid and author of Dataclysm: Who We Are shares 4 tips for mastering the perfect profile picture in the world of online dating.

1. Make sure your primary photo is ONLY of you

  • Multiple people creates confusion. Confusion creates rejection. Time is limited for that first impression, and asking the viewer to sort out a photo is asking too much.
  • Think about this: if the other person you're with is MORE attractive than you, the viewer will want to be messaging them instead. If the other person is LESS attractive than you, the viewer will be worried that that's who the profile's for.
  • Unless you're there with your identical twin, stand alone in your primary profile picture.

RELATED: Common mistakes in online dating profiles

2. You don't always have to smile

  • Especially for guys, OkCupid has found that smiling photos actually underperform "straight-faced" ones.
  • Don't look menacing. Staring down the camera like it owes you money — yes, guys do this surprisingly often — is the worst thing you can do.

3. Selfies are fine, just don't take them in the bathroom

  • Toilet paper, shampoo, and a dirty shower curtain probably aren't setting the mood of seduction and intrigue you're looking for.

RELATED: Avoid these top 10 no-nos for your online dating profile

4. Include at least one picture of you doing something interesting

  • If you like rock-climbing, show yourself in harness. The same goes for traveling — if that's your interest, show yourself on your favorite beach. If you play music, show yourself rocking out.
  • Give the viewer an easy conversation-starter ("Hey! I've been to Tulum, too!") and to communicate, very concisely, something that's important to you.
  • The quicker the viewer gets an accurate sense of who you are, the better off you both will be.