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    What Your Online Profile Picture Says About You

    What does your online profile picture say about you?

    Ever stopped to think about it?

    Even so, are you sure the picture you’re sporting says what you think it says?

    Your profile picture does say something about you, and probably more than you realize. We’re online profile pros, and we’re diving into the secrets yours reveals right here. So, read on.

    Researchers say your profile picture says something about you…

    That’s right.

    We’re not the only ones who think that your picture reveals your personality.

    A team of international researchers studied more than 66,000 Twitter profile pictures and tweets, then gave hundreds of those users a personality test, too.

    They divided the profile picture features into two categories: general image features and stylistic facial features. They looked at differences in color, composition, and expression. Then, they looked to see if the categorized pictures shared similar results on the big five personality traits test.

    They uncovered some telling patterns.

    Just by looking at your online profile these experts can make a good guess at whether you’re extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, neurotic, or open to new experiences.

    Want to know how?

    Okay, tell me. What does my profile picture say about me?

    We thought you’d never ask!

    You’re extroverted…

    If you’re an extrovert, your picture is likely to be colorful and youthful.

    You look younger than you are, or you’re posing with a bunch of younger friends.

    And even though you’re having all sorts of fun in the photo, maybe even with a few friends along, the quality of your image isn’t likely to be very high. You’re not so concerned, it seems, with aesthetic when you’re choosing a picture to represent yourself online.

    You’re agreeable…

    If you’re agreeable, you’re probably sporting a bright and colorful profile picture.

    Surprise. Surprise.

    You’re almost certainly posing with a couple other friends. Of course, you are. Because you’re agreeable, and that’s marked by your ease with social harmony and cooperation.

    You’re too busy having an easy time to worry about how aesthetically pleasing your picture is, though. It’s blurry, and it’s busy. It’s crowded, even cluttered.

    It’s the moment you were in, without any edits or framing.

    You’re conscientious…

    If you’re conscientious, you’re orderly and disciplined – and so is your profile picture.

    It’s a picture of your face. And it’s a good one.

    It’s natural. And it’s colorful. It’s notably brighter than the pictures of other personality types.

    You’re a member of the most expressive bunch.

    And perhaps that’s because you know (or think you know) that you’re supposed to appear upbeat and joyful in your profile picture. You’re supposed to put the “I’m doing great” face forward. You’re supposed to share your positive mood, and keep your negative mood to yourself.

    You’re neurotic…

    If you’re neurotic, you’re likely to choose a picture that takes focus away from you.

    You’re posing with your pet, or you’re holding some inanimate belonging you love, and you’re probably not looking right at the camera. Maybe you’re doing all three of these things at once.

    Somehow, you’ve obscured your face. Maybe behind thick reading glasses. Your pet, or the book you’re reading, or the phone you’re holding is in better focus than your face is.

    And, whatever you’re posing with, you’ve chosen a muted color palette, something we’d associate with negative emotions or emotional instability. That goes along with your facial expression, which is neutral, or pensive, maybe wistful. You’re certainly not showing any outward happiness.

    Your profile picture is simple, especially when compared with those of other personality types.

    You’re open to new experiences…

    If you’re open to new experiences, the study says that you’re likely to have taken and shared the highest quality profile picture – lucky you. You’re boasting a picture with increased contrast, sharpness, and saturation, plus less blur.

    At the same time, though, your profile picture is the most likely to convey negative emotions, even anger and sadness. And it’s among the least colorful in the bunch.

    You’re a non-conformist by nature, and your profile picture proves it. Like your friends, the neurotics, you’re probably posing with something else, like your guitar or your snowboard – whatever it is that you’re new to lately.

    What does this all matter?

    If you’re trying to attract someone – a lover, a friend, an employer – it’s good to know the signals you’re sending out.

    We’re better at picking up the clues that someone else is leaving than we are at picking up the clues we’re giving up about ourselves.

    Think about it.

    Your friend posts a new picture, and you’re sure you know what they’re trying to say with it. Or you’ve got a theory. Maybe two or three.

    Well, what foot do you want to put forward?

    And what picture makes sense for each medium?

    We’ve all got so many online profiles these days that there’s room for a range. What’s right for your LinkedIn could relax itself a bit on social media and dating sites. Then again, going for a single brand no matter the platform is a strategy, too.

    The point is to be purposeful about what you put out there.

    Let us help you find the profile picture that captures you…

    Now that you know all this, what do you think your online profile picture says about you? Does it say what you’re hoping it says? Want to say it all even better than you are right now?

    Online Profile Pros provides premium online profile enhancement services.

    We operate a network of syndicated professional photographers, profile writers, and image consultants across the US and Canada.

    Our photographers understand the technical necessities and artistic nuances of online profile photos. They’ll work with you to design a photo shoot to make you feel comfortable and look natural, never posed or over glamorized.

    Want to improve your online game? Want to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons – all the reasons that make you, well, you?

    Book your photo session now.

Claire Bahn


Claire Bahn is the CEO and Co-Founder of Online Profile Pros (OPP). She founded OPP to help individuals build, maintain and protect their personal brand to help them get the jobs, promotions and dates they desire. She has 15 years experience in branding, public relations and event marketing at start-ups as well as large Fortune 500 companies like Rueters and SAP. Claire has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur magazines among others. Online Profile Pros helps executives, entrepreneurs & influencers strategize and create their best personal brand.


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