May 12 2020

New Luminar's "Swipe Report" shows dating app users willing to overlook education, political views, height and more for a good photo

Study reveals dating app/site users want to use everything from basic editing tools to smart removal to improve their photos.

NEW YORK – May 12, 2020 – Skylum, the makers of Luminar, a creative photo-editing tool for anyone who wants to manage and edit their photos regardless of skill level, released its “Swipe Report,” revealing that, when asked which dating negatives which might otherwise be important to them could be overlooked if someone had a good photo, 28 percent of dating app/site users (US adults who have ever used an online dating service) are willing to overlook social preferences (e.g., drinking, smoking, etc.), along with relationship goals ((e.g., long-term, short-term, casual, etc., 27%), education (26%), political views (24%), height (23%) and more.

The study, conducted online with the third-party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only consumer sentiment when it comes to the importance of a good photo and their preferences, but also what types of editing tools they’d like to use to improve their photos and boost their chances of a swipe right.

“As online dating is increasingly mainstream, it’s changed the way we get to know each other and how we form a first impression. Namely, we only have a handful of photos to express ourselves through and hopefully get the swipe right,” said
Alex Tsepko, CEO at Skylum

“As such, it’s no surprise we found a significant number of online daters think people should make an effort to have better photos and that they’d like to use basic photo editing tools to improve their own photos, all of which can be found in Luminar. Our goal is to provide an affordable, easy-to-use photo-editing option to help daters amplify their personality through their photos. You don’t need to be an editing pro to take a few simple steps to brighten up the background or use artificial intelligence in Luminar to remove a photobomber in an otherwise excellent photo.”

Having a good photo isn’t a sign of vanity, it’s a sign of self-expression. In fact, dating app/site users report that:

  • Nearly 60% (58%) would never connect with someone who didn’t have a photo
  • A quarter (25%) think a good photo means you care more about dating
  • 43% think they can get a better sense of someone’s personality based on their photos
  • Nearly 40% (38%) say the better the photos the more likely they are to swipe right/connect

Along with a willingness to overlook certain social preferences, such as education or political views, users were very specific in what types of photos had them swiping left. The top 10 most common photo deal breakers are: 

  • 55% no photo
  • 34% bad quality photos
  • 33% photos with someone that could be an ex
    Women more bothered by these than men (40% vs. 28%)
  • 31% filters (e.g., Instagram filters, Facebook filters, Snapchat filters, etc.)
  • 31% multiple of same photos
  • 29% giant groups
  • 26% blocking out other people's faces (e.g., via emoji, stickers, blue, etc.)
  • 23% Mirror pics/gym selfies
    Women more bothered by these than men (nearly double, 30% vs. 16%)
  • 20% photos of only their face
  • 19% photos with an exotic animal/pet that might not be theirs

As such, it’s no surprise 32 percent of dating app/site users think people should make an effort to have better photos. In fact, 40 percent said they’d like to use basic photo editing tools (e.g., auto-enhancement, cropping, etc.) to improve their photos. Additionally,

  • 26% would like to use smart removal (perhaps to take that ex out of a good photo)
  • 18% would like for AI to help identify the best photos
  • 16% would like filters
  • 14% would like portrait enhancers (e.g., face slimming, teeth whitening, airbrush tools, etc.)

Additionally, the 18-34 age demographic is most likely to be editing their photos, about one in five (22%) have edited at least one photo they’ve used. Nearly a quarter (23%) don’t care if people edit their photos (though interestingly enough, 42% think they tell when a photo has been edited!). The full report can be found here.

Users can take advantage of Luminar’s proprietary AI-technology to up level all their dating photos with almost no learning curve. Normally, photo editing tools require patience and practice, however, with Luminar they can make any photo look like it was taken during the “golden hour,” replace an underwhelming set of clouds in the background or brighten up your face in a few slides or clicks.

No need to learn traditional editing techniques involving exposure, highlights, saturation, and other settings. Make dozens of adjustments at once with the simple AI Accent slider. It offers smart image enhancement for perfect exposure and color every time.  

You don’t have to be a star retoucher to get amazing portraits. Luminar’s AI Portrait tools highlight and improve a subject’s face and skin, making them naturally beautiful. And if the weather ruined your image, you can easily swap that gloomy sky with a new one in a click with AI Sky Replacement. 


About Skylum & Luminar
Skylum’s Luminar is a creative photo-editing tool for anyone who wants to manage and edit their photos regardless of skill level. The platform uses custom built editing tools and artificial intelligence to produce results in just a few minutes, including sky replacement, portrait enhancer and accent AI tools.

Luminar can be used as a stand-alone product for all a user’s editing needs or as a complementary plug-in for macOS Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Lightroom Classic. It can be purchased from for as little as $89.

Skylum is a global imaging technology company with offices in New York, USA; Kyiv, Ukraine; and Tokyo, Japan. The Skylum Team has won the Red Dot Award, Apple’s Best of the Year, “Best imaging software” by TIPA and EISA, and other top industry awards.

This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3681 adults, of which 1030 have ever used an online dating service to find a partner/date. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 25th March 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighed and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

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New Luminar's Swipe Report shows dating app users willing to overlook education, political views, height and more for a good photo

Anastasia Sliusarenko

Head of PR&Communications

New Luminar's Swipe Report shows dating app users willing to overlook education, political views, height and more for a good photo(11)