My West London Life

Claire Certain, head of trends at Happn


Claire Certain, head of trends at Happn, reveals the professions, names and locations landing the most dates

How many London-based users are currently on Happn and why do you think it’s one of the busiest cities of activity in Europe?

Happn has 830,000 users in London, and the community is growing. I think London is one of our busiest cities in Europe because people here are so active and enjoy making the most of their days.

What is the ratio of women to men using the app?

It has 65% men and 35% women.

What’s the average age?

The average age of our users is 28 years old.

Have you noticed a change in the types of profiles since its launch three years ago?

Since Happn launched in 2014, we’ve certainly seen a change in the types of profiles. Early on, selfies were a real turn-off for users, but recently these sorts of pictures are doing really well. Pet shots don’t make a difference to how much attention you’ll receive – people are more interested in you than your puppy. One thing that’s changing people’s profiles is some of the features we’ve brought out to help users bring across more of their personality such as Spotify, which lets users display their favourite tunes on their profiles, so you can reveal your music tastes.

What are the most popular locations in London?

Singletons are twice as likely to find others looking for romance in Canary Wharf, compared to Liverpool Street or Euston, which came second and third in the list. It seems that shoppers are also keen to bag a date, as people taking the tube in Tottenham Court Road are twice as likely to find romance as those at Waterloo.

For the summer, we also discovered the most popular parks in London to find romance. Clapham Common is the best park in London for bumping into potential Mr or Ms Right. Singletons are almost four times more likely to find others looking for love in Clapham Common than in arguably London’s most famous green space, Hyde Park, which came third behind St. James’ Park.

What jobs and names get the most dates?

We’ve found that singletons who list lawyer as their occupation are the most likely to ‘crush’ with fellow users. Lawyers topped our lists of both male and female singletons, followed by finance professionals. Women who work in marketing made up the top three, while doctors came in third in the men’s list. Other attractive professions for women are teachers, designers, advertisers, architects and nurses, while men working as engineers, investment analysts and trader found romantic success.

We also discovered the most attractive names on Happn, with James and Sarah topping the lists.

What tips can you give to improve your chances of landing a date?

Your profile photo is obviously the first thing people you have crossed paths with would look at – just like in real life, where your first impression is usually from the way someone looks. So make sure your profile photo is faithful to how you are in real life.

5 is the magic number

The ideal number of pictures is five – enough for people to feel they have an idea of what sort of person you are and how you look. People tend to distrust profiles which only have one or two images, so give a range for people to look through and get to know what you’re like.

Don’t hide

Importantly, the most popular profiles make sure their first photo clearly shows their face – an obscure shot or full-body pic from your holiday turns people off. Our most popular profiles have clear, face-on shots which are easy to connect with. Black and white photos are also a no-no, with natural light coming out top.

Make sure your first two or three photos are of yourself alone – it’s great to show you’re social, but save group shots for later pics: they’re frustrating if you can’t decipher who’s who!

Variety is the spice of life

Although your first pic should be a close-up of you alone, do have a mixture of portrait and full-length pictures later on in your profile. These should be in a mixture of settings too – a holiday under the sun, parties, at sporting events or out in the countryside – whatever best paints a picture of your lifestyle. Use your photos as a chance to show the sorts of hobbies you have, places you like to go and things you like to do.

Get out and about

The great thing about rediscovering someone you’ve crossed paths with is that you already have something in common – a place you’ve both visited which is part of your life. The more you get out and about and enjoy the activities in your daily life, the more likely you are to cross paths with someone who likes the same coffee shop as you, or art gallery, or who enjoys visiting the same cinema.

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