Because there’s a wide range of counts, running from 1 all the way to almost 10,000, this plot is logarithmic, which basically just means that as you move from lower to higher on an axis, the rate at which the value increases goes I’ve added a diagonal line, and it marks the place where the two axes are equal — meaning that for the red dots along it, the text matched the keystrokes that went into it.Essentially, the sender typed what was on his mind and hit Send, no backspace, no edits.The best messages, the ones that get the highest response rate, are now only 40 to 60 characters By considering only messages of a certain length, and then asking how many seconds the message took to compose, we can get a sense of how much revision and effort translates into better results.Below are messages between 150 and 300 characters, plotted against how long they took to write.As you can see, taking your time helps, up to a point.But the downward bend of the trend lines is a wingman in numbers, saying don’t overthink Now, the first vertical on the left, the messages that took no more than ten seconds to write, represents an inordinate amount of the whole and should raise some eyebrows.Outside researchers rarely get to work with private messages like this — it’s the most sensitive content users generate and even anonymized and aggregated, message data is rarely allowed out of the holiest of holies in the database.But my unique position as co-founder of Ok Cupid gives us special First, the site’s decade of history lets us see how technology has altered how people communicate.
And in terms of effect, it seems readers have adapted.
The short answer is, they’re not, and here’s how I know.
Below is a scatter chart of 100,000 messages, with the number of characters typed plotted against characters actually sent.
That diffusion of dots in the upper-left center is all the people who pasted a templated message and made a few edits to it.
Here the logarithmic nature of the chart can fool you — even just a small amount over that central line means most of the content in the message is stock.
Of course, they do so with a special purpose — dating — but the interface provides no specific prompt and enforces no limit on what or how much anyone types.