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.
It raised mine for sure, and at this point I’m so jaded my face is frozen — Botox has nothing on ten years working at a dating site.
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.
And in terms of effect, it seems readers have adapted.
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.
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.
Users on Ok Cupid exchange about 4 million messages a day.
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.
How are so many people typing messages that long that quickly?
Judging by messaging over all those years, the broad writing culture is indeed changing, and the change is driven by phones.
Apple opened their app store in mid-2008, and Ok Cupid, like every major service, quickly launched an app. Users began typing on keyboards smaller than their palm, and message length has dropped by over two-thirds The average message is now just over 100 characters — Twitter-sized, in fact.