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Automatic face detection and cropping

This article has been written to help you understand why we have automatic face detection and auto cropping, and how to get the best out of it. If your picture was rejected then this is here to help or if you avoided uploading a picture at all this will help explain why it's needed.

Why we use face detection

With over 10 years experience in the online dating sector we know how important profile pictures are to the success of our users. People want to know who they are talking with and they don't want to waste time talking to someone and swap pictures later only to find out they are not attracted to them. Having a clear and high quality profile picture ensures the physical attraction is there and saves everyone a lot of time. It also means that a higher percentage of matches turn into conversations and then into real life dates and finally more relationships.

If you operate a dating site or app with an open picture policy then it soon turns into chaos! Maybe you have seen some of our competitors? It's very difficult to find a good match when there are pictures of cars, motorbikes, fish, kittens and flowers! How many times have you see that picture of a sunset or frozen trees that came free with Microsoft® Windows?

Real members, real examples

Here are 10 recent profile pictures added to ooOo®:

And here are some we rejected:

Rejected pictures includ but not limited to; poor quality images, stolen pictures of celebrities*, images of children and face detection failures. All pictures have been pixelated for users privacy and legal compliance.

Why face pictures are required for ooOo?

Due to the unique matching method in ooOo (choosing 1 person from 4), it's essential to be able to compare pictures. If someone had a face picture, and another of a full body shot it would not be easy to choose the person you like the most. Therefore every picture needs to be easy to compare to another.

How does it work?

Very well actually! Sometimes it can fail and I will help you avoid any potential issues. All you need to do is upload a picture and the app/website will find your face in the picture and crop it automatically. This takes just a few seconds and you can upload your picture with minimal effort.

What happens if it goes wrong?

If the face detection fails it will be that your face is not obvious to the software. Try to avoid the following:

Side profile:
Face detection can struggle if it cannot see both your eyes. If you're picture is 'side on' then it's likely to fail. Always face the camera so your eyes, nose and mouth and clearly visible.

Grainy image:
If you take your picture in low light then it can have a lot of gain / noise in the picture. Not only does this make you look terrible, it makes face detection difficult. The software may see a face that doesn't exist. The patterns in the noise could be determined as a face. Always use good lighting.

Low resolution:
This one can often catch people out. If you take a picture with a modern phone the image will be high resolution and good quality. But if your face is just within a small part of the picture then the final image when cropped will be low resolution. There will not be enough pixels defining your face for the image to look good or for the software to find you! You face / head needs to be the main focus of the image.

More than one person:
The ooOo® software can only detect a single face, if you upload a group photo then it will choose the first face it detects. You should therefore use a picture that is just yourself. Also, pictures without other people perform much better on dating sites/apps.

All face and no head:
You also need to ensure that your entire head is within the picture and there is a bit of free space at the edges of the picture. If your picture has the top of your head cut off the final result will be an picture that is too close for comfort! It will look like your face has been pressed against the camera lens.

Better pictures get more dates

You can update your picture on ooOo any time you like and getting a great picture makes a huge difference to your success. If you have opted to receive alerts from ooOo then each week you will get an email with the total numbers of ooOo's (likes) you have received. Use this alert to see how well your picture is performing.


ooOo is all about matching people who are attracted to each other so you can start conversations and have real life dates. All of this starts with your picture. Make sure it's a good one and most importantly . . . . smile!

ooOo uses face detection which is very different to face recognition. Detection only finds the location of a face within an image, recognition tries to identify the person (real life identity) within an image. Our implementation is slightly different on iOS vs Android and mobile web but the end results will be similar. The success rates on iOS face detection are higher than Android / mobile web at present. * Using an image that is not your own is illegal, for example, if you think stealing an image of 'One Direction' and uploaded it to your profile is acceptable you may like to have that conversation with Syco Records who I'm sure would have no issue with pursuing a claim for copyright theft. Data uploads to a website are the responsibility of the user and any legal claim will be made directly to the uploader and not the website owner.

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