A Helping Hand

Have a question? Type some keywords below to filter the list of help topics

  • How do I sign up and make a profile?

    Click on the sign up button on the home page and follow the instructions. Four simple steps is all it takes. Choose your preferences (gender, location etc), select a profile image (a picture of your face), upload your pictures (maximum 21, minimum 5), then answer our 21 questions to allow us to match you with like-minded others. Voila! For info on the sign-up process and what's involved check out About Us.

    Why 21?

    It’s good to have limits, and 21 feels about right for what we’re trying to do. 21 images is enough to paint a picture of who you are without getting carried away. We also happen to like the number 21, since it carries a sense of celebration, which is what romance should be about. It’s a number for the 21st century!

    How do you choose my 21 matches?

    This is where your 21 questions come in. They help us match you with others of your ilk. The questions cover your basic core values and cultural worldview, the things that make you tick. They are all derived from psychological studies on compatibility and the importance of shared values. Once you have answered the questions, we fill your Matchbox with people who fit your preferences (age, gender, location) and who have answered their 21 questions in a similar way to you.

    What if I don’t like any of the 21 people in my Matchbox?

    You have the option of exchanging any you don’t like for another, up to a certain number each day. When you remove someone from your Matchbox, their place will automatically be filled with someone else – so long as you haven’t exceeded your daily quota. Remember, you can only have 21 matches at any one time.

    How can I add pictures to my profile or exchange them?

    Click on "Edit your Profile" to go to the editing window. If you have fewer than 21 pictures in your profile, you'll see a few blank canvases in there. To add an image, hover over one of the blank canvases and click on "Swap". Likewise if you wish to exchange an existing image for another, hover over it and click on "Swap". This will open a pop-up screen with your library of available pictures. Click on the picture you'd like to insert and it will upload to your profile immediately. If you have no pictures in your library or would like to add more, click on "Add Images" at the top of the pop-up screen. You can then import as many as you like to your library from Facebook, Instagram or your computer. Once you're done editing your profile, don't forget to "Save Changes".

    How do I report abuse, indeceny or spam?

    Please email us at michael@21pictures.com about anything you think crosses the line.

    Why do you use people's first names on profiles?

    We use first names on profiles – rather than something made-up like "TheFrogPrincess" – because we want the site to feel authentic and trustworthy, and to reflect the way we meet people in the physical world. First names keep everything "real". The Username field which you fill in during the sign-up process is the url identifier for your profile page – if you filled that in with "TheFrogPrincess" then your profile page address would be www.21pictures.com/thefrogprincess (profile pages are visible only to members).

  • What kind of pictures should I use?

    Any that will tell someone a bit about who you are and the things you like. You could use pictures from your holidays or travels. A picture of your favourite coffee shop, perhaps. One of your flat. The books on your shelf. Your cat, if you have one, or the cat you’d like to own. You with your friends. Be as creative as you like. It is not a great idea to have 21 headshots, since this won’t say much about you. The contextual information in your pictures – how you dress, who you hang out with, where you hang out – will say a great deal more.

    What is my profile picture?

    Right after you’ve signed up we’ll ask you to upload a profile picture, which acts as an “identifier” and must be an image of your face. People need to know what you look like. This is separate to the 21 pictures you’ll have in your profile, which can be of anything you choose.

    How should I answer my 21 questions?

    As instinctively as you can. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers – the statements are not a measure of whether you are a good or nice person, just the kind of person you are. Match-making through values is not a surefire bet – plenty of couples are like night and day – but in general it will get you closer than questions about your drinking habits or Sunday night sofa activity. The aim is to put you in a virtual room with others you might enjoy being with, like at a friend’s party. No one else will see your responses, so resist the temptation to answer aspirationally. Your best bet for finding a compatible match is to describe who you are rather than who you’d like to be, or who you think someone else might want you to be!

    I like the look of someone: how do I communicate with them?

    You can chat to them through their pictures. Just click on the message icon which you’ll find on any of the pictures in their profile and type away. You can also “like” their pictures. If you’re not sure how to open a conversation, try saying something about the picture or whatever’s in it. That way there’s no need for awkward chat-up lines.

    Can I add a filter to a picture?

    You sure can. Click on "Edit your Profile". Then hover the cursor over the picture you want to filter and click "Enhance". This will open a pop-up window with a choice of filters. Click on the one you fancy. When you're done, remember to "Save Changes". We'll be adding more filters soon.

    How do I contact you?

    Feel free to email us any time at michael@21pictures.com. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Is it essential to have 21 pictures in my profile?

    It’s not essential, but it is advisable. 21Pictures is all about the visual. The more pictures you have, the easier it will be for people to get an idea of what you're like. Fuller profiles get more attention. You can’t have more than 21 pictures. You can't have fewer than 5 (though 5 is really too few!). Profiles with fewer than 5 pictures are not included in the matching process and will not appear in anyone's matchbox (because we think it's a bit unfair on others). If you're in any doubt about which pictures to use, feel free to contact us at michael@21pictures.com.

    Why do I get only 21 matches?

    As well as encouraging people to use their intuition when finding a date, 21Pictures is designed to reduce the often paralysing effect of having too much choice. Psychological research shows that faced with an endless selection of potential dates, people make superficial, comparative judgments rather than focusing on the individual qualities that really matter. Thus, rather than let you browse ad infinitum, we give you 21 matches to look at at any one time.

    Can I re-take my 21 questions?

    We advise against it, because the questions are best answered spontaneously and without too much analysis. They’re about your fundamental values and characteristics which don’t change much. But if you’re convinced you answered them while inhabiting some other imaginary self, please email us at michael@21pictures.com. (If, on the other hand, you think you’d be better off matched with your polar opposite, we really do advise against that. All the evidence shows that while opposites often attract, they usually end up attacking each other.)

    Where can I find my messages?

    Any communication with someone in your Matchbox is stored there (just click on the relevant icons to view messages or likes). Any messages sent to you by others will appear in your Inbox (remember, you can be in someone else’s Matchbox without them necessarily being in yours).

    Can I delete a picture from my profile?

    You can't currently delete an image or blank canvas from your profile. We're trying to encourage you to use your full quota of 21 images, since this makes it easier for others to discern what you're like. If you don't like one of your existing pictures, it's super easy to swap it for another (see "How do I add pictures to my profile or exchange them?").

    How do I delete my profile?

    No longer need us? Email us at michael@21pictures.com and we'll delete your profile right away.

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