Even on Facebook, women fiddle with their appearance more than men.
That's the takeaway from a study released May 27 by Pixable, developer of the Photofeed app for the Web, iPhone and iPad.
Women change their Facebook profile picture every two weeks. For men, it's more like every three weeks.
On average, a Facebook user goes through 18 different profile images a year, up from half a dozen in 2006. They range from straightforward photos of your own actual face to kids, pets, shoes, vacation snaps and whatever the "change your profile photo to..." meme of the day happens to be.
A quick glance at my news feed showed that about half my Facebook friends appear in their own profile photo. The remainder took a more creative approach, including Bob Dylan with Muhammad Ali, photos from a trip to Barcelona, the Baltimore Orioles logo, the person's horse and various pieces of art.
In the case of my daughter, who changes her Facebook profile photo almost daily to whatever catches her fancy, today's profile photo is a mouse playing a tiny French horn.
Nevertheless, your profile photo says something about you, even if it's that you root for the Orioles or like LOLcats.
"If you think about your presence online, the most important image on Facebook is your profile picture," Inaki Berenguer, Pixable's co-founder and CEO, told me. "That is the way that you want to be seen online. Even if people can't see anything else about you, they see your photo."
Pixable figured this out while cataloguing 500,000 users of its "photo discovery" app. Photofeed combs your friends' accounts to find the latest photos and sorts them into categories using profile data, including family, "just girls" and new profile pics.
It uses the number of an image's comments and "likes" to create best-of categories and throws in the day's most popular images from Flickr and Instagram.
Facebook estimates its users' photo archives will reach 100 billion images by the end of the summer. That's a lot of vacation snapshots and French horn-playing mice.