A popular and mainstream online dating site that has been around since the early days of the phenomenon, OKCupid is a multi-faceted website and mobile application used by millions of men and women around the world. OKCupid is versatile in terms of assessing the needs and wants of its users regardless of their racial, religious, socioeconomic or ethnic background. OKCupid has a wide variety of purposes and is known to be more than just a simple dating site. If you’re looking for a popular, versatile, and well-known online dating website, OKCupid may be the one for you.
OKCupid can help you to find new friends, find somebody to hook up with and date, and you may even find a serious relationship or to start a marriage with someone if you search long enough. There have been many testimonials of heterosexual and same-sex couples finding serious relationships or even marriage with a partner from using OKCupid. OKCupid allows users of all backgrounds to connect with each other through different means.
On its website, OKCupid makes the claim that “it is the fastest growing online dating site” and the official numbers back up this claim with actual statistics that I’ll be talking about later on in the article. OKCupid uses your profile and answers to different questions regarding your personality, politics, religion, hobbies, and your views on dating, sex, and relationships. The responses you submit to these questions along with the algorithm-based matching system connect similar users to each other using a percentile match outcome and they pair you with these compatible people and ask you to contact them for a potential date.
If there is a high accuracy percentile rate between you and another person, OKCupid will indicate to you that there’s a good chance the other person will message you back and begin the courtship process. If you’re a person who knows what you want from a future friendship or relationship, you should have little trouble finding somebody to date or go out with as long as you’re honest with your answers to the questions and are straightforward about yourself.
OKCupid was founded as an online dating site on March 5th, 2004 and is now over twelve years old in terms of its’ existence. OKCupid’s creation as a website was based out of the United States and has since spread to dozens of different countries around the world. It’s considered to be an online dating website that can also be classified as also being used for social networking, friendship, and finding relationships.
OKCupid is unique in the fact that it uses member-created questions and quizzes in order to improve match compatibility. In 2007, OKCupid was listed by Time magazine as being in the ‘Top 10’ for dating websites and has received many other accolades and awards over the past decade. Registration for membership is required to be able to use OKCupid regardless if you’re a free user or have a paid membership. In 2011, InterActiveCorp’s Match.com division bought OKCupid for over $50 million and now claims ownership over that website and Plenty Of Fish, another popular online dating website.
Before OKCupid was bought by IAC, a company called Humor Rainbow Inc. owned OKCupid. OKCupid’s founders were Harvard University students at the time and their names are Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn. These four men were also known for launching SparkNotes.com which is a popular website designed to help middle school and high school students with school subjects such as English literature, science, and mathematics.
Chris Coyne, one of the founders of OKCupid also launched a site known as TheSpark.com, which created the origins of the OKCupid matching system. The match test that was created which included personality questions and quizzes would eventually lead to a matching system that would put users together who had shown similar answers.
The algorithm and system that OKCupid uses today to match similar-minded users began with TheSpark.com many years ago. TheSpark.com would later transform into OKCupid.com with the ‘Match Test’ used on there being renamed and becoming the ‘Dating Persona Test.’ The founders of OKCupid sold SparkNotes.com to Barnes and Noble Inc. years ago in order to focus their attentions on improving and updating their online dating website that would then become extremely popular in the late 2000’s.
The four founders of OKCupid also developed the popular OKTrends blog which analyses the entire website for noteworthy trends and preferences for all of the users on their site. Because of their experiences with creating both SparkNotes.com and TheSpark.com, the precursor to OKC, the four founders of OKCupid helped create the vibrant and popular online dating website that it is today especially the algorithm and dating persona test that has led to many new relationships and even marriages.
In order for OKCupid to work properly, the matching system has to be used by its’ users. In order to generate better matches and results, all users when they register or asked to answer questions about themselves and their personalities in order to generate matches with a high percentile rating in terms of similarities. These questions can range from being very serious to being very playful and easygoing. When you answer a question, it will be entered into your own personality and OKCupid will decide what kind of traits and qualities you exude based on those answers.
When you look at a different person’s profile, you’ll see their answers to those same questions that you answered. You may also be able to see their other answers to different questions, which you haven’t answered yet depending upon on whether or not they have made those questions public or private.
OKCupid will allow you to make your answers to certain questions public or private depending upon your own preferences. You can also type in an explanation about the reasoning you used to answer a particular question the way you did. OKCupid encourages all of its users to answers as many questions as possible in order to get more accurate match results with people of similar traits, values, and characteristics. By answering more questions, you’ll simply get better and smarter results from the algorithms.
When you want to view another user’s answers to questions that you’re interested in seeing, you have to go to the ‘Two of Us’ tab, which will highlight your and their answers to many different questions. When you and the other user have the same answer to any question, the text will be in black ink. However, when you and the other user have had different answers to the same question, the text will be in black for them and pink for you to highlight the difference in opinion. The more differences in answers, which you and another user have, OKCupid will conclude that ‘y’all have issues.’
In addition to the basic matching test, OKCupid has designed and successfully implemented other tests such as ‘The Personality Defect Test’, ‘The Nerd, Geek, or Dork Test?’ as well as ‘The Lover Style Test.” While these tests won’t really affect your matches, they do give a deeper glimpse into your personality or your matches’ personalities. You may want to understand your matches on a more flirty and fun way, which is why these specific tests have been designed for OKCupid users.
While the basic matching test for OKCupid has been a great success due to its’ systematic algorithm and question generator as well as the other personality tests that have been developed, not every venture started by OKCupid has been a rousing success. In 2007, OKCupid created ‘Crazy Blind Date’ which was not very successful given the fact that most users did not want to meet up with somebody right off the Internet without messaging each other first or getting to see their profile and pictures in greater depth.
OKCupid once launched a social service application known as Tallygram back in 2012 but it only lasted for one year before it was discontinued. OKCupid also used to be known for having its users’ keep a personal journal or blog regarding their dating life and how OKCupid has worked or not worked for them. This particular aspect of the website has been retired as new users no longer have access to it on their profiles. Instead, OKCupid has maintained a larger focus on the pictures, the matching system, and the other personality tests that will intrigue users to visit your profile on the website.
Despite having some setbacks, OKCupid has continually grown in popularity and overall membership since its’ founding in 2004. It is estimated that OKCupid has over thirty million active users on its’ website and gets over one million unique site visits per day which is a sizable amount of web traffic. OKCupid is unique among online dating websites in its’ ability to track the preferences of its users when it comes to their dating life.
The OKTrends blog is a large reason for this connection between the owners and programmers of this website and the millions of users who benefit from its’ variety of features. The OKTrends blog is continuously updated and is able to consistently summarize different aspects and quirks of the millions of people who use OKCupid.
Despite some of their past features and applications not taking off, they are able to learn from their errors by seeking feedback from their community which is quite large in scope and scale. In the world of online dating, OKCupid has been able to adapt and move forward without remaining stubborn. They have been able to create new features, improve their main features, and get rid of the old features that are no longer popular or viable for the majority of their membership. Given its’ twelve year history on the Internet, there are a number of features that OKCupid is known for creating and utilizing.
- Create a detailed profile
With a membership to OKCupid regardless if its’ paid or free, you will have access to a wide range of main features that will make signing up and registering for the site worthwhile. You will be able to create your own detailed profile starting with your name, your age, your current location, relationship status and sexual orientation.
- Add pictures
Once you have done the above mentioned details, you can upload a good amount of profile pictures that describe you the best. There are certain rules to abide by with these pictures in that there can be no nudity, lewd gestures, cars, babies, artwork, etc. It’s important to realize that the pictures you choose to use in your profile should be of you and not somebody or something else. Once you upload a picture to OKCupid, you will be allowed to see other users’ pictures as well.
- Additional information
If you are willing to share additional information, you may add items like your height, weight, body type, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, and what your job title and salary range is. Since this information is very personal, it’s not mandatory to fill in to have a complete profile so you can share as much or as little information as you feel comfortable doing. You will also be asked to disclose which languages you speak and at what level.
Lastly, you will be asked about your smoking and drinking habits as well as if you currently use any illicit drugs. Remember, your profile is private to those people who are outside the OKCupid community so they won’t be able to see this personal information unless they sign-up, register, and have a lot in common with you.
- Fill out questionnaires
As part of the overall profile for OKCupid, it’s important to fill out the questionnaires that make up the rest of what other members will see about you. For example, you’ll be able to write a short self-summary about yourself, give some adjectives to describe your personality, what you’re really good at, what movies, music, books, foods are your favorites and the most private thing you’re willing to admit among many other questions.
In order to complete your profile on OKCupid, it’s necessary to begin answer questions regarding the matching system. There are over 4,000 questions generated by the ‘Match System’ and it’s important for each member to answer over one hundred questions in order to get better results for the matching percentile with other users. In addition to having the options to mark the question as private or explaining your answer, you can also mark your answer as being ‘not important, somewhat important, very important, mandatory’ in order for your matches to realize the significance. Some examples of potential questions generated by the OKCupid ‘Match System’ could be, “Do you Google someone before a first date?” or “How much affection can you tolerate?”
- Search feature
In addition to creating a full and detailed profile with pictures, you can use the search box to look for other members who you may be interested in. You can view these members’ full profiles and their profile pictures too. If you decide that you like a certain member and you want to gain quick access to their profile in the future, you can add them to a list of ‘favorites’ to highlight your interest. You may also write notes on your profile, communicate with any member through a chat box, which is part of a formal messaging system.
- Design your own personality test
Lastly, you may create and design your own personality tests for other OKCupid members to use and answer questions regarding the content that you have produced. It’s that easy.
- A-List user
There are additional features that are also available to members who have a paid subscription to OKCupid. These are different from the main features in that they are more rare and you will need to have some money in order to implement then. You can become an A-List user, which will help you garner more views and visitors to your profile. You will also have the option to remove advertisements from being part of your profile, which can draw away attention from it.
- Advanced search option
Other notable additional features would be more advanced search options to narrow down your matches in terms of their characteristics and background.
- Advanced photo features
You will also have access to advanced photo features such as more photos, an Instagram add-on feature, and the ability to edit them to enhance their quality.
- Unlimited messages
Lastly, you will have the ability to send unlimited messages and will have a larger message box with fewer restrictions on the amount of words that you can send to other users.
Free vs. Paid Membership
With a free membership, you can still create your own profile, add your pictures, and fill out the self-summary and the ability to search, view other members. You can also communicate with other members and send them a certain amount of messages in your inbox until it fills up. However, if you want to get the most out of OKCupid, you may want to consider getting a paid membership.
Free membership includes the following:
- Join and create a profile (add location, gender & orientation, birth date, and relationship status)
- Upload photos (you are unable to see other users pictures before uploading your own).
- Add details about yourself (body type, height, horoscope sign, ethnicity, select your language, education, job, pets, children, religion, income, diet, drinking and smoking habits, drug use).
- Fill up questionnaires
- Answer match questions or create your own. (there are almost 4000 questions in the system)
- Use the search feature
- View other users profiles and photos
- Save to favorites
- Creating and answering tests
- Communicate with users
Paid membership includes the following:
Paid members can use all of the features included in the free membership and additional features such as:
OKCupid’s paid membership options are known as the ‘A-List.’ Recently, OKCupid has split the ‘A-List’ into ‘Basic’ and ‘Premium.’ A-List Basic is less expensive than ‘A-List Premium’ and you’ll still get access to some additional features that won’t be available with a free membership.
- A-List basic
‘A-List Basic’ subscriptions range from $4.95 per month for a six-month commitment to $9.95 per month for only a one-month commitment. The additional features that fall under ‘A-List Basic’ are having advanced match search options, the ability to browse profiles invisibly without showing up in the visitors list, you can see which users have liked you, message filters will be activated along with message read receipts so you can see when other users have seen the messages you have sent. Perhaps most notably, you will be able to get rid of any advertisements and prevent them from appearing on your profile or those profiles of other users.
- A-List premium
To get the most out of OKCupid, you can upgrade even further to an ‘A-List Premium’ membership. An ‘A-List Premium’ membership will cost you the most per month but you’ll also get the rarest and most useful features in order to get more out of your dating life. The prices of an A-List Premium membership range from $19.95 per month for a six-month commitment to $24.90 per month for only a one-month commitment.
Many users may find it in their advantage to sign up for a six-month commitment since they’ll be able to pay less per month but will still have to pay for six-months in only one billing period. The unique features for an A-List Premium membership include an automatic daily boost, which will highlight your profile and boost the amount of viewers who will see you every day.
- More attractive users
There is also the option to be seen by ‘more attractive’ users and to be seen as being ‘more attractive’ too according to OKCupid’s algorithms. You can also the answers to every question that other users have answered already regardless if it was made public or private in their settings.
- Message priority
Lastly, you can enjoy a ‘message priority’ feature, which will put you at the top of other members’ inboxes to get more responses from them. On top of all of these features, an ‘A-List Premium’ members will have total access to all of the ‘A-List Basic’ member features as well on top of all the main features that make up OKCupid too.
Relationship Types Allowed
Note: need to be 18 to sign up for OkCupid.
Relationships You Can Search For
Status of Relationships
- In a Relationship
Search Users By
- Who’s online
- Who has viewed your profile
- Your matches
- Advanced searches
- Search for A-List users
- Quick Match
- Quiver (not available until you answer at least 25 questions)
Tools To Use
- Mail messages
- Instant messenger
- Private notes
- Match Questions
- OkCupid mobile dating apps
- Rate profiles
- Dating advice and site help
Positives and Negatives
- Free to use main features
There are many positive features that make signing up for OKCupid an attractive option. It’s free to use the main features such as creating a profile, adding pictures, and sending out messages to other users. Each user can adjust the privacy settings and you can make your profile as public or as private as you want. You can share which personal information you would like to divulge or keep other things private if its’ too personal.
- Access the site in different languages (Spanish, Portugese, and Italian)
On OKCupid, you can access the website in different languages besides English.
- Great matching system
OKCupid also has a great ‘Matching System’ with a really good algorithm that makes it easy for users to find and message other similar-minded users. OKCupid is easy to navigate and has a great layout and design that makes it fun to use.
- Annoying advertisements
While OKCupid has a lot of good things about it, there are also some negative features that potential members should be aware of. If you’re a free member, you’ll have to see a lot of advertising due to the needs of OKCupid to make additional revenue. In order to get rid of the ads, you’ll have to pay for an ‘A-List Basic or Premium’ membership.
- No group chats
You can only do instant messaging with one another member at a time and there is no option at this time for group chats on the website.
- Not able to upload videos
Lastly, you can’t also upload videos about yourself or do audio or video chatting with other members although that may change in the future. In order to get the most out of OKCupid, you’ll have to view other profiles, send messages to other users and be actively engaged in order to get the most out of your membership.
Since its’ beginning in 2004, OKCupid has risen from an unknown to one of the most popular online dating websites in the world. It has been listed on numerous media outlets as one of the best dating websites and has garnered a lot of attention, millions of members, and a lot of revenue each year. OKCupid is a good option if you’re beginning to use online dating due to its easy-to-use interface, wealth of features, and a growing and vibrant membership.
You may also like our Match.com review.
Have you ever used OKCupid before? If yes, what was your experience with this dating site? Don’t be shy, leave your comments below.