Whether you’re online to make new friends, or start connecting with someone who could turn out to be the love of your life, OkCupid has you covered. The site uses your responses and a proprietary math-based match system to pair you with compatible dates, promising a high accuracy rate as long as you know what you want and are honest about it.
“We use math to find you dates. - We work our algorithm magic to find people you'll actually like”. “Making the ineffable totally eff-able. - When it comes down to it, there are 3 principles that make OkCupid the best dating site on Earth: our love of math, we’re always free, and everyone’s welcome.”
“Math in the name of Love. - You should see the work that goes into this bad boy. Algorithms, formulas, heuristics – we do a lot of crazy math stuff to help people connect faster. Free forever. A billion years from now we’ll all be ash. But hey! We’ll be free ash. If you want some special perks though, it costs just a bit more.”
“You do you. - Find the relationship of your dreams, a one-night stand, a sham marriage (we’re not judging). In fact, we don’t care what you do, just don’t be a jerk about it.”
OkCupid can be accessed for “free” through their website or through their smartphone apps for either iOS or Android. All you need to create an account and get access to the site is your gender, sexual preference, birthdate, country and zip code, and an email. There’s integration with Facebook as well if that’s something you’re comfortable with sharing. Once on the homepage, you’ll see some featured profiles and recent updates from the community. Until you start filling more of your profile, you won’t know if any of the profiles are matches.
Fleshing out you profile is mostly standard fare. You’ll want to add a photo. Be cute. It’s important. I’ll be more specific about that later. If you like, you can insert details about yourself like ethnicity, height, education, and language spoken. Other information you can fill in are places to write yourself a little self-summary, what you like to do, what you’re good at and favorites like movies, music and food. Of course there’s an area on the profile page to tell people what you’re looking for; gender, age range, location, dating status, and the kind of relationship your seeking, be it casual or short term dating to something more long term.
What I would call the real meat and potatoes of filling out your profile is the Questions section. I found myself spending a lot of time answering a lot of the questions here. You begin by answering seemingly endless questions that OkCupid uses to discover compatible partners via a mathematical matching formula. Lots of top dating site do this, but OkCupid stands out because it not only asks you a question, but also asks how you'd ideally like a potential date to answer and that you label its importance: A little, to Somewhat to Very. Plus, OkCupid allows you to type in a brief question addendum if you'd like to further explain your answer for clarification purposes. The more you put into this process the more you get out of it. There is even a percentage status you can keep track of as you answer the questions that give you an idea how compatible you can be with other members based on your answers. It’s a nice touch.
It’s my understanding there are thousands of Questions to answer and I don’t find it necessary to answer them all but you can if you so desire. OkCupid also gives you a short personality run down that describes your dating style after you answer a good chunk of questions. It’s not all that in depth, but you may find the visualization it provides interesting.
From the Homepage you can quickly access all the features available on OkCupid. Most of the necessary buttons are located across the top. As a free member you will find yourself subject to small, largely static, advertisements scattered on the page. They aren’t too obtrusive, but they do sometimes break up the page. It’s worth mentioning if you are not a fan of ads.
On the Browse Matches tab, OkCupid displays a large list of potential matches for you based on your profile. Each member listing shows a profile picture, their handle, age, location and your “Match” percentage. Naturally, you'll want that Match percentage to be as high as possible. For those more concerned about how incompatible you might be with another member, an “Enemy” percentage is also displayed. If you want to sort the listing, a drop down menu offers listings by “Match”, Distance, Who’s new, and Last online.
If you want to get more granular in your search OkCupid gives you those tools as well. Everything about their browsing system can be fine-tuned to what you’re interested in looking for. Categories for filtering include a member’s physical looks, background, availability, personality, vices and more. What’s nice is the “Match” percentages will still apply to the new results so getting an idea of how well the system thinks you match up with other members is apparent. You’re able to “Like” any of the profiles you come across too.
See someone that interests you? You can click on their picture to their Profile page. Profile pages contain the expected information (photos, age, body type, ethnicity, location, income, etc.), but also toss in additional sections based on how well you're matched with a fellow member called The Two of Us and Personality. The former showcases how you and your interest answered the personality quiz questions. Any unacceptable answers are highlighted in red. You can even take the opportunity to answer some of the Questions they answered that you didn’t. The latter shows how the person ranks in regards to the OkCupid masses (a person may be "More Outgoing" or "Less Sex-Driven," for example).
You’re free to “Like” and directly “Message” members on Profile pages too. Still undecided? OkCupid lets you bookmark it for viewing later on. Over on the Quickmatch tab, OkCupid offers up its very own take on “Hot or Not”. They take your list of matches and presents them one at a time. This view includes a members essay answers on their profile and their photo gallery and then you’re offered with two buttons, one with an “X” and the other a star. Once you pick one, the next member profile is presented. Simple as that. Remember that cute profile picture I told you to take? This is why. It’s possible you wrote excellent essay answers on your profile, but I’m going to submit that “a picture says a thousand words”, and in a lot less time.
As a variation to traditional Quickmatch, there’s also a “Choose a flavor” filter that you can play with. Flavors are curated playlists of potential matches, and the flavors offered change from day to day. Examples I’ve come across are Best in Show (Dog owners who are fashionably savvy) or Outdoorsy Intellectuals (Post-grads who aren’t afraid of nature). I had fun going through the Kinky Nerds category myself. Another variation to Quickmatch and specific to iPhone or Android apps, OkCupid offers a feature named Locals. Similar to Tinder, Locals lets you swipe left or right (depending on your interest) on everyone local-to-you at the moment. A must have feature for those who are regular travelers.
One of the more important features exclusive to paying members is the ability to see which members have liked your own profile. With this feature, you get a list of members who rated you highly, and see interested members on your Likes and Visitors page. You can also write your own reviews about other members if you’re so inclined. Remember those Flavors on Quickmatch that changed daily? A-List users are free to view all of the flavors at any time. They’re even free to changing their usernames without having to create a new account. If you come to be one of the more popular users of OkCupid, your message storage increases 5000 messages with your paid membership.
Want to be stealthy on OkCupid? An A-List member gains access to Incognito Mode. This mode means your profile will only be visible to people you like or message. You can browse freely and your profile won’t appear anywhere, including search. This mode give you complete control of access to your own profile and you can turn it on an off whenever you like.
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