Online Dating

OkCupid Review

OkCupid was launched in the year 2004. In just over three years, it was listed in Time Magazine’s Top 10 dating websites. The growth of the dating site’s member base is consistent over the years, so there is no lack of profiles to look through in.

Even today, there is a good percentage of active members in the dating site. These members are actively swiping left or right in Double Take, hoping to find a match. With OkCupid’s contacting features, it is quick and easy to find exciting members to talk with, flirt with, and meet up with.

OkCupid has undergone many updates and upgrades for their dating site and mobile app. One biggest change they had was their messaging rules. Anyone can send a message, but only when both users like one other will the receiver be able to read the message sent to him or her.

Read our full OkCupid review to find out more about OkCupid’s features and if it is suitable for finding a life partner or if it’s better for casual encounters.

Sign-Up Process

OkCupid is available as an iOS app and an Android app, as well as on the desktop. The signup process starts with a lofty promise: You’re About To Go On Better Dates. Like most dating apps, OkCupid really wants you to sign up using Facebook, but unlike other more mobile-focused platforms, it asks for an email instead of a phone number as an alternative signup option.

That’s a small distinction but an important one—it shows that OkCupid isn’t just a swipe-and-like mobile environment. It’s also interested in making sure you’re not a robot—you go through more CAPTCHA screens getting started than it takes to sign up for a banking service.

The trade-off for this increased individual privacy is that it’s much easier to fake a profile with an email address compared with using a phone number.

The registration process for OkCupid is simple and straightforward, allowing you to build your profile right away. You’re required to answer a minimum of 15 of their “matching questions” after you create your profile, before you can view other profiles or start getting matches, but these questions aren’t an inconvenience or irrelevant to your purpose. Instead, they really help the site match you with potential partners, so it’s crucial you take your time to answer them honestly.

The process takes you through the usual requests, such as your name, age, location, and an appreciated amount of options for nonbinary users. You can select up to five descriptors including cis, Hijra, gender-fluid, and two-spirit.

There’s an empowering empathy in allowing users to pick a true gender description, not just a this-or-that sex designation. You’re also offered the option to be included in searches for both men and women if that’s what you’re into, independent of how you identify, as well as choose your specific pronouns.

Interface and Profiles

Finding people you’re into is straightforward. You start in a section called Double Take, which is a parade of profiles where you can swipe left to pass, or right to show your interest. The feature is very Tinder-like, though OkCupid doesn’t make you pay extra to undo a left-swipe like its competitor does.

User profiles offer up a selection of photos that are easy to open and swipe through, but it actually takes a few extra steps to get full-screen images. You’re never far from the profile’s personality sections, be it age, education, or an individual’s bio.

More importantly, the users the app returns are quantified in a meaningful way. OkCupid gives you a percentage rating of how you match based on your profile questions.

There’s an overall rating at the top, but then also a breakdown further down the profile that gives you an idea of how you match up on lifestyle, religion, and other topics. Plus, you can click into the percentage to get even more details on compatibility.

You can click into the Lifestyle and Dating sections to better discover how you match with a particular person. It’s surprisingly effective in helping determine if you really want to reach out to the person, giving you more personality insight into the user than the canned yes or no preferences you get with other apps.

Yes, it takes more time to review a potential match than just looking at a picture and swiping, but the idea is to lead to a more qualified match not based on looks alone.

Members & Messaging

The member base of OkCupid come from different walks of life. There is a good percentage of members in every age range, but the majority lies in the 25 to 34 range. Most are young professionals who are looking to pass the time or explore if the app can get them a suitable date.

OkCupid requires its users to disclose what exactly it is they are looking for on the dating site. The choices are ‘short-term dating’, ‘long-term dating’, ‘hookups’, and ‘new friends’.

Before, OkCupid was known for finding casual dates or hookups. Today, most members are looking for long-term dating and lifetime partners. We also observed that male members are more active in messaging the female users.

But, a lot of male members encourage the users who like them to send them a message. They indicate this on their profile summary.

OKCupid allows its users to browse and interact without having to pay a premium price.  In the Search page, you have the ability to see who’s currently online. You can also “like” their profile from this page, though the only information you have without a paid subscription is username, location, and a photo. You can also send them a message for more interaction by selecting a users profile page.

Before, you can freely message any user you like on the website; nowadays, you can still send messages to other users freely, but they will only see your message if they liked you back.

According to the site, they changed the way their messaging system works to cut down the frequency of unwanted and inappropriate messages. While it dissuades creeps from mass messaging users with inappropriate proposals, it also discourages decent users who just want to reach out and start a conversation with a potential match.

Safety & Security

OKCupid protects its members’ personal information by offering an anonymous way to interact with other members. What to share with who is a personal choice and should not be taken lightly. The site’s in-site messaging system enables anonymous interaction without having to use one’s personal communication tools.

With a full subscription, your username can also be changed at a later date to keep your anonymity more secure. For more information on the common practices of online dating services, we recommend you read the website’s Privacy and Safety section.

OkCupid App

OkCupid’s mobile app is best for people who want to access their accounts and see their matches on-the-go. The app does not offer any additional feature but makes the user experience better. All features of the dating site are accessible using one-hand. All the app’s features can be found as tabs at the bottom of the screen.

What’s great about OkCupid’s mobile app is that using Double Take is actually better on it compared to the website. You just have to swipe left if you’re not interested, or right if you are. Then when you swipe right and your compatibility percentage with that user is relatively high, there will be a pop-up window encouraging you to send a message to that user. Of course, you can choose not to send any messages.

Also, you can be more quickly updated about new matches and new messages by setting OkCupid app mobile notifications.

OkCupid Premium Extras

You might spend so long in the app without being asked for money that you might actually think maybe the company doesn’t want any. You would be wrong. While it’s free to browse and even contact other members, OkCupid will happily take your cash for the upgraded features its the premium A-List service. However, you won’t get the hard obnoxious sell right after swiping past a couple profiles. As with other apps, you can sign up for a few different kinds of programs that unlock varying levels of access and customization.

Along with an ad-free experience, A-Listers get more refined searching functionality and the option to receive read-receipts from their messages. Aside from one introductory message, free users can only message people they’ve liked who also liked them back. It cuts down on random spam. However, with unlimited likes and the ability to see which folks like them already, A-List users can effectively send messages to anyone who might be interested. Regular A-List status is reasonably priced, starting at $9.95 per month (the per-month price drops further the longer you commit for).

Premium A-List status is quite a jump—starting at $25 per month—but it gets you everything at the regular A-List level plus it buys your profile free Boosts, giving you more of a chance of being found by other members. You also get the ability to see other people’s answers to certain profile questions before you answer, essentially letting you game the system to force a commonality. You can also buy Boosts without upgrading for $1.99 each, or less if you buy them in bulk.

Even with these extra charges, there’s no arguing that OkCupid is one of the more-affordable dating apps. Most of its competitors, with the exception of POF, charge to let you contact your matches. Even OkCupid’s Premium-A-List plan is less expensive than the standard memberships from Match and eharmony. That said, not having to pay does open the door to less-serious users who are only looking to browse, and it doesn’t offer the safety and privacy features built into Bumble.

OkCupid’s Stack Feature

They’ve recently completed a total revamp of their mobile app, incorporating playful new icons and their patented organizing system, Stacks, that allows you to categorize your matches based on specific criteria (i.e nearby, online or recommended).

The Stacks feature also works well in conjunction with OKCupid’s strongest feature, their massive question database, which helps their algorithm uncover people who might be compatible with you. More than 340 million questions have been answered in 2020 alone, and over 8 billion since OKCupid’s launch, so you can rest assured that these questions provide the site with a holistic way of analyzing profiles and suggesting matches.

OkCupid is One of the Most Progressive Dating Sites Around

Finally, OKCupid is a deeply progressive site, partnered with impactful nonprofit organizations like Planned Parenthood, GLAAD and the ACLU, and that commitment is reflected all throughout their site.

They were one of the first dating apps to create a dedicated profile space for users to share their pronouns, for example, and they offer more than 22 different gender options and 20 orientation options for users to choose from. Needless to say, they value inclusivity!

Quick Pros and Cons of OkCupid

PROS

  • Most of the app can be used for free
  • Robust profiles
  • Inclusive identification options for gender and sexual identities
  • No cost to browse and interact with people on the site
  • Simple and straightforward design is easy to use and isn’t distracting
  • Upgrading to the A-list is cheap and offers great features
  • LGBT-friendly
  • Supports non-monogamy

CONS

  • Search function sometimes returns errant results
  • Free interface serves ads and may invite casual browsers
  • Potentially people aren’t taking it seriously as it’s free to register
  • Have to pay to get full functionality of the site
  • No video chat

The Bottom Line

OkCupid isn’t for the hookup set. Its data-driven approach to matches is more in line with people looking for meaningful, long-term relationships. Its meaty profiles give you a lot to chew on before reaching out to a potential match, and it doesn’t stick its hand out too soon to ask for cash.

The extensive profile-building process also means more data-driven matches than you’ll find on comparable apps. In short, OkCupid is a refreshing change from all of those swipe-it-and-quit-it apps out there. If you’re the type who likes investing time into your connections, this might be the site for you.

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