I know that Southern Belle organises a lot of her dates Stateside on OKCupid, and that The Voice, my Christian date during the 30 Dates mentioned that he often used the dating site, however I only recently tested it. My sister lives in Manchester, and she and her friends all use the app. Intrigued by the countless questions you can answer when signing up, I decided to give it a try, with mixed results.
The questions themselves are really fun and varied, and it’s interesting to work out which things you feel strongly about and which questions you’re prepared, or not prepared, to answer in public. It’s also quite interesting to look at the personality summary the website provides as a result of your answers – guessing which things you might be more or less influenced by, than the average person. Whilst some of the answers were obvious, it’s interesting some of the incorrect assumptions the website came to from my answers. For a start, it rated me highly non-independent, as compared to most people. I think most people I know would describe me as the complete opposite. But I guess there’s only so much that computer algorithms can work out!
Number of Options – 7/10
There seem to be a reasonable number of people using OKCupid, however it definitely appears more popular in the States. I would say less people currently use it in the London area than other free sites like POF, which is a shame, as it’s a far more interesting site to use thanks to the questions.
Serious Contenders – 5/10
The nature of the questions people answer allows you to work out pretty quickly what their intentions are! Again, it’s a predominantly free site, (and one which allows you to answer quite explicit sexual questions publicly), therefore it will always attract people just up for hook-ups. However, every profile shows you both a percentage ‘Match’ and a percentage ‘Enemy’, and the enemy quotient often appears to be governed by your public intentions.
Free Services – 8/10
You can search for people, and communicate with them for free – which is essentially all you need from a dating website. There are restrictions on QuickMatch (see below), however the free services are more than adequate.
Ease of Set-Up – 8/10
Set up is a little more lengthy than some of the other sites, however the questions are genuinely really interesting a fun to answer. I’d much rather sit down and consider my preferred answer to a question than write a lengthy profile about myself. The only problem was the question answering turned out to be the highlight of the site!
Site Layout – 6/10
Relatively easy to use. Some of the ads (a necessity unfortunately on a free site), are frustrating, and the front page of the website seems to have a lot going on, but all the necessary things are there. There are various suggestion boxes – Suggested matches, Recent Activity – which pop up, in a hope of highlighting your options, however I found it all a bit busy, and preferred using the app.
App – 8/10
The app is easy to use, allows you to change your profile easily, answer more questions or search for matches. You can communicate with dates easily on the move, and there is a Quick Match function, similar to Tinder or POF’s Meet Me, however whilst the app allows you to select people, you can’t see who has selected you unless you upgrade your profile, which is a bit frustrating. It also means, if you’re a non-paying member, the app is constantly updating you that someone has selected you on Quick Match, but can’t tell you who.
Information about your Date – 10/10
There is potential (depending how many questions your matches answer) to know A LOT about your dates. The questions are hugely varied, and cover all kinds of topics, however no one is obliged to answer all the questions, and they can always hide their answers. The percentage match is always public, and can prove some guide, however realistically, a lot of the question answers simply indicate political and social leanings – so whether the person would make a good friend, rather than necessarily good partner. The computer can never work out how much you fancy someone, and obviously only you can determine how important the match percentage is to you. For some, a 50% match is more than enough, others will only talk to a 95% match.
User Verification – 1/10
Like most free sites, there are no checks on user identity when setting up your account, other than to confirm your email address. The site doesn’t link up to social media sites – though you can link it to your Instagram photos, which could provide a little verification.
Value for Money (Paid Services) – 2/10
I have to admit, I didn’t pay for the upgrade services on the site, however they seem to only offer increased visibility when guys search for you, and access to see who has selected you on Quick Match. However, you can still freely search the website for potential matches yourself without needing to pay. You will still show in other peoples’ searches if you’re not a paying member – you simply won’t appear right at the top of the options.
I love the set up concept of this site. It’s really fun and different to answer such a range of questions about yourself, and actually try to work out what’s important to you. The website was pretty simple to use, and had an OK layout, as did the app, and communicating wasn’t difficult. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear anywhere near as popular as other apps and sites in the London area, which is it’s downfall. In my month using the site, I didn’t come across even one guy I wanted to strike up a conversation with, and most of the guys contacting me had absolutely nothing in common with me, rendering all the detailed questions and match algorithms on the site completely redundant.
It does seem to have had far greater success Stateside, as I’m sure Southern Belle would happily fill us in on, and even up in Manchester, my sisters’ friends all regularly use the site. It’s quite interesting how geography can affect the success of a website – and I’d be intrigued to see if OKCupid perhaps spends more money on advertising in the other areas?
Not the worst, but definitely not the best of sites
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx