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OkCupid (sometimes abbreviated as OKC[2]) is an American-based international operating online dating, friendship, and social networking website that features multiple-choice questions in order to match members. It is supported by advertisements and paying users who do not see ads.

The OkCupid homepage on January 20, 2016.png
The OkCupid homepage on April 3, 2014
Type of site
Online dating service
Owner IAC
Created by
  • Chris Coyne
  • Sam Yagan
  • Christian Rudder
  • Max Krohn
Alexa rank Decrease 832 (December 2017)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Required for membership
Launched January 19, 2004; 14 years ago (2004-01-19)
Current status Active

The site supports multiple modes of communication, including instant messages and emails. OkCupid was listed in Time magazine's 2007 Top 10 dating websites.[3] The website was acquired by IAC's division in 2011.[4]



OkCupid was initially owned by Humor Rainbow, Inc. OkCupid's founders (Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn) were students at Harvard University when they gained recognition for their creation of TheSpark and, later, SparkNotes. Among other things, featured a number of humorous self-quizzes and personality tests, including the four-variable Myers-Briggs style Match Test. SparkMatch debuted as a beta experiment of allowing registered users who had taken the Match Test to search for and contact each other based on their Match Test types. The popularity of SparkMatch took off and it was launched as its own site, later renamed OkCupid. The current OkCupid Dating Persona Test is still largely identical, in question and text blurb content and order, to the original Match Test. In 2001, they sold SparkNotes to Barnes & Noble, and began work on OkCupid.[5]

In 2007, OkCupid launched Crazy Blind Date.[6][7]

In 2008, OkCupid spun off its test-design portion under the name Hello Quizzy (HQ),[8] while keeping it inextricably linked to OkCupid and reserving existent OkCupid users' names on HQ.[8]

Since August 2009, an "A-list" account option is available to users of OkCupid and provides additional services for a monthly fee.[9]

In February 2011, OkCupid was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp, operators of, for US$50 million.[10] Editorial posts from 2010 by an OkCupid founder in which and pay-dating were criticized for exploiting users and being "fundamentally broken" were removed from the OkCupid blog at the time of the acquisition.[11] In a press response, OkCupid's CEO explained that the removal was voluntary.[12]

In November 2012, OkCupid launched the social discovery service Tallygram,[13] but retired the service in April 2013.[14]

On March 31, 2014 any user accessing OkCupid from Firefox was presented with a message asking users to boycott the internet browser due to Mozilla Corporation's new CEO Brendan Eich's support of Proposition 8. Users were asked instead to consider other browsers.[15][16][17] The page displaying the message made use of javascript, which Eich created. On April 2, 2014, the dating site revoked the Firefox ban.[18][19]

The website added a bevy of nontraditional profile options for users to express their gender identity and sexuality in late 2014. These options—which included asexual, genderfluid, pansexual, sapiosexual, and transgender categories—were added to make the website more inclusive.[20] Through this addition, OkCupid popularized the concept of "sapiosexuality", meaning romance or sexual attraction based on intellectual, rather than physical, traits.[21]

Rudder updated the "OkTrends" blog, which consists of "original research and insights from OkCupid," for the first time in three years in July 2014. Entitled "We Experiment On Human Beings!," the post discusses three experiments run by the website without the knowledge of users. Rudder prefaces the experiment results by stating: "... if you use the Internet, you're the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That's how websites work."[22]


In May 2016, a team of Danish researchers have made publicly available the "OkCupid dataset" project, containing (as of May 2016) 2,620 variables describing 68,371 users on OkCupid for research purposes (e.g., for psychologists investigating the social psychology of dating).[23] The data release spurred considerable criticism,[24] included an investigation by the Danish Data Protection Authority.[25]

In December 2017, OkCupid rolled out a change that would require users to provide their real first name, in place of a pseudonym as was previously encouraged. Although the company later clarified that nicknames or initials would be acceptable,[26] despite a list of "banned words" being employed, this change has been criticized as potentially paving the way to harassment of individuals and minorities[27] and doxing,[28] and it has been noted that unlike other dating sites that encourage the use of first names, OkCupid "encourages long profiles full of intimate details, including candid answers to questions about sex and politics", making connecting that information with a real name more problematic to users.[29]


OkCupid claimed 3.5 million active users as of September 2010. According to, the website attracted 1.3 million unique visitors in February 2011.[30]

The site used to have a highly active journal/blogging community as well. Journals are not available to new members and the feature is now "retired." Members have the option of saving favorite user profiles, which display the favorited person's responses to questions and profile updates on the member's front page.[citation needed]

Any adult may join the site and all users may communicate with others via private messages or an instant messaging "chat" function. OkCupid was the first major dating site to offer unlimited messaging free of charge,[31] although this was limited in late 2017 when OkCupid's official blog announced the site is "getting rid of open-messaging" and making sent messages invisible to the recipient until they in turn interact with the sender.[32] A-List (paying) members see no advertising and have more filtering options and preferential placement in an "A-List Matches" section of search results. A-list members can also browse openly while choosing whether or not their profile is displayed to those they visited.[33]

OkTrends, the official blog of OkCupid, presents statistical observations from OkCupid user interactions, to explore data from the online dating world.


To generate matches, OkCupid applies data generated by users' activities on the site,[34] as well as their answers to questions. When answering a question, a user indicates his or her own answer, the answers he or she would accept from partners, and the level of importance he or she places on the question. The results of these questions can be made public. OkCupid describes in detail the algorithm used to calculate match percentages. Assuming a user is a paid user ("A-List"), the site notifies a user if someone likes that user.

Attractiveness and match resultsEdit

Users who receive high ratings may be notified by email that they are in the "top half of OkCupid's most attractive users" and "will now see more attractive people in [their] match results". The email also reads "And, no, we didn't just send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend and see".[35][36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 
  2. ^ Crum, Maddie (26 June 2015). "I Asked a Linguist to Analyze OkCupid Usernames. This Is What She Found". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Schmidt, Tracy Samantha (February 14, 2007). " - Top Online Dating Sites". Time. Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ "IAC's Acquires Online Dating Site OkCupid For $50M In Cash". TechCrunch. 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  5. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  7. ^ Mark Hendrickson Nov 6, 2007 (2007-11-06). "Meet Potential Lovers Over a Drink with CrazyBlindDate - TechCrunch, Nov 06, 2006". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  8. ^ a b "Hello Quizzy". Hello Quizzy. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  10. ^ "Little Rock native Christian Rudder sells company to for $50 million". Arkansas Times. Feb 2, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ Rudder, Christian (2010-04-07). "Why You Should Never Pay For Online Dating " OkTrends". Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (2011-02-02). "OkCupid: We Didn't Censor Our Blog Post | The New York Observer". New York Observer. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "OkCupid Has Launched Social Discovery Service Tallygram". OnlinePersonalsWatch. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  14. ^ "Tallygram, OkCupid's Foray Into Friend Finding On Facebook, Hits The Deadpool". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  15. ^ "BBC News - OkCupid seeks to block Mozilla Firefox over gay rights". 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  16. ^ Ian Johnston (2014-03-19). "OkCupid calls for Firefox boycott to protest anti-gay marriage CEO Brendan Eich - News - Gadgets & Tech". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  17. ^ Kim Bellware. "OkCupid Publicly Rips Mozilla: 'We Wish Them Nothing But Failure'". Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  18. ^ "OkCupid pulls Firefox boycott letter". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Bercovici, Jeff. "OkCupid Lifts Firefox Ban After Getting A Lift From It". Forbes. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  20. ^ North, Anna (November 19, 2014). "How OkCupid Has Become More Inclusive on Gender and Sexuality". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  21. ^ North, Anna (June 2, 2017). "The Hottest Body Part? For a Sapiosexual, Its the Brain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  22. ^ Christian Rudder (28 July 2014). "We Experiment On Human Beings!". OkTrends. Humor Rainbow, Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "OSF | The OkCupid dataset: A very large public dataset of dating site users". Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  24. ^ Zimmer, Michael. "OkCupid Study Reveals the Perils of Big-Data Science". Wired. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  25. ^ Cox, Joseph. "Danish Authorities Investigate OkCupid Data Dump". Motherboard. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  26. ^ OkCupid (2017-12-21). "An Open Letter on Why We're Removing Usernames, Addressed to the Worst Ones We've Ever Seen". The OkCupid Blog. Retrieved 2017-12-23. 
  27. ^ Conger, Kate. "OkCupid's New Real Name Policy Is Dumb". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2017-12-23. 
  28. ^ "OkCupid Wants Everyone to Use Real Names and Users are Pissed". Motherboard. 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2017-12-23. 
  29. ^ "OKCupid will make people use real names on their dating profiles". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-12-23. 
  30. ^ "'s (rank #1,483) Site Profile | Compete". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  31. ^ Brooks, Amber. "OkCupid's Pioneering Business Principles: Love Math, Stay Forever Free & Welcome Everyone". Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  32. ^ "Why OkCupid is changing how you message – The OkCupid Blog". The OkCupid Blog. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2017-12-17. 
  33. ^ "A-List Extras". OkCupid. Archived from the original on 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  34. ^ "Help Topics". OkCupid. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  35. ^ "My Online Date Using the Almighty Amazon Algorithm (Part 1): Say Hello To My Ugly Friend". Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  36. ^ "Ok Cupid is Hiding the Good-Looking people from Us Ugly Freaks". Consumerist. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit