In this review I’ll be taking a look at the second largest free dating site in America, and it’s called: OKCupid.
There are only really two choices when it comes to free dating sites (by free I mean it won’t cost you anything to send messages and read messages) POF is one of them, and OKCupid is the second. Although not as large as POF, OKCupid should definitely not be ignored.
In fact, both sites are pretty different to one another, and many people join both to give themselves the best possible opportunity to find someone.
A popular misconception of free dating sites is that all their members are seeking anything but a long-term relationship, but that’s not true. Yes, you will find more members on free sites who are looking for casual encounters, but you will still find more than enough members who are looking to find a partner for the long-term.
OKCupid was launched in 2004 and has quickly grown in size to become the 2nd largest free dating website in America, trailing just behind POF.com with around 7 million members.
This is not a dating site for the older crowd, since most members are aged between 18 and 35 years old. Although you will find members over 35, the numbers are much smaller. If you are a little older, then you will probably have more success with match.com or eHarmony.
Members on the site are looking for a mix of things. Some are looking for short-term and casual relationships, some just sex, and some for long-term relationships. I would estimate that around 60% of members are looking for something more serious as opposed to casual; this is slightly higher than on Plenty of Fish.
Feature on Youtube
Creating Your Profile
It won’t take you very long to fill out the basic registration form that you can see below.
There are a couple more steps afterwards, but nothing to break a sweat over.
You will be asked to enter your basic details, this includes things like: ethnicity, height, body type, smokes, drinks, education, job etc.
You’re then asked to write a little about yourself, but to make things easier you are given headings to help you, some of these include:
- My self-summary
- What I’m doing with my life
- I’m really good at
- The first things people usually notice about me
- Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
- The six things I could never do without
- I spend a lot of time thinking about
- On a typical Friday night I am
Try to make the effort to fill out as many as possible, the more you complete the more members you are likely to be matched to. And be honest.
Finally upload a photo or two and you are ready to go.
Features You’ll Find
OKCupid is the matchmaker of free dating. Unlike POF where the matching is really left up to you, here at OKCupid they provide a little extra help.
Matches are determined based on your responses to a number of questions. But unlike eHarmony, you’re not forced to answer every single question, you can simply pick and choose which ones you want to answer. The questions are also a lot less rigid than eHarmony, which results in a lot more matches.
The Quickmatch feature shows you the profile of a potential match. You can then rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, or skip them if they’re not for you. When you rate someone, they’ll be informed via email, so if they like you too, you might just hear back from them.
When you view a profile, you’ll find a couple of interesting tabs. One of these is the “Personality” tab, where you can take a quick glimpse at the persons personality traits. Such traits include: kindness, compassion, romance etc. The results are determined based on the members answers to the “Match” questions, then compared to the answers from other members on the site.
Another tab is called “The Two of Us”. Clicking here will reveal a number of personality type questions that the member has answered, and you also have the opportunity to answer. You’ll only see this tab however if you have both answered an identical question. If you’re not a great match with that person, you might see “Y’all Have Issues” instead.
User interaction is a large part of the experience here, and this is encouraged via quirky user created tests, like “The Personality Defect Test”, “The Nerd, Geek or Dork Test” and “The Sexuality Spectrum Test”.
Do you fancy a blind date? If you do, it’s really easy to arrange on OKCupid. Using their really neat blind date tool, you can select the date and location then search for potential dates. You will however need to verify your account using the Blind Date App, but this is very easy.
You’ll also find all of the typical dating site features like email messaging, instant messaging, favorite lists and block lists. The site is also mobile friendly with apps for both the iPhone and Android available. You can also connect via their mobile friendly website using your phones web browser.
All in all, this is one of the most feature rich dating sites on the web. I don’t think you’ll find yourself wanting for much more.
The Traffic Test
With around 7 million members, this is one dating site that you would not expect to have too many difficulties finding a date. And this is most definitely the case here, providing you are less than 35 years of age.
One of my local towns has a population of 75,000, and if I adjust my match criteria to females aged between 25 and 35, and maximum distance of 25km, just over 100 matches are returned. Although the same search on POF does produce 500+ results, it’s important to remember that the results returned on OKCupid are the result of their matchmaking algorithm, meaning these people are more likely to be a better match to your personality type.
I expect that you will see similar numbers for most small to medium sized towns. And in the cities the numbers will be astronomical.
The Scam Test
I always prefer to leave my profile incomplete and not upload a photo for at least a week. I use this as a kind of honey trap for scammers. Real people will not normally message members with incomplete profiles and no pictures, however, scammers will.
I’ve had my profile on OKCupid for just over one month now, and in this time I’ve yet to receive a single message that I believed to be a scam. That’s not to say they don’t exist, as they do, but here on OKCupid the scammers are most definitely not as prevalent as on other dating sites.
Hang on a minute – I thought it was a free dating site? Yes it is free, because unlike on paid dating sites like eHarmony, you can actually send and receive messages for free. This is paid for by the very large adverts that you will see all over the site. But if you want to remove these ads, then you can do so by upgrading your membership.
The 2013 upgraded membership prices for OKCupid are as follows:
$9.95 per month for a 6 month membership
$14.95 per month for a 3 month membership
$19.95 per month for a 1 month membership
As well as killing the ads, there are a few more benefits to upgrading. These are: browse anonymously and see visitors to your profile; get special match search options; see who likes you; change your username and store up to 5,000 messages.
Is it worth it? I don’t think so. But if you do decide to upgrade, watch out because your membership will be automatically renewed when it expires.
Good and Bad Points
Send and receive messages for free
Largest free “matchmaking” site in the world
iPhone and Android mobile aps
Very neat matchmaking system
Membership numbers start to dip from ages 35 and up
Around 40% of members are looking for casual encounters
Very large adverts, can only be removed if you pay
You could say that POF is the match.com of the dating world, since the matching part is more or less up to you. Whereas OKCupid is the eHarmony of the dating world, but with a lot more matches since their questions are a lot less rigid and a lot more fun to answer.
Yes you will certainly find that a large number of members are seeking casual affairs here, but there are also plenty of people who are seeking commitment. And on OKCupid the number of people looking for longer-term relationships is definitely higher than on POF, since this is a matchmaking site and there are a considerable number of questions to fill out; this is not so appealing to the casual dater.
I really like all of the site features, especially the questions that help to determine your matches and also the blind date app. What I don’t like are the gigantic adverts, these seem to be larger, brighter and a lot more annoying than on POF. Yes you can pay to remove them, but for the price you have to pay you may as well join a paid dating site like eHarmony.
If you can’t decide whether to join POF or OKCupid, then just join both! But if you only have time for one site, and a relationship is what you are looking for, then I’d recommend OKCupid.
To summarize: It’s a great site if you are under 35, and you don’t mind the adverts.