OkCupid, launched in 2004, is one of the most popular free online dating service in the United States. The site uses algorithms to find digital matches for its 7 million users based on their answers to questions about themselves.It creates a unique dating environment by putting heavy emphases on member participation. Matches are identified by your profile and your responses to a series of fun questions generated by other members. Each match question is made up of four parts: the question, the answers you’re willing to accept from your matches, a rating of how important the answer is to you, and an optional explanation of your response. The more questions you answer, the smarter OkCupid gets at recommending matches for you.
Here are some pros and cons about this site.
* OkCupid.com is 100% free to join, post a profile, search for, and communicate with other members.
* Provides members with a list of standard questions to help you design a more in-depth profile. If completed accurately and sincerely, this cyber dating audition could help you to secure your choice of casting calls to answer.
* Compatibility questions, many of which are written by other members, are designed to help determine which members you are more likely to be compatible with. In addition to asking you for your personal answers to these questions, it also asks you to identify the response your ideal mate would likely choose and then asks that you rate how significant that specified response from your match would be to you. If you do not like a question a particular question, you can simply skip it and move to the next. An explanation of their matching technologies is available on the FAQ section of the site.
* The site allows you to improve your matches by choosing to answer more questions. You can also improve them by rating those profiles you do view according to looks and personality.
* Members can narrow search results based on a variety of factors and sort them according to their personal preferences.
* The site is equipped so that users can send instant messages to other members as well as email. Both the email and instant message services allow users to set filters so that they are only messaged by other members that meet a certain criteria. If necessary, members can choose to block other specific members from reaching them.
* A variety of personality tests, electronic journals, forums, advice articles, puzzle games, and other humorous content is also available free of charge. Members can even contribute their own matching questions or develop their own tests for others to take.
* If you are particularly interested in someone but aren’t sure how to start the conversation, you can send a “woo” to let him/her know that you are interested. Of you can save his/her profile and choose to allow that person to know that they were saved to your list.
* As you view each profile, you have the option of rating them based on looks and personality, keeping notes on them, hiding them, flagging them as inappropriate, comparing them against other profiles, or comparing their responses on tests and compatibility questions to your own.
* Members are asked to rate the quality of messages that they receive from other members and can vote on whether or not particular threads make them happy.
* The site automatically keeps a log of your instant message (IM) history, which is a very useful tool that you can use to refer back to previous conversations with other members.
* On your homepage, you can see all of the recent activity from other users in all areas of the site. You can also keep tabs on who has been “stalking” your page, which is a nice feature but keep in mind that your stalking activities are also being monitored.
* Services are provided with both traditional and alternative lifestyles in mind.
* It allows members to join even if they are currently married or in a relationship.
* It is a truly free service. Although this is a plus on many levels, it can also work against the quality of the site simply because it cannot weed out those that are less serious about finding someone special and who use the site just to play around. Fortunately, though, all of the useful services that it provides do help to highlight its more quality members since those that aren’t really serious are less likely to invest the time that it would require to paint an accurate picture of him/herself.