First off, what’s the difference between OkCupid and Tinder?
What my friends told me: Tinder’s for hook ups, OkCupid’s for serious relationships.
What I learnt: I need new friends cause YOU’RE ALL LIARS.
OkCupid has got to be one of the most popular dating apps that’s been around for years. They boast over a million worldwide app downloads a week (though I don’t know if that’s statistically possible to keep up with), with over 7 million messages sent everyday.
I downloaded it on a whim on the night of Halloween (yes I did nothing on Halloween), because as a freelancer, all I need for a good scare is to check my bank account, thank you very much. Of course, that was until OKCupid did a perfectly splendid job of scaring me with all the crazy messages I received.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the start.
User Interface and Features
I’m used to the design that Tinder and Paktor offer ( read my reviews on these two apps as well!) – a large profile picture accompanied by the person’s name and age. OKCupid does things a little differently – a large profile photo is provided, along with 3 other details – the person’s age, location and a match percentage (I’ll get to this later).
Tapping on the profile picture brings up a slide of other photos you can browse, and tapping the ‘Information’ button on my top left brings up more information about the individual. This can range from just a simple self-summary to a range of information like height, languages spoken, and lifestyle habits/choices (smoker/non-smoker, has dogs etc).
One thing that irked me on OKCupid is that names aren’t provided – this makes the online stalking much harder, doesn’t it? (Don’t go acting like you don’t do some online CSI work on a potential online partner.)
Here’s my profile.
The location shown can vary from ‘Singapore’ to the neighborhood one lives in- which makes it easier for the people looking to date someone who lives near them.
The six icons on the side bar read: Activity, Matches, Quickmatch, Messages, Visitors, and Likes. Let’s check them out.
This feature takes stalking to a whole new level – you get to see everything that everyone you’ve checked out has done. Uploaded a new photo? You’ll get to check that out. Answered a new question about their lifestyle habits? You’ll get to find that out. If you think about it, it might not be too bad an idea – gets us started on the whole possessive, crazy, stalkerish behavior that’ll come when we get into a relationship.
OKCupid’s niche is their matching algorithm - real fancy talk for complicated math that predicts the percentage of compatibility you have with someone. Tapping on ‘Matches’ brings you to a landing page that allows you to browse different groups of individuals whom you share the most compatibility with -
Match %, Last Online, Who’s New, Nearby, etc.
The highest % that I saw on my account was an 85%. I checked the guy’s profile out and I have to disagree because of his profile photo. But take into consideration that the matching algorithm doesn’t take looks into account – it’s all based on lifestyle/personality questions that we have to answer.
Here are some examples of the questions.
I picked these three because I absolutely love some of the options provided. You can also choose to provide explanations for your answers, but it’s really more of a TL;DR situation for me when it comes to the answers people give.
This is the landing page for the fun swiping sessions we’ve all come to know and love our dating apps for. Swipe left to indicate no interest, swipe right for a ‘YASSSS GIMME SOME OF THAT’.
One thing that really threw me off the swiping game is the match percentage available on all the profiles. I was definitely less inclined to swipe right on an attractive guy if our match percentage was low. Why waste time on someone when the matching algorithm is telling you it’s going to be a waste of your time.
Otherwise, I’m sure you guys are familiar with the swiping game, so I’ll skip right ahead.
With Tinder, you’re only allowed to send messages to people you’ve matched with – so we do get to exert control over who’s allowed to text us. With Paktor and OKcupid though, anyone is allowed to message us. My inbox flooded even before 24 hours were up. You can pay for a bigger inbox, but I’m not doing that. Another alternative is to delete messages in your inbox, but of course, I’m too lazy for that.
This is a pretty useless page if you ask me. It’s a list of the people who’ve viewed your profile, as well as the profiles that you’ve viewed. If you’d like to view profiles anonymously, you can do so by paying. The packages range from SGD7.47/month (basic) to SGD34.98/month ( premium).
I wish I could tell you more about this feature but like I mentioned, this girl ain’t got money to blow on dating apps. If you’re willing to spend money on dating apps, go right ahead with their packages. Good news if you’re unwilling to fork out cash though, you’re still allowed to explore the subpages ‘Mutual Likes’ and ‘You Like’, though it doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know.
Let’s get down to business.
Is OKCupid really the app for people looking for serious relationships?
I’m definitely not ruling that out – majority of the conversations (though boring) were alright. The usual ‘ Hi, how’s it going’ were aplenty.
Some decided to be funny, most of them failed.
This guy just jumped right into it.
Context: BTO (Build-To-Order) is Singapore’s most popular proposal method – couples looking to get hitched usually get their first home by applying for a BTO apartment.
I think this guy was trying to be funny but it rubbed off the wrong way. I rolled my eyes so hard; it contributed to 90% of my daily workout that day.
Some recognized me.
Proof that everyone online stalks a potential partner. Please don’t Google me.
Rachel Boon? What? Who?
Of course, I got busted a few times.
And of course, the juicy bits. The reason I now need new friends because people told me OKCupid wasn’t for one night stands, or casual fuck buddies. I’ve cropped some of the screenshots so that these perverts/guys aren’t recognizable.
Disclaimer: There is a dick pic somewhere amongst these photos. I’ve blurred it out but please proceed with caution.
Din Tai Fung?
I warned you. I did. Here's a badly blurred out dick pic. I'm sorry if it scared you - skip right ahead.
How am I an 83% with this guy?!
This one takes the cake. FiFiFiFiFiFiFi sounds very experienced in organising orgies - this scares me a little. Also, what's with the racism in his requirements - 3. Chinese, Malay, Eurasian Only ( Unless you're hot then any race is fine).
Did I see more attractive people in my results? No, I didn't. But maybe I've just got to swipe a little bit longer.
Should you use OKCupid?
If you’re up for expanding your social circle and meeting lots of new people, OKCupid’s perfect. The number of guys available on the app is definitely comparable to Tinder and Paktor’s selection.
If you’re looking for casual sex, OKCupid’s definitely the app to use. In fact, go right ahead and contact any of the guys I’ve listed in this article – I’m pretty sure they’d take you up.
Are the conversations as interesting as the ones I’ve gotten on Tinder/Paktor? I’m not sure. One rule I’ve set for myself on these dating apps is that I never initiate conversations. Of all the messages I’ve received on OKCupid, I’ve only replied a handful – think 4 or 5. It was really too many messages to sieve through, and I got tired just reading them, much more so replying.
That being said, I’m confident there are genuinely nice guys on the app looking for serious relationships.
But if online dating is not your thing, consider offline matchmaking!
Paktor’s offline dating service, Gaigai, has offered me an opportunity to explore this. I’m so excited to meet the guy they’re setting me up with (Cross your fingers the night will turn out well). I’ll share more with you in the next article!