A little over a week ago, dating site OkCupid faced a huge backlash over one of it’s major changes, in that regular “usernames” were no longer acceptable on it’s site. This comes as the famous online dating site faces declining membership and bad reviews, in part because of numerous changes the site has implemented, including those such as: removing certain types of search filters and also requiring that users “like” one another to receive messages. These and other changes (including eliminating the ability to see who visited your profile, among other changes) signify a crisis of identity for the much beloved dating site, as it’s parent company, Match Inc., also owns Tinder as one of it’s subsidiaries.
Many users are angry that the aspects that had made OkCupid unique in the past are being eliminated in favor of becoming more like Tinder and other “swipe” sites. Any perusal of an article’s comments or even the reddit page of OkCupid has it’s users (and former users) furious at the app’s owners, with some even writing bad reviews on purpose in order to get the site’s owners to pay attention.
But all this begs the question- with usership of swiping sites at an all-time high, and many of the regular dating sites following suit, is a site like OkCupid on the way out?
It would seem that the strategy of the owners of OkCupid is to eliminate all the unique aspects of the site/app and push people to other sites it’s parent company owns like Tinder and it’s older demographic to it’s sites like Plenty of Fish or Match.com.
But as many of the comments, including those on reddit point out, there was something special in the past that OkCupid had that these other sites did not, and it’s tragic that it’s is phasing out what had made it once unique. Whether or not this is a slow death of a brand to be phased out remains uncertain.