Unlike Match or eHarmony, the primary objective of OkCupid is not to get you into a long-term relationship right away. Instead, it seeks to connect you with different individuals from diverse backgrounds. OkCupid has a higher focus on casual dating.
The number of monthly visitors OkCupid receives just on smartphones far surpasses those of Match or eHarmony.
Yet, according to Statista, OkCupid is 5th in line in terms of the percentage of paying customers, trailing slightly behind apps like Bumble, Tinder, and Hinge.
The discrepancy between the number of visitors and paid subscriptions for services like Premium is due in part to OkCupid’s main differentiator: OKCupid lets members message each other even while using the free service option. Therefore OkCupid gets a lot of visitors who use the site for free. This is not something you can do on other matchmaking sites like eHarmony or Match which, right off the bat, are both paying sites. This is by far OkCupid’s best and most distinctive feature.
However, with other aps like Tinder and Bumble, which are just as free to use and have conquered the younger markets, OkCupid competes by targeting a slightly older demographic and presenting them with the option to use the app for free while having the added but optional convenience of paying for premium added services.
But let’s start from the beginning and explore each feature before considering OkCupid.
What Is OkCupid?
OkCupid is one of the most popular online dating platforms on the internet. Launched in 2004, it was actually one of the first dating platforms that surfaced on the internet alongside other online dating giants such as Match, eHarmony, and Ashley Madison. It's now owned by the Match Group, the same parent company that owns Tinder, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish.
It currently has more than 30 million members and is growing every day, so it's safe to say that they've got a pretty good handle on things. For singles, this can be a great place to meet other people and hopefully find someone special with who you can share your life, but for those who have tried Tinder and haven't seen much success, OkCupid may seem like an attractive alternative that offers users better value.
At first glance, it’s hard to distinguish what OkCupid may have to offer compared to other similar apps like Tinder or Bumble.
Much like eHarmony or Match, its main feature is that it actually tries to find you a match based on your compatibility potential with other members, rather than throwing the entire database at you which you have to sort through one profile at a time. (Think Tinder or Bumble).
How Does OkCupid Work?
Registration is free, and after setting up your profile, you’re given a series of questions to answer, which the algorithms will use to measure your compatibility with other prospective matches. You’re only required to answer a minimum of 15 questions, but there are more than 4000 to choose from, and typically members will add around 50 answers to their profile.
OkCupid recommends completing as many of these as possible in order to maximize your chances of getting the right match for you. Once that’s completed, you can go ahead and start liking other profiles and see who you match with!
Like most other apps, OkCupid runs on a mutual-like system, meaning two members have to like each other before they can start exchanging messages on OkCupid but with a subscription, you can get extra access to a series of perks that will help you:
- increase your chances of matching with someone and/or
- wade through the gigantic pool of matches presented to you
You might be wondering: should I go for a paid subscription? Well, rates for premium membership have increased in recent months, making it even more difficult for people to decide whether it's right for them. In this article, we're going to break down the pros and cons of paying for a premium subscription. There are a lot of different facets to each payment structure with OkCupid, so let’s dig in.
For more info: How Does OkCupid Work?
OkCupid And Its Three Membership Levels
First, it’s important to note that you can totally use OkCupid for free, OR you can choose to go with one of the two levels of paid subscription: OkCupid Basic and OkCupid Premium (previously called Premium A-List). Each profile comes with its own set of perks. Before we can discuss what Premium has to offer, let’s do a quick recap:
The Free profile lets you:
- browse around for matches
- like a limited number of profiles per day
- message the people you matched with
- receive messages from other people who want to send you an intro
The Basic membership has the following features:
- The “Dealbreaker” allows you to “hard-pass” any of the criteria you’re not willing to compromise on, which can save you a lot of time when screening for matches.
- See all of the Intros you've received all at once.
- Like as many profiles and respond to as many Intros as you want.
- No outside ads: This means the page loads faster and has fewer distractions
What is OkCupid Premium?
Now that you know what you can get with a free profile and a Basic Profile, you might be wondering if OkCupid Premium is worth the extra investment? OkCupid Premium is the highest tier of paid memberships; it gives you access to the following perks:
- All of OkCupid’s Basic Membership perks AND
- See everyone who liked you before matching
- See how your matches have answered their public questions, even if you haven't answered those questions yet!
The old version of Premium was called “A-list” and included automatic daily Boosts, which boosted you to the top of the match queue daily. This service is no longer provided with Premium unless you have a legacy membership, in which case you'll still have automatic Boosts, but you won’t be able to control when they're launched. However, If you'd like more control over when your account is Boosted, you can purchase Boost tokens.
What Does OkCupid Cost?
|Duration / Credits / Coins||Costs||Total|
|1 Month||24.99 USD / Month||24.99 USD|
|3 Months||16.66 USD / Month||49.98 USD|
|6 Months||12.49 USD / Month||74.94 USD|
|1 Month||34.99 USD / Month||34.99 USD|
|3 Months||23.33 USD / Month||69.99 USD|
|6 Months||17.49 USD / Month||104.94 USD|
|1 Credit||6.99 USD / Credit||6.99 USD|
|5 Credits||1.20 USD / Credit||5.99 USD|
|10 Credits||0.50 USD / Credit||4.99 USD|
How Does OkCupid Premium Compare To Other Premium Services Out There?
You won't be surprised to learn OkCupid is not the only app that offers perks in exchange for a paid subscription. You might be wondering how their premium service compares to other sought-after dating sites? To help you get a lay of the land (pun intended) and make an informed decision, we picked two popular but very different dating sites: eHarmony and AdultFriendFinder (AFF). They both offer a premium service, but what they claim to offer is very different.
OkCupid Premium features:
- Unlimited likes
- Set hard filters or “deal breaker” categories you want to be screened out
- No ads
- See everyone who liked you before matching
- See how your matches have answered their public questions, even if you haven't answered those questions yet
AdultFriendFinder Premium features:
- View full profiles
- Send gifts
- Add friends
- Send messages
- Read Messages
- Use Chat
- Watch members during Livestream
eHarmony Premium features:
- View member photos
- View who added you on their favorites list
- See who viewed you
- Unlimited messaging
- Browse anonymously
- Get matches outside your preferences
eHarmony is the go-to site for serious dating and finding long-term relationships. They’re a massive player on the market, boasting more than 29 million members in the US alone. It has extensive data showing a large number of people who were successfully matched up into long-term relationships. As a result, they claim that their site is involved in 2% of all marriages in the United States.
Their matching system is known to rely on evidence-based psychology, and just like OkCupid, eHarmony has a compatibility quiz, but their questions are more extensive as they require a minimum of 70 questions, whereas OkCupid only requires a minimum of 15. eHarmony's members are mostly in the 25-44 age range; therefore, a lot of them have more stable lifestyles and are in the age bracket of settling down and getting married. OkCupid's members are also in a similar age bracket. eHarmony offers a free trial, but they are a paying site meaning you have to pay a subscription to use the site.
As for AFF, they went as far as using the word “Adult” in their name as part of their branding, which implies a more mature approach to dating: aka, hooking up! Even though you have to be 18 to use any kind of online dating service, sites like AdultFriendFinder are notorious for helping you get laid with no strings attached! Just like eHarmony, AFF is not really usable unless you pay for a subscription; you won’t be able to message anyone or even see profiles without paying.
While OkCupid or eHarmony will ask you personality-type questions to measure your compatibility with others, on AFF, the questions center around sexual preferences, sexual activities, and fantasies. However, hookup sites like AFF are known for having a large number of bots and fake profiles ready to catfish you at a moment’s notice. A quick search online will show many blog topics asking if AFF is a legit site or a scam. The truth is, it’s a little bit of both. You can probably find some real people to date, but you just need to be smart about it. Watch out for bots and learn how to recognize a catfish.
So, where does OkCupid Premium stand exactly in comparison to these two sites?
Well, it’s somewhere in the middle. On OkCupid, your profile is highly customizable and lets you be as selective or as open as you want. On eHarmony and OkCupid, the more questions you answer, the better your compatibility matches.
While the app brands itself as being for people who mostly want casual dating, it’s also great for hooking up or for finding a serious relationship. The premium features provide users with the ability to be more selective and get more information about potential likes. In terms of fees, all three options offer similar pricing.
In summary, while eHarmony is ideal for serious long-term relationships and AdultFriendFinder is best for casual hookups, OkCupid stands out as the chameleon of dating sites, allowing you to find dates whether you’re looking for a serious relationship, casual dating, or hookups.
What are the shortcomings of the OkCupid Premium service?
OkCupid wants to present its consumers with an array of options to fit their needs. They want you to play around with the app, and they leave many opportunities scattered around for you to click and buy. There are many “pop-ups” and push notifications during your user app experience to remind you of the advantages of buying any of their “à la carte” service (boost your profile or unlock a profile) or paid subscriptions.
For example, the app is constantly reminding you how many people have liked your profile and makes it very inviting to click on that page. Once you do, it will encourage you to purchase a paid subscription in order to view these invisible likes.
You can buy tokens to boost yourself up to the top, and you can pay an individual fee to unlock a profile for 7 days. Such a feature creates a slightly convoluted system that might be confusing to use.
Another possible shortcoming of the app is the type and number of questions being used to match you with other people. There are 5000 questions to choose and after answering 10 or 20, some might start to feel a little discouraged by the sheer number of questions they are being asked. Of course, you are free to skip as many questions as you want as long as you answer a minimum of 15.
Some questions present themselves as light and not very serious: “Would you rather go to the beach or the forest?” or “Are you a dog or a cat person?”. Some people might not know how to choose which questions they want to make public, how important these questions are to matching them with others, and should questions like that really play a role in measuring your compatibility with someone else?
A good number of questions also touch on politics: “do you identify as a feminist” or “do you think gender-neutral passports are important” which might make some people uncomfortable. The nature of these questions is direct. OkCupid is trying to determine what you believe in exactly.
So Is OkCupid Premium Worth it?
The main decision you have to make here is whether OkCupid Premium is worth the extra cost over the other subscriptions. With the free version, you can only get to like a limited number of people per day. You’re also free to message someone you matched with as much as you want. OkCupid has made the Basic OkCupid profile a very attractive option as it is. With a basic profile, you get to like an unlimited number of people and unlock all the intros you received all at once. You also get to filter out people with dealbreaker questions and answers you know won’t be a right fit for you.
Upgrading to Premium includes the same perks as the Basic with the added bonus of more information and less work.
However, OkCupid Premium is not worth it. The prices have increased a lot over the years. OkCupid inflates your likes by boosting your profile temporarily worldwide or locally so that you're forced to upgrade to the premium when you see so many likes. Soon after you upgrade to premium, your likes will go down significantly.
For more info: you can read in-depth OKCupid review.