Match.com just shelled out $50 million for New York’s homegrown dating site OKCupid, the dating site known for being free, giving its users quizzes, and turning those surveys into fascinating plunges into the human psyche at the OKTrends blog.
The press release indicates that OKCupid will not be shut down and its users siphoned into one of Match.com’s subscription-based dating sites. OKCupid cofounder Sam Yagan will head up the company’s New York office and continue to run the company’s day-to-day operations. “We are excited to join forces with Match because it is clear that no company is more committed to helping people find relationships,” he said. “This marriage offers us the best of both worlds: the autonomy to continue pursuing OkCupid’s original vision and the ability to leverage Match’s reach and expertise to grow even faster.”
Match.com and OKCupid are now owned by New York’s IAC, which operates some of the best-known properties on the web.
There’s already speculation that OKCupid will lose some of its fun hipster personality. Already a blog post titled, “Why You Should Never Pay for Online Dating,” has been removed.
An excerpt from that post:
Today I’d like to show why the practice of paying for dates on sites like Match.com and eHarmony is fundamentally broken, and broken in ways that most people don’t realize.
For one thing, their business model exacerbates a problem found on every dating site:
Women get too many bad matches
Men get far too few replies
For another thing, as I’ll explain, pay sites have a unique incentive to profit from their customers’ disappointment.
As a founder of OkCupid I’m of course motivated to point out our competitors’ flaws. So take what I have to say today with a grain of salt. But I intend to show, just by doing some simple calculations, that pay dating is a bad idea; actually, I won’t be showing this so much as the pay sites themselves, because most of the data I’ll use is from Match and eHarmony’s own public statements. I’ll list my sources at the bottom of the post, in case you want to check.
It turns out you are 12.4 times more likely to get married this year if you don’t subscribe to Match.com.
So next time you hear Match or eHarmony talking about how huge they are, you should do like I do and think of Goliath-and how he probably bragged all the time about how much he could bench. Then you should go sign up for OkCupid.
Hopefully OKCupid will keep its personality and its trendy trends blog intact despite being acquired by its 16-year old cousin.
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries