Earlier this month, Match.com, which owns a number of dating sites including Chemistry.com, People Media, and SinglesNet, purchased OkCupid for $50 million. Unlike the paid subscription-based Match.com, OkCupid offers its services for free, supports itself through advertising, and generally attracts younger singles.
At least it used to. Is change on the horizon? Will OkCupid soon be joining the ranks of the dark side and become a paid dating site?
OkCupid CEO Sam Yagan tells Adrianne Jeffries of The New York Observer that even though the two sites are now playing for the same team, it’ll be business as usual. OKCupid will remain free and OKTrends will keep publishing the popular research it culls from its members. “I think the most successful acquisitions are those where not a lot is done to radically change the business model of the company,” he said.
You might remember that back in April, OKCupid wrote a blog post called “Why You Should Never Pay for Online Dating” which used publicly available data to question the success rates of eHarmony and Match.com, and concluded that more than 93 percent of Match’s profiles were “dead,” meaning abandoned or owned by users who haven’t paid for the ability to respond.
Well it’s gone now. Now that Match.com has bought OKCupid, that post has been removed from OKCupid’s blog, which could be a sign of things to come. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, judging by comments posted on an OkCupid Forum, it seems that users are not happy about the news, seem to fear the worst that OkCupid will want to convert as many of its users as possible to Match.com subscribers, and will likely move elsewhere if it does become a paid site.
OKCupid currently has about seven million users, most of whom joined over the last two years.