I’m the first to admit it: we might be popular, we might create a lot of great relationships, we might blah blah blah. A while ago, we had the genius idea of an app that set up blind dates; we spent a year and a half on it, and it was gone from the app store in six months.
It’s not like people have been building these things for very long, or you can go look up a blueprint or something. Ok Cupid’s ten-year history has been the epitome of the old saying: two steps forward, one total fiasco.
Of course, All our site metrics were way down during the “celebration”, for example: But by comparing Love Is Blind Day to a normal Tuesday, we learned some very interesting things.
In those 7 hours without photos: And it wasn’t that “looks weren’t important” to the users who’d chosen to stick around. It was like we’d turned on the bright lights at the bar at midnight.
When the photos were restored at 4PM, 2,200 people were in the middle of conversations that had started “blind”. This whole episode made me curious, so I went and looked up the data for the people who had the blind date app.
I found a similar thing: once they got to the date, they had a good time more or less regardless of how good-looking their partner was.
So, your picture worth that fabled thousand words, but your actual words are worth…almost nothing.
The ultimate question at Ok Cupid is, does this thing even work?
By all our internal measures, the “match percentage” we calculate for users is very good at predicting relationships.
It correlates with message success, conversation length, whether people actually exchange contact information, and so on.
Here’s the female side of the experience (the male is very similar).
Oddly, it appears that having a better-looking blind date made women slightly reaction of those exact same women was just as judgmental as everyone else’s: Basically, people are exactly as shallow as their technology allows them to be.
All dating sites let users rate profiles, and Ok Cupid’s original system gave people two separate scales for judging each other, “personality” and “looks.” I found this old screenshot.