OKCupid’s ranking sinks as customers insurgent over new ‘real name’ coverage

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OKCupid’s customers are indignant – very, very indignant. Simply forward of the brand new 12 months, the corporate made a radical change to its insurance policies, and now requires folks to make use of actual names as an alternative of an OKCupid username, as earlier than. The change eliminates one of many greatest differentiators between the courting app and rivals like Tinder and Bumble, which have customers log in by way of Fb with a purpose to use their actual identify on their courting profile.

Because the replace, introduced final week, OKCupid’s app has been slammed with unhealthy opinions on the App Retailer. Over half the opinions (56.three%) for the month of December have just one star – up from round a 3rd in November. That will give the app a dismal 2.2 star ranking if solely the opinions for the previous month have been on show within the App Retailer. (Apple, although, now lets builders select to not have their rankings reset after they launch a brand new model; OKC has chosen this selection to take care of its four.2 star ranking as an alternative.)

The corporate defined the reasoning behind the change in a cheeky weblog submit which made enjoyable of the foolish usernames folks have adopted on its website through the years, like DoritoprincessXO, DaddyzPrincess29, StayingPawwsitive, Dootdootledootd0, Britney__Tears, laidback___stu, BigDaddyFlash916, and unicorn__jizz, for instance. (OKC stated these have been, in actual fact, actual usernames folks had used on its service, however have been edited barely to guard folks’s privateness.)

It additionally tied the change to the tip of an period for usernames – noting that AIM not too long ago shut down for good. The suggestion, mainly, was that perhaps the time for goofy on-line handles has ended as properly.

These aren’t ok explanations for a lot of of OKCupid’s customers, and admittedly, they’re a bit dismissive as to why folks selected OKC within the first place.

As some reviewers have identified, the mix of the actual identify coverage and OKC’s push into discovery by way of options that goals to seek out close by matches by shared pursuits – may imply much less privateness for its customers.

In any case, armed with a reputation, age, picture, and metropolis, it’s pretty trivial as of late to seek for the particular person in query by way of Google or Fb and discover out who they’re, the place they work, and the place they stay. That’s not data all courting app customers need to instantly give out to people who find themselves in any other case strangers.

“Some of us prefer the privacy of individual user names,” writes one indignant consumer, ‘UniqueTwain,’ in an App Retailer assessment. “When it comes to my name I would prefer someone get to know me and simply ask. It’s not like I go to a party with my nickname or a name badge or monogrammed clothing on. No, I have to talk to people and get to know them and let them tell me their name. Why should it be any different online?”

A number of others identified of their App Retailer opinions and weblog submit feedback that OKCupid’s announcement had come throughout as “condescending,” “rude,” and “patronizing.”

The corporate might have cherry-picked a number of the extra cringeworthy usernames to poke enjoyable at, however many felt that usernames have been usually a simple and fast option to get a really feel for what somebody was like, whereas nonetheless defending their privateness.

There’s additionally a common sense that OKCupid is attempting to turn out to be an excessive amount of like Tinder as an alternative of preserving the options that made it distinctive. For instance, the app has discontinued issues folks appreciated, comparable to the flexibility to see guests, because it elevated its deal with Tinder-esque options just like the prominence given to consumer photographs.

“Match.com should just shutter OKCupid at this point — they already own Tinder, no need to build a second Tinder,” scoffed tby77 in one other App Retailer assessment. (Match is the guardian firm to a variety of courting apps, together with OKCupid, Tinder, PlentyofFish, and others.)

To make issues worse, OKCupid locked some folks out of the app till they complied with the brand new coverage, moderately than providing a grace interval.

Others have been indignant as a result of they’d not too long ago paid almost $50 to OKC to have the flexibility to vary their username by approach a premium improve. (The one option to have this selection on the time.) They aren’t getting a refund, though the identify change function is now being handed out freely.

Although the opinions are brutal, OKC’s App Retailer rating hasn’t actually been impacted but by this modification (it’s #53 in Social Networking on iOS). Which may be as a result of Apple’s rankings solely keep in mind app installs and velocity of these installs – it doesn’t know the way many individuals are deleting the app.

There may be a minimum of one caveat to OKC’s new coverage – you don’t have to make use of your authorized identify, the corporate notes on the backside of its announcement. It says, you need to use the identify you’d like your date “to call you” as an alternative.

It later tried to additional make clear this in a tweet, explaining that nicknames and even initials are permitted, and that full first names aren’t obligatory.

However wait…Nicknames? Initials?

If OKCupid isn’t truly requiring actual names, why kill the username coverage in any respect?

Replace, four PM ET: 

OKCupid supplied the next assertion in response to our questions in regards to the coverage change. And by assertion, we imply they wrote one other weblog submit:

To provide you some extra background as to why we made the choice to take away usernames — this is part of our mission so as to add extra substance and depth to courting. OkCupid desires to make the expertise extra private. Having a reputation provides extra of a human component versus a ‘username’.

In response to the ‘workarounds’ we have now said that with a purpose to qualify as a reputation it simply must be two letters minimal, no numbers or symbols. We even have a listing of banned phrases that may not qualify. It’s essential to make clear that this doesn’t should be your actual/authorized identify, it may be any identify that you really want somebody to name you.

We don’t have any plans to carry usernames again. We all know some people don’t like that usernames are going away however we get many (hundreds!) of messages from people who say they’re offended by a number of the usernames folks make…or they simply have a very actually exhausting time developing with one and might we assist them create one thing that includes dinosaurs, tacos or pizza and ideally all three. Or they got here up with a significantly superior consumer identify, and now they forgot it and might we please assist them recuperate it. And we get hundreds of requests to vary their username as a result of it doesn’t really feel like the correct factor anymore.

We’re about security and safety of our customers greater than something. That’s why we have been the primary courting app to introduce the Courting Pledge earlier this 12 months. That’s why we have now an unbelievable moderation crew that personally opinions any points and eliminates people that violate our guidelines.

Since we’ve made the change, we’ve heard from plenty of people who it makes OkCupid a bit extra human. And isn’t that the correct transfer for a courting app?



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Désiré LeSage

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