How OkCupid transformed from an online quiz site to a hot, radically inclusive dating app

Once a personality-based matchmaking site, OkCupid funneled dollars into product development, user experience and a brazen new approach to marketing. For The Drum’s latest Deep Dive we look at how the platform carved out a niche for itself as the preeminent choice for daters who want to talk social and political issues..

Who says it’s taboo to talk politics and religion on a first date? OkCupid is proof that the old adage no longer holds true. The hot dating app has been on fire this year after overcoming a few unsexy growing pains.

Founded in 2004 by Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan and Max Krohn – the Harvard students who also created SparkNotes – OkCupid has its roots in what was once called SparkMatch. The platform allowed users to connect based on the results of a personality assessment similar to the popularized Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. After selling SparkMatch to Barnes & Noble, the team built what is now OkCupid. In 2011, they sold the business to InterActiveCorp (IAC), the holding company that owns Match Group. The group owns a number of popular dating and networking platforms including Tinder, Hinge and Match.

As smartphone adoption skyrocketed and online dating went mobile, OkCupid was among the first digital dating platforms to launch an effective, user-friendly mobile version. The platform retained its focus on getting users to ‘match on what matters’ – the platform’s functionality and philosophy were both rooted in the principle of encouraging singles to choose potential partners based on what’s most important to them.

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