OK Cupid Locals (beta)

Okcupid locals

It wasn’t long ago that I removed the OKCupid application from my android phone because frankly it wasn’t all that and it was more like an extension of the website. But I was talking to my friend Nicola who I had been telling for a while to stop paying for online dating sites. In the past she has filled me in on the problems Guardian Soulmates was having post there redesign. But today she filled me in on OKCupid’s new beta application feature called Locals.

In actual fact Locals I’d heard about but hadn’t tried till she explained it.

Simply its Grindr for the OKCupid crowd… Sam Yagan (OKC founder) explains why its anti-grindr

So Grindr is obviously the most successful mobile dating app out there. The things that make it so successful—I’m going to terribly stereotype this community—but it’s larger used as a vehicle for short-term, physical relationships. Now it turns out, taking the stereotypical heterosexual case, that the vast majority of women don’t want that. In fact that’s what creeps them out the most about this. They’re worried about stalkers, they’re worried that it’s 10:30 at night on a Friday and you know someone at the bar next to you thinks you want to have sex with them.

How is OkCupid Locals different?

Number one, we’re populating Locals with the OkCupid database. Our entire reputation is built around the fact that we have this data-oriented way to understand people’s personalities. We can actually layer in compatibility. So now, when you make yourself available in Locals, it’s not just, “Oh, who are the people around me who are hot and horny at this moment.” It’s sliced by who are the people around me who are compatible with me. Instead of it being like everyone’s out there in this meat market, it’s more like I can say, “Who wants to go to karaoke.” You can post that not to just everyone in the West Village, but you can say: everyone in the Village who has a compatibility with me over 80 percent.

It sort of cleans the unwashed masses. It’s like, ohhhhh. You’ve been on OkCupid for a couple years, you know that people with high match percentages tend to be people that you could tolerate having a beer with. (Or not—there are creepy people everywhere in every compatibility index.) But in general we’ve got this sort of filter of the users, which I think is super valuable.

And I he’s right, you can just say something like I’m in X place for Y amount of time. Then set who you would like to see there (based on your OKC profile), so for example mine options is Girls who like guys and everybody.

The thing which makes me think this could be a success is the fact I was already doing this on twitter as such. For example I’d say, I’m in central London tonight, anyone fancy joining me for a meal or a drink. Because I have quite a few twitter followers I tend to always catch someone but now I can do the same and hopefully meet some real cool people who, who knows might be rather cute.

Locals really hits the head of what makes OKCupid so cool. One of the secrets of OKC is its social nature. Its more like a place to hangout, do quizes, talk to people, etc, etc. Dating is a massive part but I know people who just use to chat to people in passing, read there journals and fill out the weird and wonderful quizes. If they can get people to do locale too… then there on to a new massive success

I know most people will screw up there face at the notion of Locals but for someone as public as myself, its going to be a whole lot of fun…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.