Friday, July 19, 2013

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

I finally finished setting up my account. Managing accounts on two legitimate services is going to be interesting. Most people swear by either or OKCupid so I'm curious to see if one yields better results than the other. Here is my initial comparison of the two.

Setting up a profile

OKC: Overall not too taxing. There's a details section where you fill in basic information. In the main part of the profile there are 10 optional sections to fill out. I'm not sure why, but I didn't find it too painful to fill this part out (maybe it was the glass of wine). You upload a couple of photos, answer as many questions as you feel like, and voilà, you're done.

match: I first tried to set up an account using my phone (which successfully worked on OKC). There was some sort of an error, and it must have looked like I was trying to create multiple accounts which resulted in my email getting blocked from being associated with an account. When I finally tried to open another account, I stupidly used my work account (yes, I should have known better) as a temporary fix until I figured something else out. Holy crap! The spam from match is out of control. It seems to be impossible to fully turn off all email notification (I've tried). Fortunately, isn't smart enough to figure out the trick of putting + in your gmail address so I'm good to go now on that. The profile itself is relatively similar. The details section has more fields, but guys still seem to ignore all of that, and there's a place where you can put in your ideal date's details, but that gets ignored as well. There are 12 optional fields, but I found these much harder to fill in than OKC's profile. The prompts just aren't as good - OKC: 6 Things I Couldn't Live Without (easy to fill in) vs match: Favorite Things (still empty on my profile though essentially the same question). You upload a few photos and fill in one quiz that has you choosing your favorite body type and favorite actor. Then the profile is done.

Cost of an account

OKC: Unlike most sites, OKC is actually quite usable with the free version. OKC's premium version is called A-List. It costs $44.85/mo for 3 months. (There are 1 month and 6 month options but now that I've paid I can't see them. Sneaky.) While the features don't seem all that enticing, once you start using them they're addictive, particularly having more search options (like attractiveness), seeing who rates you highly, getting message read receipts for sent messages (did he read it? did he read it?), and browsing invisibly so people don't know if you're looking at their profile (I'm not a cyber stalker, I swear). The also have a new "promote me" feature that costs $2 and claims to put you at the top of match queues. Seems gimmicky so I haven't tried it yet.

match: I was explaining to a friend that with match you don't get any of the good stuff until you pay. He said that sounds just like a brothel. Touché. With the free version of match you essentially can't do anything except wink at people. You can see that people are sending you messages, but you can't read them. It's dumb. They should just make you pay up front. A 6-month subscription is $119.94 (like OKC you can't see the other options once you actually pay). Match has most of the same features as OKC, but if there's invisible browsing I haven't found that yet.

The website

OKC: I'm probably just used to the UI at this point, but OKC has a much cleaner website. When you log in you see a few potential matches and some recent activity (people who have updated their profiles or answered questions). If all you want to do is read your messages and nothing else, it's very simple to do that. If you want to engage more, you can see who looked at your profile, do a search or use Quickmatch to rate people's profiles. It's overall very easy to use, not too many options for things to click on and lots of white space so it's not overwhelming.

match: This site looks like it hasn't been updated since 2002. It's sensory overload -- Daily matches. Who do you like? Inbox at 59 messages. 987 people have viewed me?! What are winks? Do I want to be winked at? Search. Custom search. Connections. Events. They're waiting!!!! Aaahhhhh!

The mobile app

OKC: Their mobile app is actually quite nice. If you have a message you get a little notification that I think is supposed to be a magic potion bottle. The messages part of the app functions much like any email app. You can also browse matches or do searches. My favorite part is Locals which is basically the same as Tinder where you see a photo and you swipe to say you're interested or not. It's addictive. Try it. You'll like it, I promise.

match: This app isn't too bad either. The one thing I don't like is when you're in the messages, you can only see the most recent message not the entire thread. You can get notifications about messages, but it's not on by default (for better or worse). Nothing fun like Locals on the app though.

Quality of the guys

OKC: Lots of garbage and quite a few weirdos. The messages are hit or miss and there's no way to stop guys who don't fit your criteria from messaging you. There are some interesting guys on there, but to date, Compliment Guy has been the only worthwhile one, and that has fizzled out. However, it has been high entertainment value thus far.

match: Not as many weirdos. But not too many that have seemed amazing either. LOTS that live outside of San Francisco even though I put a very narrow location range. There's a feature where you can filter out messages from people who don't meet your parameters, but I haven't tried it out yet. The most interesting guy so far says he makes films where he swims with sharks. I used my special VIP email (another unnecessary feature) to message him and ask him his professional opinion on Sharknado.

So far, I'm not convinced is worth the extra money. But I'm sure my opinion will change if it yields good dates.

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Good stuff. Invisible browsing is possible on Match by hiding your own profile while you browse. Once you're finished you turn it back on. Good luck on Match!