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OkCupid expands to San Francisco, develops OkCupid Labs

While OkCupid Labs is still under construction, CEO hints at a slightly more grown-up version

Technology trends and news by Nathan Pensky
November 18, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/21c3

Popular dating site OkCupid has expanded from their New York base into a new San Francisco branch, with a brand new site called OkCupid Labs. As to what the added "labs" is supposed to signify, or what this new initiative for OkCupid is all about, the short answer is...it's too soon to tell.

OkCupid was bought by IAC in February 2011, the company that owns that other popular dating site Match.com. And while CEO Sam Yagan has indicated that OkCupid will function as it always has, independently of it's new parent company, he also more recently cited this merger as the imeptus for the creation of OkCupid Labs.

"We're taking the same innovative spirit [of OkCupid] and trying to make new businesses under the Match umbrella," said Yagan in a recent interview.

OkCupid has gained considerable traction with the younger crowd of would-be online daters, by way of their less serious take on the world of meeting people romantically through the Internet. It's philosophy seems to be to undermine the much-diminished, but still lingering stigma of desperation surrounding online dating. The company seems to have (correctly) taken the position that romance buds where fun is most possible.

One example of OkCupid's innovation on this front is their unique approach to the personality tests typical of online dating sites. Some of their personality surveys include the "Would You Have Been a Nazi?" test, the "What Horrible Stereotype Am I?" test, and the all-important "Am I Gay?" test. All important information, to be sure, but clearly more about fun than any earth-shattering personal revelation.

Compare this to Match.com, its claim to fame being "we've led to more...relationships and marriages than any other site," a much more serious modus operandi. The difference in philosophy between OkCupid and Match is clear: One is all about keeping it loose, the other about finding The One.

So despite Yagan's somewhat close-mouthed approach concerning the specifics of his new initiative, we can most likely look for OkCupid Labs to be a marriage of the"anything goes" fun of OkCupid and the "find me a spouse now, please" seriousness of Match. The results should be, at the very least, interesting.

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