OK Cupid lied to paying users about matches. This is worse than Facebook’s undisclosed emotional experiments with unpaid users’ feeds.
If you’ve read my book and want to know which of the free dating sites supports matching by attachment type, here’s the list of major sites and their testing and matching capabilities. Some of these are only “free” for crippled use, but I’ve included most sites that are at least free to check out. User numbers are provided by the companies and include registered but inactive users.
Adult Friend Finder: 30 million users. Free version allows you to respond but not to initiate contact. Does not discourage swingers or hookups. Has webcams and a high ratio of prostitutes looking for clients. No attachment-related matching. More than a little sleazy.
Ashley Madison:17 million users. Affair-oriented, target audience well-off older men looking for a courtesan — a young woman to provide sexual and other services in return for support. Free version allows you to respond but not to initiate contact. No attachment-related matching. Controversial, sleazy.
AreYou Interested?: 13 million users. Facebook integration. No attachment-related matching. Phone versions. Social platform with chat and discussion features.
Badoo: 197 million users. Largely free with some premium services. No tests or attachment-related matching, mostly photos. Worldwide, somewhat sleazy.
Chemistry.com: 11 million users. Founded by Match.com people. Personality tests primary. Can set up a profile and take a test free, but mostly not-free (Match.com provides the free intro for this service.) Tests are streamlined, short, and have some attachment-related content.
eHarmony: 33 million users. The second-biggest (after Match.com) test-based matchmaking service. Proprietary tests and matchmaking model, no independent research on effectiveness. Attempts to “match people’s core traits and values to replicate the traits of happy couples.” Long and detailed tests with some attachment-related content. Controversially refused gay customers, saying that their algorithms were tuned for heterosexuals only. Started a gay-only site to answer critics. Further comments here.
Match.com: 96 million users, largest matchmaking site. Owns OkCupid and Chemistry.com. Free to look at users, but contacting requires paid membership. Dumbed-down, largely photo-based matching. Started Chemistry.com to keep those customers interested in detailed matching as the original Match.com was dumbed down to pursue the impatient.
OkCupid: 6 million users. Test-oriented matching that tries to match user partner preferences, not general compatibility. Mostly free with some premium features. Now owned by Match.com. Popular blogging feature killed. Lengthy and detailed questionnaires. One excellent attachment type test, but few users complete it and matching is based on user claims and preferences in many areas of compatibility.
Plenty of Fish (POF): 40 million users. Free but offers some premium services. Has a slightly sleazy reputation, but very popular for hookups and dating; company has tried to reduce the sleaze factor by eliminating an option for “intimate encounters.” No specific attachment-related matching. Company has blocked users from contacting other users if the age difference between them is “too large” (14 years) and removed the option for males to attach images to messages, so there must have been a serious issue with unwanted dick pics, which doesn’t say much for the quality of the clientele.
Zoosk: 50 million users. Facebook integration. International clientele. Free to view and search profiles but only paying members can communicate. Mass-oriented and uses simple behavioral matching — no lengthy tests or personality matches, no attachment-related matching.
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