OKCupid’s customers are indignant – very, very indignant. Simply forward of the brand new yr, the corporate made a radical change to its insurance policies, and now requires folks to make use of actual names as a substitute of an OKCupid username, as earlier than. The change eliminates one of many greatest differentiators between the courting app and rivals like Tinder and Bumble, which have customers log in through Fb with a purpose to use their actual title on their courting profile.
Because the replace, introduced final week, OKCupid’s app has been slammed with unhealthy evaluations on the App Retailer. Over half the evaluations (56.three%) for the month of December have just one star – up from round a 3rd in November. That may give the app a dismal 2.2 star score if solely the evaluations for the previous month had been on show within the App Retailer. (Apple, although, now lets builders select to not have their rankings reset once they launch a brand new model; OKC has chosen this selection to take care of its four.2 star score as a substitute.)
The corporate defined the reasoning behind the change in a cheeky weblog submit which made enjoyable of the foolish usernames folks have adopted on its website through the years, like DoritoprincessXO, DaddyzPrincess29, StayingPawwsitive, Dootdootledootd0, Britney__Tears, laidback___stu, BigDaddyFlash916, and unicorn__jizz, for instance. (OKC mentioned these had been, in actual fact, actual usernames folks had used on its service, however had been edited barely to guard folks’s privateness.)
It additionally tied the swap to the tip of an period for usernames – noting that AIM lately shut down for good. The suggestion, principally, was that perhaps the time for goofy on-line handles has ended as properly.
These aren’t ok explanations for a lot of of OKCupid’s customers, and albeit, they’re a bit dismissive as to why folks selected OKC within the first place.
As some reviewers have identified, the mix of the true title coverage and OKC’s push into discovery through options that goals to seek out close by matches by shared pursuits – might imply much less privateness for its customers.
In spite of everything, armed with a reputation, age, photograph, and metropolis, it’s pretty trivial lately to seek for the individual in query through Google or Fb and discover out who they’re, the place they work, and the place they dwell. That’s not data all courting app customers need to instantly give out to people who find themselves in any other case strangers.
“A few of us favor the privateness of particular person consumer names,” writes one indignant consumer, ‘UniqueTwain,’ in an App Retailer evaluate. “In relation to my title I would like somebody get to know me and easily ask. It’s not like I’m going to a celebration with my nickname or a reputation badge or monogrammed clothes on. No, I’ve to speak to folks and get to know them and allow them to inform me their title. Why ought to it’s any completely different on-line?”
A number of others identified of their App Retailer evaluations and weblog submit feedback that OKCupid’s announcement had come throughout as “condescending,” “impolite,” and “patronizing.”
The corporate might have cherry-picked a few of the extra cringeworthy usernames to poke enjoyable at, however many felt that usernames had been usually a straightforward and fast method to get a really feel for what somebody was like, whereas nonetheless defending their privateness.
There’s additionally a normal sense that OKCupid is making an attempt to turn out to be an excessive amount of like Tinder as a substitute of maintaining the options that made it distinctive. For instance, the app has discontinued issues folks appreciated, reminiscent of the power to see guests, because it elevated its give attention to Tinder-esque options just like the prominence given to consumer photographs.
“Match.com ought to simply shutter OKCupid at this level — they already personal Tinder, no must construct a second Tinder,” scoffed tby77 in one other App Retailer evaluate. (Match is the guardian firm to quite a few courting apps, together with OKCupid, Tinder, PlentyofFish, and others.)
To make issues worse, OKCupid locked some folks out of the app till they complied with the brand new coverage, moderately than providing a grace interval.
Others had been indignant as a result of that they had lately paid practically $50 to OKC to have the power to vary their username by manner a premium improve. (The one method to have this selection on the time.) They aren’t getting a refund, although the title change function is now being handed out freely.
Although the evaluations are brutal, OKC’s App Retailer rating hasn’t actually been impacted but by this alteration (it’s #53 in Social Networking on iOS). That could be as a result of Apple’s rankings solely keep in mind app installs and velocity of these installs – it doesn’t understand how many individuals are deleting the app.
There’s at the least one caveat to OKC’s new coverage – you don’t have to make use of your authorized title, the corporate notes on the backside of its announcement. It says, you should utilize the title you’d like your date “to name you” as a substitute.
It later tried to additional make clear this in a tweet, explaining that nicknames and even initials are permitted, and that full first names aren’t obligatory.
However wait…Nicknames? Initials?
If OKCupid isn’t really requiring actual names, why kill the username coverage in any respect?
Replace, four PM ET:
OKCupid supplied the next assertion in response to our questions concerning the coverage change. And by assertion, we imply they wrote one other weblog submit:
To offer you some extra background as to why we made the choice to take away usernames — this is part of our mission so as to add extra substance and depth to courting. OkCupid desires to make the expertise extra private. Having a reputation provides extra of a human aspect versus a ‘username’.
In response to the ‘workarounds’ we’ve got acknowledged that with a purpose to qualify as a reputation it simply needs to be two letters minimal, no numbers or symbols. We even have a listing of banned phrases that will not qualify. It’s necessary to make clear that this doesn’t must be your actual/authorized title, it may be any title that you really want somebody to name you.
We don’t have any plans to carry usernames again. We all know some of us don’t like that usernames are going away however we get many (1000’s!) of messages from of us who say they’re offended by a few of the usernames folks make…or they simply have a very actually laborious time developing with one and may we assist them create one thing that includes dinosaurs, tacos or pizza and ideally all three. Or they got here up with a critically superior consumer title, and now they forgot it and may we please assist them get well it. And we get 1000’s of requests to vary their username as a result of it doesn’t really feel like the suitable factor anymore.
We’re about security and safety of our customers greater than something. That’s why we had been the primary courting app to introduce the Relationship Pledge earlier this yr. That’s why we’ve got an unimaginable moderation staff that personally evaluations any points and removes of us that violate our guidelines.
Since we’ve made the change, we’ve heard from plenty of those who it makes OkCupid a bit extra human. And isn’t that the suitable transfer for a courting app?