OKCupid’s rating sinks as users rebel over new ‘real name’ policy

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OKCupid’s customers are indignant – very, very indignant. Simply forward of the brand new 12 months, 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 largest differentiators between the courting app and rivals like Tinder and Bumble, which have customers log in through Fb so as 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 have been on show within the App Retailer. (Apple, although, now lets builders select to not have their scores 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 put up 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 stated these have been, in reality, actual usernames folks had used on its service, however have been edited barely to guard folks’s privateness.)

It additionally tied the change to the top of an period for usernames – noting that AIM lately shut down for good. The suggestion, mainly, was that possibly 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 mixture of the actual 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, picture, and metropolis, it’s pretty trivial lately to seek for the particular person in query through Google or Fb and discover out who they’re, the place they work, and the place they reside. 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 choose the privateness of particular person person names,” writes one indignant person, ‘UniqueTwain,’ in an App Retailer evaluation. “In relation to my title I would favor 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 or not it’s any completely different on-line?”

A number of others identified of their App Retailer evaluations and weblog put up 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 have been typically a straightforward and fast option to get a really feel for what somebody was like, whereas nonetheless defending their privateness.

There’s additionally a common sense that OKCupid is making an attempt to grow to be an excessive amount of like Tinder as a substitute of retaining the options that made it distinctive. For instance, the app has discontinued issues folks favored, comparable to the flexibility to see guests, because it elevated its give attention to Tinder-esque options just like the prominence given to person pictures.

“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 evaluation. (Match is the dad or mum 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, quite than providing a grace interval.

Others have been indignant as a result of they’d lately paid almost $50 to OKC to have the flexibility to alter their username by approach a premium improve. (The one option to have this selection on the time.) They aren’t getting a refund, although the title change characteristic is now being handed out freely.

Although the evaluations are brutal, OKC’s App Retailer rating hasn’t actually been impacted but by this modification (it’s #53 in Social Networking on iOS). Which may be as a result of Apple’s rankings solely consider app installs and velocity of these installs – it doesn’t know the way many individuals are deleting the app.

There’s at the very 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 truly requiring actual names, why kill the username coverage in any respect?

Replace, four PM ET: 

OKCupid offered the next assertion in response to our questions in regards to the coverage change. And by assertion, we imply they wrote one other weblog put up:

To provide 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 now have said that so as to qualify as a reputation it simply needs to be two letters minimal, no numbers or symbols. We even have an inventory of banned phrases that might not qualify. It’s necessary to make clear that this doesn’t have to 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 convey usernames again. We all know some of us don’t like that usernames are going away however we get many (hundreds!) of messages from of us who say they’re offended by a few of the usernames folks make…or they only have a very actually laborious time developing with one and may we assist them create one thing that comes with dinosaurs, tacos or pizza and ideally all three. Or they got here up with a critically superior person title, and now they forgot it and may we please assist them get well it. And we get hundreds of requests to alter their username as a result of it doesn’t really feel like the fitting factor anymore.

We’re about security and safety of our customers greater than something. That’s why we have been the primary courting app to introduce the Relationship Pledge earlier this 12 months. That’s why we now have an unimaginable moderation workforce that personally evaluations any points and eliminates of us that violate our guidelines.

Since we’ve made the change, we’ve heard from a lot of those that it makes OkCupid a bit extra human. And isn’t that the fitting transfer for a courting app?

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