OkCupid Wants To Be More Like Tinder, But Political Rather Than Sexual

OkCupid is revamping itself to be more like Tinder, but with a political twist. The redesign includes new questions and a revamped look.

OkCupid launched a new version of its mobile app that asks users about politics and ethical beliefs so that users will find “deeper connections,” according to the company’s blog.

“2017 brings a host of topics we know you’re extremely passionate about — topics that, just a couple of years ago, we never would have thought would be so relevant today.”

The new app is already out and is part of its revamped design (rolling out slowly next month), which will focus on a clean design and new typography from Berlin-based artist Jay Daniel Wright, reports Verge. The most important questions include “2017 Questions and Categories” and “DoubleTake Mobile Matching.” The latter part is like Tinder in which you swipe to choose matches based on a single photo, name, age, location, and your compatibility score.

Meanwhile, DoubleTake includes much more information on the same take, shows multiple photos, interests, and a sneak peek at each other’s profiles. Along with DoubleTake, OkCupid is updating its questionnaires with a new category of questions in which “daters are extremely passionate about.”

OkCupid’s CEO Elie Seidman said in a press release, “We know that each person is much more than just a photo, and our new features are dedicated to highlighting their uniqueness and individuality.”

Questions include, “Is climate change real?” and “Do you feel there should be a ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries entering the U.S.?”

Users can answer these questions and use them to help improve their matches. The new data collected is divided into a large number of categories including ethics, lifestyle, religion, and sex. The questions have put OkCupid on the map and ahead of other dating apps, but the company wants to shift its focus on questions, even more, promising that it will include topical questions every year.

OkCupid’s aim is to make more meaningful connections and, hopefully, a higher match potential. The company wants to set itself apart from Tinder, which has a reputation as a hook-up app. However, both Tinder and OkCupid – along with PlentyofFish and Match.com – are owned by the same company, Match Group.

The online dating app and its updated questionnaire are far from perfect, though. According to a new report via the Mirror, users with learning disabilities lashed out at OkCupid for refusing to get rid of questions such as, “Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?” New data on Valentine’s Day showed that 75 percent of users found that question unacceptable and 74 percent think the question should be removed from the site, according to research by Mencap.

The charity for people with learning disabilities has asked the dating app to remove the question back in May 2016 but claims OkCupid has refused to respond to the complaints. Mencap has now launched a petition, directed at Seidman, arguing that “discrimination is #NotOkCupid.” Along with its findings, Mencap released a video featuring people with learning disabilities expressing their distaste in the question.

The clip even includes people from the U.K. reality show The Undateables, a documentary that follows people with learning disabilities around as they try to find love. OkCupid has been contacted by the media for comment.

Last year, a spokesperson for the site said, “Our question system is designed to help potential matches understand the interests and values of other users.”

“Questions range from mundane to provocative and they specifically allow you to determine your potential compatibility with someone else and to avoid people whose viewpoints you strong disagree with.”

OkCupid has also been accused of fat-shaming users with another insensitive question found on the app. According to writer and marketing guru Sarah Sapora, she wasn’t happy to see the question, “Are you disgusted by the extremely obese?”

In an article for Plus Model Magazine, Sapora revealed why this question and similar ones pertaining to body image is offensive.

“You see, the issue I have is that one simple word – DISGUSTED. Disgusted. Let’s review the meaning of this one small, highly powerful word.”

Back in 2013, OkCupid allowed users to search for dates by body type, selecting options from “skinny” to “curvy” to “used up.” One of the co-founders of the dating app, Sam Yagan, defended the reason behind this controversial feature.

“If you were at a bar deciding who you wanted to talk to, of course physical appearance is something you take into account,” he told ABC News.

In a press statement released to Revelist, Seidman said that he believes such questions are necessary and prevent users from disappointing first dates.

“Our questions are an essential part of OkCupid for many reasons. More importantly, the answers they garner help OkCupid members connect with people they’ll really click with – answers appear on user profiles, so members can determine if another member shares their same core beliefs right from the star. After all, we believe it’s better to know if someone holds an unfair bias before you meet up for a date.”

“These questions in no way represent OkCupid’s point of view because they’re simply that: questions,” he added. “We can’t speak for all people, they have to speak – and share their opinions – for themselves. But we can say that OkCupid is dedicated to creating and supporting a community that is inclusive, welcoming, and open.”

So, expect some of these shocking questions alongside a new slew of politically charged questions that’s on everyone’s mind lately. What are your thoughts on OkCupid’s new look and their questions? Sound off below in the comments section.

[Featured image by OkCupid]