OKCupid (OKC) announced today that it had removed the ‘Visitors’ feature, with which a user could see who had visited their profile, meaning that now everyone has incognito visiting. Only ‘Incognito’ now means your profile is hidden from everyone unless you choose to make it available to them. A List now only offers the advantage of seeing if someone ‘Liked’ you even if you haven’t liked them, and Incognito is a separate service for $9.95 a month. Confused? You won’t be after this week’s episode of OkCupid Steps in It.
OKCupid made the announcement of removing the Visitors feature in a blog post, and a mass email to their userbase (see below), today. OKC pinned the removal of the Visitors section on some supposed beta testing where, they claim, the beta testers eagerly approved the move.
However, a quick skim of the OKCupid blog post shows that nobody is in favor of this boneheaded move. Out of over 100 comments garnered just since OKCupid announced this a bit over an hour ago, every single one of them states in no uncertain terms (and many in some rather strong terms) just what their users think of this move. As many succinctly put it, “This is b*llsh*t” (only without the asterisks).
In fact, the backlash was immediate, and vocal.
Some pointed out that this means that now people can stalk you and you won’t even know they are doing it.
Most simply voiced their displeasure, in varying shades of terms.
In the blog post and email, OKCupid starts out by saying “Visitors are out,
Better connections are in. Without the distraction of visitors, you can now focus on the people who like and message you, because they are the ones who clearly want to know you better. And when you focus on those people, you increase your chances of higher quality connections.”
They go on to say that:
We want to provide our members with the best experience possible. That’s why we’re always working to release innovative features (like our brand-new photo commenting), and improve existing ones. So this week, we removed visitors from all accounts because we realized that doing so makes OkCupid better for everyone.
What does it mean when you get a visitor? It’s pretty simple: someone came to your profile to take a closer look. But unless that visitor followed up with a like or a message, what it indicates on a deeper level is harder to determine. In some ways, a visitor without a follow-up is a false signal. After all, it’s the people who see your profile and like it who deserve your attention — they at least have good taste.
Likes and messages are much clearer indicators of someone’s interest. And in dating, clearer is better. Someone messages you, for example. That means that someone wants to get to know you better. Or someone likes you. We take that as a clear sign that they’re interested in you. If you’ve also liked that person, you’ll both be able to see that you’ve mutually liked each other — even if neither of you have A-List — and you’ll get that signal of interest directly. If you haven’t liked them yet and don’t have A-List (meaning you only see mutual likes), we take note of the fact that they liked you and show them to you more quickly and more often. So likes have a positive effect on everyone on OkCupid — because when you like someone, we’ll show you off to them in DoubleTake and Browse Matches, too.
How Invisible Browsing Works Now
Initially a feature only for A-List, invisible browsing is now available to everyone. With visitors removed, no one will know you took a look at their profile unless you message them or like them (the latter being only if they like you back, or they have A-List). A-List has some great perks — for example, it’s nice to see exactly who likes you before you’ve liked them — but we feel that invisible browsing is a valuable tool that everyone should have access to. Now, all OkCupid members can connect with more people because no one has to feel shy about visiting your profile and getting the “visitor” label.
The function of Incognito Mode, however, has stayed exactly the same. Just like everyone else, members in Incognito Mode can no longer see visitors — but when in incognito, your profile will not be revealed to anyone unless you like them or message them. So if you have Incognito Mode, you can still enjoy OkCupid without worrying that your boss may find your profile — unless you like or message your boss, but then that’s kinda on you.
The post then talks a bit about how to save profiles you are interested in, and then ends with this twist of the knife:
We’re Here to Help
Removing visitors is another example of how we’re constantly working to make OkCupid a great place to connect with interesting individuals. We’re here for you — whether that’s continuing to improve OkCupid, or answering any questions you may have.
OKCupid also has created a new ‘Premium A List’, in addition to regular A List, and, as we mention above, Incognito mode now means that nobody can see your profile unless you specifically allow them to, and is an additional $9.95 per month.
Here’s how A List, the new Premium A List, and Incognito mode now break down, as explained by OKCupid in their updated FAQ:
– No ads
– Change your username once per month
– More search options in match search (such as body type and attractiveness)
– See a full list of everyone who has liked you
– See who has read your sent messages
– More message filter options
– One free profile boost per day during prime time
– See everyone’s public answers to their questions before you answer
– Get message priority, where your messages float to the top of everyone’s mailbox
– See and be seen by more attractive matches
– Your profile is invisible to everyone on the site unless you like or message them
– Revoke access to an account at any time by hiding or un-liking a profile
– Turn incognito on or off at any time – you’re in control!
– No ads
Incognito allows you to keep an active profile on OkCupid while being 100% hidden to anyone on the site who you have not already messaged or liked…
Not only will you not appear in Match Search, DoubleTake etc. to anyone you haven’t liked/messaged, if anyone tries to visit your profile who you haven’t liked/messaged, they’ll get a note that your profile does not exist.
Regular A List is $59.95 for six months; and while we couldn’t even find a price or way to subscribe to Premium A List on the site, this article suggests that it is $149.40 for six months. Incognito mode is $59.70 for six months.
So, what do you think about this move by OKCupid?