OKCupid charges $4.95 to filter by body type

Body shape

Body shape

This article first appeared on Mashable

OKCupid is letting users filter by "body type" starting at $4.95 a month — a move that has sparked a strong reaction from many users.

Although the dating site rolled out body-type classification in the spring, the feature went largely unnoticed until now.

OKCupid said the feature is intended to help users narrow in on features they find physically attractive — just like they would in a bar in the real world.

"The feature helps people make dating decisions based on what people look like," an OKCupid spokesperson told Mashable. "It's as simple as that."

The tool allows you to filter through more than 10 body type options, from thin to average to overweight, jacked and "used up."

"We have some features reserved for paying users because things will disproportionately be driven to certain people otherwise," the spokesperson said. "If everyone could sort through attractiveness — which is crowdsourced by users on the site — only very attractive people would get attention."

The monthly price of $4.95 can escalate based on age, how long you have been a member and even body type. When asked if a thin or average user would be charged a different price to look at body types on the site than a user who is overweight, the spokesperson said "it's possible."

The body type descriptor is also self declared, so users can choose whichever body type they want or simply leave that area blank.

We are a little tongue and cheek with the choices — there is 'used up' for people who don't take themselves too seriously.Some people think if others want to filter by looks, they don't want to talk to you anyway," he added.

What do you think of the body type feature? Is it an extension of how you might pursue someone offline — or should sites keep such options away from profiles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

1 comment so far

  • I think this article is over-egging this issue a little bit.

    Firstly OKCupid is one of the very few genuinely free dating websites around....where you can actually send someone a message without paying money. All of the others charge you somehow to get in touch with people.

    They also have a QandA model which gives you MUCH more info than any other site I know about how people think and how they deal with ethical conundrums.

    All they are doing is charging extra so that you can have finer control on your search criteria. Given that they don't have that many Australian users yet, it's not really a big deal.

    As someone who might potentially use this feature, I would search on body-type..... dating someone is NOT a politically correct process and no matter how we wish otherwise, looks do play a small part..... god knows I get judged at a glance.

    I think the main thing is that people are honest.... no-one wants to arrive for a date and find that the other party has misrepresented themselves ... it's usually awkward and sometimes awful for both parties.

    Commenter
    Oz
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    October 03, 2013, 2:50PM

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