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"Today I'd like to show why the practice of paying for dates on sites like and e Harmony is fundamentally broken, and broken in ways that most people don't realize," Ok Cupid co-founder Christian Rudder opened the "Never Pay" story.
(A cached version appears here.) "For one thing, their business model exacerbates a problem found on every dating site.
In the meantime, the bottom line is that while some users think quality does come at a price, there are benefits to free dating services as well.
You feel like you’ve joined every dating site and used every dating app, but you just can’t find someone who shares your interests. Mullets, sadly, didn’t die in the ’80s and early ’90s.
Even Tinder, despite its reputation for attracting users seeking causal romance, may deserve a more open mind.
“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.
And that business model hasn't changed since Rudder wrote the post."We know that many people who start out on advertising-based sites ultimately develop an appetite for the broader feature set and more committed community, which subscription sites like and offer, creating a true complimentary relationship between our various business models," wrote Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC, Match.com's parent company, in a press release announcing the new acquisition.
"2010 saw record growth both for Match and Ok Cupid, and we believe coordinating the adjacent business models will help fuel continued growth for both."Blatt's goal, clearly, is to funnel Ok Cupid users into the subscription-based system. And that's because Ok Cupid already offers a broad set of features and a committed community, something Blatt seems to believe can only exist in a subscription setting.
Kominers thinks online daters could be well served by a service that isn’t quite free but doesn’t involve a subscription fee either.On April 7, 2010, Ok Trends, the popular Ok Cupid blog that summarizes dating research, ran a story entitled "Why You Should Never Pay For Online Dating." Curiously, that post appears to have been removed from the site.(Celebrating the idea, several other websites still link to where the post once lived; visitors are automatically redirected to the Ok Trends landing page.) Could that be because Match.com, a long-time player in the dating game, just purchased Ok Cupid for million in cash?For comparison, the sixteen-year-old has 1.3 million paying subscribers, a number that Rudder tore apart in his April 7 blog post."Match.com's numbers are just as grim [as e Harmony's]," he wrote.