02.Oasis Active and OkCupid
Australian members: About 1.6 million.
Who’s on it: Roughly 60% of members
are male and 40% female; 64% are aged
between 18 and 35, while 27% are between
36 and 50.
Approach: Signed-up users describe
their personality, interests and hobbies
and select criteria for their ideal partner.
They can then search for suitable matches.
A spokesperson says all profiles and
pictures are manually checked to ensure
information provided is accurate.
Privacy: By signing up, users agree that
all profile information including photos is public and so automatically grant
an irrevocable and ongoing licence for
the company to use and distribute any
information posted or transmitted
on the site. In effect, this means users
photos, aliases and other
personal details can be
used in advertising,
online and off,
possible to opt
out of this by
options in the
portal on the
addresses, photos and
information may also be
shared with third parties for marketing
purposes on behalf of Oasis Active.
Experiences: “The matching criteria isn’t
very specific – it only has [the distance between you in kilometres], the language spoken, the status
(relationship, casual dating, friendship)
and age range,” says Lana*. “I’d like it
to also include some more or all of the
information keyed into the details section.
One big advantage is that it’s a free site
and so there are lots of people there.”
*Not her real name.
Australian members: Figures not available.
Cost: There are two
levels of membership.
Free users can look at
profiles and photos
and contact other
members. For $9.95
per month, A-list
members can access
the site ad-free, change
their user name, get
additional match and
photo album options,
and have more space
and options in their messaging inbox as
well as better anonymity settings.
Approach: OkCupid claims to use a maths-based matching
system to help users find partners.
After completing a basic profile, users
can elect to fill out hundreds of optional
broad-reaching questions such as if
they’d date a messy person, whether they
like dogs, or even how often they brush
their teeth. Potential matches are then
rated based on a percentage for being a
match, a friend or an enemy. Users can
then flick through quick matches or
browse all potential matches based on
search criteria including gender, age
Privacy: OkCupid may use contact
information for advertising purposes
and compiling its OkTrends blog, which
tracks and charts user behaviour. They
may also share this information with
OkCupid allows information posted on
its site to appear in search engine results.
Experiences: “I think the criteria and
matching side of things on OkCupid
were pretty good, although it still didn’t
predict the ‘spark’ when two people
meet,” says Catherine, who met her
husband on OkCupid. “Several guys
I went on dates with had high scores
(80%+), and although we had similar
interests we didn’t connect at all in terms
of conversation. Or, we did connect
but they were only interested in sex.”