'Kinky Nerds' Is The Most Popular Of OkCupid's New Quickmatch Flavors

OkCupid is playing around with a new feature designed to add complexity to its Tinder-esque "Quickmatch" function, called Flavors. OkCupid "Flavors" group matches by a shared personality trait, giving users more information to swipe on than just a picture. The way it works is, every day, OkCupid reveals three different "flavors" to choose from in your Quickmatches. Some have weirdly obtuse punny names like "Incisor Trading" (people who are into biting) and "Grand Old Partiers" (Republicans who like to drink... yeesh), while others are more straightforward, like "Kinky Nerds" and "Hipster Vegans."

Personally, I don't like the Quickmatch function on its own. The whole point of being on OkCupid instead of Tinder is that it allows users the latitude (via character limit-free profile sections) to get really specific about who they are and what they want. If you play with Quickmatch on a mobile device, all you get to swipe on is a user's photos. You don't even get access to the person's username to read their profiles unless you match.

And, based on my personal experience of getting far more mysterious "someone liked you" notifications (unless you both match, being able to see who liked you is a premium profile-only feature) than visitors who are looking at my profile, it seems like lazy, Tinder-conditioned folks are using the Quickmatch feature more than doing the actual work of scrolling through profiles and writing thoughtfully referenced messages. But I can't see who likes me, and I'm not interested in favoriting a user based on a photo alone to generate a so-called "match." The Flavors feature seems to be trying to address this at least a little bit.

OkCupid published its analysis of what Flavors were most effective and why they think that is, and, unsurprisingly, "Kinky Nerds" was the most engaged-with flavor. Here's why that worked better than something like "Best in Show":

Overall, Flavors that spoke to personality traits fared better compared to groups that were curated based on an opinion. For instance, Best In Show (stylish dog owners) performed poorly as owning a dog and being fashionably-savvy doesn’t reveal someone’s characteristics. But personality-rich categories like Kinky Nerds (high on the kinky and nerdy axes) and Hipster Vegans (high on the hipster axis, have specific diet preferences) performed better, as those produced a consistent ‘type’ of person.

As "the Facebook" of dating apps — for better and worse — OkCupid has a unique ability to experiment with features like this. One of the huge reasons app ideas like "OkCupid, but for kinky folks" or "OkCupid, but for queer women" don't really take off is that, even though they serve a useful purpose and underrepresented niches, they have pitifully small user bases. OkCupid isn't targeted towards any specific group, but it serves such a wide audience that, with some creative and sophisticated filtering processes (which is on OkCupid to provide and on users to deploy), it's relatively easy to find a decent-sized dating pool for any taste. Hopefully, the Flavors function becomes more widely integrated on the site and the app, so users can apply their preferences to all match-browsing (not just Quickmatch), and whether they're the Flavors of the day or not.

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; OkCupid