OkCupid’s bringing one of its desktop features over to iOS this week. The company’s Discovery feature, which allows users to search for specific interests, will roll out on Apple devices this week, with an Android launch sometime in the future. Users can type in more general topics like, “hiking,” or more specific keywords, like “mom,” to find momma’s boys or something. The app will then surface people whose profiles contain that word.
I played around with a test build of the feature and found it to be useful if you’re hyper-focused on a potential match being interested in the same things as you. I did type in Stranger Things, though, and it didn’t populate. That felt like an oversight. I also tried to type in more niche rappers, like Heems and Lil Yachty, and they didn’t come up either. I’m sure Stranger Things will be added either in the coming weeks or by launch, but still, the feature could be frustrating if you want to find someone who loves your super unique thing, only to find that the app doesn’t have it in its interests bank.
OkCupid director of product Nick Saretzky explained to me that software automatically pulls out words to populate Discovery, but a human has to approve what makes it into the app. This prevents problematic content and other random words from making it to the live product. That makes sense, although wow I feel for the person who has to sift through all these words.
More generally, this Discovery feature builds on one of OkCupid’s missions — “substance over selfie” — in that it goes against Tinder swipe culture by letting users get more granular and personal with potential matches. The company still recognizes that users want to connect on their phone, as opposed to an actual computer, so it’s good to see desktop features coming to mobile.
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