Ooh yeah, she looks just right. We hear, via The Consumerist, that the dating site OKCupid has a new way to reward its most attractive members: placing them in “elite status,” whereupon they “will now see more attractive people in … match results.” They go on to assure the user that he or she will have the same percentage of matches -- they’ll just be hotter results. As if online dating weren't fraught enough with possible petty humiliations.
Some people's reaction: How sleazy and shallow! To make these users feel like a piece of meat!
My reaction: Bullhockey. That’s right. I don’t believe this for a nanosecond.
Remember when Zappos first started upgrading buyers to two-day shipping, just because they liked us? We’d buy our shoes and then wait, giddily wondering if we’d be selected to get the exalted status. I can’t remember exactly how they put it, but it was something like “Because you’re a valued repeat customer, we’re upgrading your shipping.”
And when you got that email, 20 minutes later? You felt like you’d won the lotto.
How deflating was it, then, to find out that this was Zappos’ plan all along? When we compared notes, it turned out everyone got that special status. They only told us after the fact because it made us love them more. Ooh, psychological.
I submit that the people who have gotten these emails are no prettier than the rest of us. And everyone’s going to end up getting one of these emails eventually -- or a version of it. Maybe they’ll be selected as “smartest” due to their school affiliations or favorite books -- but I doubt it. People would much rather be thought pretty than smart, even the really smart ones. OKCupid knows that and is banking on it.
So I challenge The Consumerist to have the people who forwarded this email to them to forward their profile pics. We’ll be the judge of who’s hot and who’s not, and whether OKCupid is really shallow or just betting we’re the shallow ones who’ll fall for this.
Do you think OKCupid is really selecting for hotness? Did you get this email or know someone who did? Either way, what do you think of the tactic? Tell us in the comments!
Photo via jenny downing/Flickr