OkCupid exec reveals what Israelis are looking for on dating app

Marcus Lofthouse tells Ynet the app is gaining popularity in Israel because it is catered to those looking for meaningful relationships, as opposed to OkCupid's main competitor, Tinder, which is meant for casual encounters

Lior Ohana|
Marcus Lofthouse, chief product officer at popular dating app OkCupid, appears to have found answers to the hard hitting question: What do Israelis look for on a dating app?
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  • In an interview with Ynet, Lofthouse provides research-based answers to many questions single Israelis are dying to know: Looks or personality? Does love come down to simply an algorithm? Why not rival Tinder? What do Israelis seek in a partner?
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    מרקוס לופטהאוס
    מרקוס לופטהאוס
    Marcus Lofthouse
    (Photo: Fowler Woodman)
    "We use math to find dates for our users," Lofthouse tells us. He admits that this sounds like something a "nerd" would say, but insists that at the end of the day the algorithm does work.
    He says that looks are a very important aspect of attraction, and is certainly a variable that's considered in the company's research. However, personality, he says, is just as important, and this is potentially the reason its main competitor, Tinder, appeals to different crowds.
    "On Tinder, everything works only according to pictures and outer appearances," he says, emphasizing that appearance is important, but that OkCupid focuses more on aspects like hobbies, birthdays, and other personality-oriented traits.
    Most of those who are familiar with dating apps know that while Tinder is intended more for people looking for casual sexual encounters, OkCupid is catered toward those looking for more meaningful relationships. Potentially for this reason, OkCupid has become a very popular dating app in Israel.
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    אפליקציית ההיכרויות אוקיי קיופיד
    אפליקציית ההיכרויות אוקיי קיופיד
    OkCupid
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    The CPO said that the reason the app is so successful among Israelis is largely because they are much more willing to reveal their background than Americans.
    What makes OkCupid different than other dating apps is that its results are based largely on an extensive questionnaire the user fills out when opening an account. Lofthouse says that the more seriously the user takes the questionnaire, the more likely he or she is to find a match.
    Lofthouse himself met his wife on OkCupid, when it was still just a regular dating website on the internet. After seven years of marriage, the couple split and both of them entered same-sex relationships, also thanks to OkCupid.
    The 44-year-old revealed that the questionnaire asks different questions in each country, so that they best fit the culture. For example, New York users are asked if former U.S. President Donald Trump should be blocked from Twitter.
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    מרקוס לופטהאוס
    מרקוס לופטהאוס
    Marcus Lofthouse
    (Photo: Fowler Woodman)
    Some questions that are catered towards the Israel crowd include: How do you feel about riding in a motorcycle to a date? Would you relocate [to another country] for a partner? Do you want to get married at the rabbinate? Do you want to live in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv? Is a restaurant okay for a first date?
    Furthermore, the CPO said that 60% of the singles using the app in Israel prefer a partner with the same political views as theirs, and 55% are attracted to people with dogs in their profile picture.
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