OKCupid to Venture Into Housemate Matching

By Cameron Scott 

Ten years ago, when couples said they’d met online, they meant they’d met on Craigslist. Now, they most likely mean they met on OKCupid, which had 7 million active users as of April 2011. (Analytics from Compete show that about a million users logged on in August 2012.)

But, even now, when housemates say they met online, they still mean they met through Craigslist.

That may be about to change: OKCupid is beta-testing a housemate-matching service on an undisclosed domain, according to co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan.

Asked about a job posting for a position at OKCupid Labs that described the labs’ work building “apps that help you use your data to discover new people for housing, careers and more,” Yagan confessed that the company is testing a housemate matching service.

The company will not put housemate hunting as an option on its dating site; the two will remain separate, Yagan said. But users may see ads for the housemate service on OKCupid.com when it launches publicly.

“Now that OKCupid really means something, there’s a lot of stuff that we can’t do within the Cupid brand,” Yagan said. The company’s labs explore those possibilities.

But why housemates? Housemates, Yagan explained, are a logical use case for a platform that matches people based how they answer questions and how they say they’d like their matches to answer them.

“The same Q&A format and algorithm applies for roommates. Do you stay up late? Do you do drugs? Do you have a girlfriend? It applies almost directly,” Yagan noted.

The new service may also introduce a new feature for OKCupid: It will likely leverage users’ Facebook profiles to find potential shared interests and social connections, Yagan said.

Craigslist did not return requests to comment.

Photo courtesy OKCupid