The Code of Love
Inside the algorithm that drives one of the web's most popular dating sites.
Photos by Jessica Bal
There are more than eight million people in New York City, and a myriad of ways to meet them. Given our increasing reliance on social media to stay connected with the people we already know, it’s no surprise that more and more of us are forgoing bars, clubs, sports teams and happy hours, and instead turning to the web to find love.
Some 800,000 New Yorkers now have accounts on OkCupid, a Manhattan-based dating website founded in 2004. These users are counting on four Ivy League math majors (OkCupid’s founders) to find their soul mates—or at least someone to spend a fun Friday night with. I sat down with one of the company’s founders, Christian Rudder, as well as the site’s Chief Technology Officer, Tom Quisel, to talk about how the OkCupid matching algorithm works. Rudder and Quisel revealed some of the invisible controls used to create a better user experience, as well as what their massive cache of data can—and can’t—tell you about your prospective dates.Quisel s…