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Although the answers to some of Ok Cupid’s questions — for example, “Would you date someone who kept a gun in the house? “There is some evidence that online dating is associated with longer term positive relationship outcomes, but I’m skeptical that the matching algorithms have anything to do with it,” says Reuben J.Thomas, assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.Making sense of dating algorithms is a virgin science and is still more miss than hit, says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch.When people do find somebody they like, sites don’t often know why or how they’ve been successful, he says.Grindr, for gay men, often showcases six-pack abs instead of faces and members of Beautiful People.com, a U.K.-based dating website, are so discriminatory they actually vote on whether (or not) to accept new members.They are encouraging members to pay more to give their profiles a boost. Dandy, a free app for gay men that works like Tinder and launches on Tuesday, has similar “boost” feature for 99 cents, giving it priority in online searches.Others say this might help more than answering a ream of questions about their likes and dislikes — and spiritual beliefs.
Some dating sites are doing the equivalent of “sponsored” ads on Twitter and Facebook — except in this case other people won’t know that you paid for the extra publicity. It will also tell you how many extra people viewed your profile now that you’ve added a little secret sauce.“That doesn’t mean that the algorithms fulfill our intentions, which is to find a mate and to settle down into a long-lasting relationship.” Why do dating sites fall short?The questions posed by the various sites are too rudimentary, Webb says, and they tend to focus on a grocery list of requirements.In the online dating arena there’s a reason people are increasingly turning to apps that rely on photographs and data instead of long essays about being a lover of Broadway shows and having a good sense of humor.“Dating algorithms do exactly what they’re designed to do, which is to match two sets for data,” says Amy Webb, author of “Data, a Love Story: How I Gamed Dating to Meet My Match.