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Facebook isn't the only site experimenting on its users. OkCupid revealed Monday that it has been conducting experiments on its users, too.
In a blog post on OkCupid's website, the company's cofounder Christian Rudder explained a few of the experiments the dating site recently ran on unassuming users. One experiment included a special "Love is Blind" day in which photos were removed from users' profiles, while another told users they had a higher match percentage than they had in reality (in that experiment, the users affected by the experiment were notified afterwards).
While social networks experimenting on their users may seem like risky move, Rudder was unapologetic about OkCupid's studies. "Guess what, everybody: If you use the Internet, you're the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site," Rudder wrote. "That's how websites work."
As for the results of the experiments? OkCupid found that people were more likely to respond to others' messages when their profile photos were removed, and those conversations went deeper. Once the photos were re-added, however, the conversations dropped off. "It was like we turned on the bright lights at the bar at midnight," Rudder wrote.
In the other study, in which couples were told they were a great match instead of a bad one, Rudder found that the power of suggestion is real, with couples being more likely to send messages to matches when their compatibility rating appeared to be high.
"OkCupid definitely works, but that's not the whole story," Rudder wrote. "The mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth."