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(In the seminar, he reported only the results related to heterosexual matching.) "I was very encouraged by these results," Piskorski said.
"It is presumably harder for older and overweight people to identify potential partners in the offline world, and the online worlds are helping them do that, thereby potentially equalizing access to romantic relationships." However, the increased viewing behavior did not lead to increased messaging behavior.
Quiver essentially made the first move for them, providing more of an excuse for contact.
Second, there is the "Visitor" function, which lets members know when someone visits their profile.
But other features on the site were actually detrimental to those who needed the most help in the dating world.
Take for example OKCupid's optional "Quick Match" feature, which lets you rate other members on a scale of one to five.
Piskorski found that women, and in particular older ones, were most likely to write to a man once they saw him through Quiver.
This feature is seemingly helpful in that it serves as a time-saver; an automatic message is quicker than a manual one.The initial results showed that older, shorter, and relatively overweight men tended to view more profiles than their younger, taller, slimmer counterparts.With the female sample, tall women were the ones who tended to view the most profiles.After all, people managed to get married and maintain friendships for eons before the Web ever existed.So, are these virtual social platforms truly necessary?“It is presumably harder for older and overweight people to identify potential partners in the offline world, and the online worlds are helping them do that, thereby potentially equalizing access to romantic relationships.” Harvard Business School Associate Professor Mikolaj Piskorski has studied these questions for the last five years, and he finds that the answers depend on the platform. Some help only those who have little trouble interacting in the real world anyway.And some platforms offer certain features that help those who need it most, along with other features that offer help to those who need it least."It seems that these sites have done little to overcome a very restrictive social norm that makes it inappropriate for women to make the first move." OKCupid already provides such encouragement through some dedicated functions.First, there is the "Quiver" function, whereby the company algorithm recommends three members it deems most compatible with the seeker."These results show that people who expect rejection may simply refrain from writing, unless the site gives them an encouragement to do so." The results were similarly discouraging for female users."Even though women look at as many profiles as men do, they message men much less," Piskorksi said.