Mar 20, 2010 6:27pm

Someone told me that my profile says "online" when I had recently logged out, I'm wondering is there a lag to my status when I log out? and if so can it be fixed?


Mar 20, 2010 6:33pm

I think mine does this too. I get a lot of missed messages in my inbox. I have a Mac and sometimes leave my Safari application running. OKC is one of my topsites so I think that may have something to do with it. Hope that helps somewhat. 


Mar 20, 2010 7:47pm

About a 60 minute lag between log-off (that's actual log of, not shut browser), and when your profile no longer says "online now!".  It's a site thing.  And yes, I've timed it -- with my profile, friends, and others. 


Mar 20, 2010 8:14pm

Thanks for the info. Wish they could do something about that so it doesn't seem like I'm on and not talking to someone.


Mar 20, 2010 9:38pm


indieroll:  Wish they could do something about that so it doesn't seem like I'm on and not talking to someone. 


Your IM will stop being active somewhere around 30 minutes after you stop interacting with the site, for precisely that reason.  So you may show as "online" but people will not be able to initiate a new IM session with you.

The site cannot force people offline immediately after disconnection for a variety of reasons.  Here are some of the top ones:

  1. Many people today access the web and this site via a mobile device that is often connected through a slow or unreliable wireless connection, or via a computer using a dicey landline connection, ie modem.  If OkCupid immediately killed off every login session that stopped responding after 10 seconds, all sorts of people running over slower/less-reliable connections would have their sessions frequently terminated and they would have to constantly re-login.
  2. The system overhead involved with monitoring user login sessions in realtime is considerable, and not worth the tradeoff in cost/performance.
  3. Many users refuse to actually use the "Sign out" function and just put their computer/device to sleep, shut it off, close the browser etc. when they stop using the site. This means that the system has to decide at what point that session is actually "dead" and not just temporarily unresponsive.  Once again, if they made that timeout extremely short, the inconvenience of having to constantly re-login would greatly outweigh the small annoyance of some users appearing online a little while after they have actually stopped using that login session.




Mar 20, 2010 9:45pm

@SFGuyyy:  Thank you for your in depth explanation as I have emailed them and they have yet to respond.  They should hire you as a consultant! :-)  Shea 


Mar 20, 2010 10:59pm


Hah, well... as a famous person probably once said: "I do more good from the outside."  :-D


(BTW - seeing just now that you're from Vacaville...   If you have nothing doing this afternoon and don't mind a little drive, you may be interested to know I'm organizing an OkCupid shindig tomorrow in SAC and  would love to see you there.  See my latest journal post for details..)



Mar 21, 2010 7:20am

there's no reason to have a lag if someone is using the sign out button though?


Mar 21, 2010 7:21am

I had planned to come and not able to do to no money for gas.  Please keep me posted on the others!   Shea


Mar 24, 2010 8:30pm

tomsanity wrote:  there's no reason to have a lag if someone is using the sign out button though?


Well there may well still be some time lag, but in general it's better to explicitly log out.





Mar 24, 2010 9:22pm

What happens if someone IMs you because it says you're on but you're actually offline - or can that not happen?


Mar 24, 2010 10:34pm

 xadelaidex wrote:   What happens if someone IMs you because it says you're on but you're actually offline - or can that not happen?


Generally speaking, they will get a message along the lines of "xadelaidex went offline. We will deliver your message to their inbox if they do not return in the next few minutes."

Also, if you have OkCupid loaded in your browser but you stop doing anything on the site, after about 30 minutes or so the site will no longer list your IM as enabled, although you will still be listed as "online". This is to prevent bunches of people trying to IM you when you accidentally leave the computer logged-in to OkC overnight, etc.



Apr 3, 2010 10:39pm

What if you "ungracefully" log off by say closing your browser. It will say you're logged in for a while. Let's say an hour passes and you open up a fresh browser and go on facebook, but you do not return to your okcupid profile. Will this opening of a new browser cause your status to be "online" again even though you waited an hour before opening a new browser AND did NOT go to the okcupid website again? In other words, even if you are not "online" does opening a browser force your status to be "online"? Because there's a guy I'm talking to and we've had hour long conversations through okcupid and facebook. But sometimes I compose a message to him on here and then come back later and he hasn't messaged me back EVEN THOUGH it says he logged on like way after I sent him a message (meaning he should have received it). This leads me to believe that perhaps he is logging off "ungracefully" (as most people probably do) and that when he returns to use his browser (doesn't go on okcupid though) that it is forcing his status to be "online" when in fact he really isn't. Thus, it gives this false "Last online: mm/dd" and makes it look like he is ignoring me 1/4 of the time. 

Is any of this correct? 

***Note: I am not a creeper and he isn't avoiding me because he replies back most of the time (or gets to it eventually, but much later)


Apr 4, 2010 12:27am

It's possible that going back online (or re-launching a browser) later would make a user look online, depending on the way their browser is configured, how they logged-off and how much time has elapsed since they logged-off.



Jan 13, 2013 2:12pm

I know this is old, but I call foul. It can't possibly be that hard to determine when someone is logged off or when they are not actively using the page. Much, much larger systems (e.g. Gchat, Yahoo, AIM, MSN Messenger, and ICQ) have been doing exactly that since the hoary days of the late 90s. In fact, as discussed above, OKC keeps track of whether someone's available for chat, regardless of "online" status.


Jan 13, 2013 3:49pm


It can't possibly be that hard to determine when someone is logged off or when they are not actively using the page. Much, much larger systems (e.g. Gchat, Yahoo, AIM, MSN Messenger, and ICQ) have been doing exactly that since the hoary days of the late 90s.


Those are dedicated IM systems, the whole concept revolves around the idea of realtime interaction. OF COURSE they keep track of realtime presence there, OF COURSE it's a top priority for a dedicated IM system.

However the amount of data that an IM network processes, on a per-session and per-user basis is MICROSCOPIC compared to a complex website like OkCupid. THAT is why the overhead for tracking things like that is way higher here, because OkCupid is serving VASTLY MORE DATA per minute than any IM network, on a per-user basis. And necessarily because it's a website, you cannot optimize it for the tiny amount of data that a dedicated IM system is optimized for.



Jan 14, 2013 5:35pm

This is some BS! Even when log off, it shows "Online now" for SEVERAL hours after. I think they do it so it looks like more people are on the site when they aren't. I'm over it. It makes it look like I'm on all damn day instead of out having fun, which is what I'm actually doing! This fact alone makes me want to cancel. Not cool!


Jan 14, 2013 6:10pm

^Seeya later then, I guess.

BTW, how are you logging in - mobile app or web browser? Are you selecting "sign out" when you're done?



Jul 6, 2013 4:01pm

I'm gonna throw my 2 cents in as a web developer. I've worked with a couple of big name chat hosts, and I can guarantee that that service is one of the most cost inefficient services to provide because they have a lot of overhead. You'd be surprised at how much data is transferred;they use a great deal more logs; and, on top of that, they oftentimes have few to no ads to support their costs. Contrarily, as I type this, there are 2 ads visible.

Furthermore, it's complete BS to suggest that OkCupid would have to log someone out in order to show them as offline. If that were true, then when I come back to OkCupid after a night's sleep, during which time my status changed from Online! to offline, I would have to re-login. I don't.

When you visit someone's profile (or go to any page that shows whether or not someone is online), OkCupid has to query a database to see when the last time that user interacted with an OkCupid page. Example, using an arbitrary 5 minute timeout:

  • User A checks their inbox and replies to a few messages at 5:45
  • User B visits User A's profile at 5:47
  • OkCupid checks to see what time User A last opened a page
  • It's within 5 minutes, so they tell User B that the user is online
  • User C visits User A's profile at 5:52
  • It's been longer than 5 minutes since User A opened a page, so they are displayed as offline

OkCupid already has to check a database when determining whether or not someone is online. They're already keeping logs of what time you visit pages. It would require no more overhead for them to do it the right way, and it's laughable to think that it would require logging people out to show them as offline. OkCupid just doesn't give a shit about accurately displaying someone's online status


Jul 6, 2013 6:27pm

The only think OKCupid ever really cared about was getting bought out by a giant company for piles and piles of money.

Mission accomplished.

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