Dating apps seem to offer it all — instant access to fellow daters, whether you're looking for a short-term relationship, long-term relationship, or something in between. Now, several dating apps have launched video features, so you can get to know someone in a whole new way. Personally, I think it's genius and am surprised it didn't exist before. After all, the videos will probably provide a better glimpse at someone's personality and three-dimentional-ness, not just photos — which may or may not be outdated.
For instance, Hinge just launched their video feature on June 27. "Video adds another dimension to profiles, so I expect to see the number of meaningful conversations increase even further," Justin McLeod, CEO of Hinge, tells Bustle. "One of the well-known problems with dating apps is that the person you end up going on a date with may or may not resemble the person you liked on the app — which is frustrating and discouraging for users. Our in-depth profiles already give our users increased confidence that they won't be wasting their time — which is a big part of the reason we're seeing five times the number of dates resulting from Hinge. Video is another giant step forward."
I'll say, and I'm sure you can agree. As of June 28, Lively, too, has stepped up their dating app game by adding a blurring feature to their videos, which I'll get to in a moment. Whatever the case may be, I think videos will only make matching and meeting people IRL that much easier. Here are some dating apps that use video features, as well as one that will soon.
As was mentioned above, you can now add videos to your Hinge profile. "We've heard from our members that they're sick of mindlessly swiping and ending up on bad dates that were solely based on physical appearance," McLeod says. "Our profiles already do a great job, but video creates the opportunity for our members to learn about potential matches in a way that simply can't be captured with still photos and text."
I'll second that for sure, and I'm sure you can relate! If you're wondering how the videos work, you can just swap any of your profile photos for a video you have on Instagram, Facebook, or your iPhone camera roll. Videos will then autoplay on a loop as a potential match scrolls through your profile. Though sound will be muted, you can also enable it.
Lively is Zoosk's video-based social app. Like I mentioned, they've launched an augmented live video chat. Lively already let you connect with others via video profiles, but with the video chat, you don't just have to use it as a dating tool, but as a way to get to converse with and get to know other men and women on the app. Not only can you use this new augmented live video chat, but you can also use a blur feature if you don't want to base the conversation on looks alone.
"One of our favorite features is the blur," Lively's Senior Vice President of Product Behzad Behrouzi tells Bustle. "During video chat, the second you connect with someone, your camera is completely blurred. Over the course of 40 seconds, your blur will fade from 100 percent to 0. At any point, you can add the blur back. This is great for people that want to focus on the content of their conversation, rather than how they look or if they're in the right lighting." Talk about low pressure and getting to know someone purely for them, not based solely on photos, like Behrouzi says.
Luvr is a video dating platform/app that tries to put an end to catfishing with their video bios, video snaps, and video calls. It's like a combo of the video features of Instagram, Snapchat, and Skype, a Luvr spokesperson tells Bustle. The Direct Videos are like Instagram ones, the Video Snaps are like Snapchat and then disappear, and Video Calling is like WhatsApp or Skype. Sounds like a win-win-win, right?! And, let's face it, no one likes being catfished!
"One of the great things about video is that it allows you to pick up on subtle nuances about a person's personality, their mannerisms, their sense of humor, and other traits that tell you much more about who that person is and what they're actually like versus a static photo that might be several years old and not an accurate representation of who that person is today," Luvr CEO Oliver Buckley told Startups.co.
Match, too, has plans to launch a Stories feature, which can be up to 60 seconds. They will be similar to Lively's format, photos, and videos. Plus, you'll be able to narrate the content, which sounds super cool. It'll be like your own mini movies! "It gives people flexibility," Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg told Mashable about Match Stories. "Hearing someone talk about their photo is far better than just seeing the photo. Seeing a video and hearing their voice is, I think, the holy grail in terms of figuring out your attraction." Testing will begin in the "coming weeks," and a national rollout is planned for later in the year.
5Bumble, Coming Soon
While Bumble has yet to roll out video features, they will be getting in on the trend soon. Back in January, TechCrunch reported that Bumble will be rolling out BumbleVID, a feature like Snapchat, enabling users to upload 10-second videos that disappear after 24 hours. The BumbleVID feature will allow videos recorded live straight to Bumble or pre-recorded ones, as long as they were from the last 24 hours. Anyone who is photo-verified on Bumble will be able to use BumbleVID, and you'll be able to either post them on your profile for everyone to see, or only share them with your matches. Other features will come later, too, such as geotagging, filters, and stickers. "It's more of a way to storytell, and express yourself beyond a photo, but in a way that was native to how we in our audience already use social media video," said Bumble co-founder CEO Whitney Wolfe, reported TechCrunch. "We didn't want to reinvent the wheel — we wanted to just take what was already working well in other platforms, and give them the opportunity to do that with people they don't know yet, versus their friends."
As for dating sites and apps like Tinder, OkCupid, and Happn, there are no video options on those yet. I'm guessing that Tinder, too, will probably start having a video feature one of these days. In February, Tinder announced its acquisition of Wheel, a video startup similar to Snapchat's stories, reported TechCrunch. As for Happn, though there is no video option, you ~can~ record voice messages and send them to matches on Happn. My ex and I met on Happn (and Bumble) and did this, and it was a great way to get to know each other.
Like I said before, I think videos will amp up your online dating and dating app game and provide you with yet another way to get to know someone. Plus, it seems like a fun way to get to know your matches better. And the more you know, the better, right?!