If you're into online dating, then you know it's a whole lot of scrolling through photos until you land on someone who stands out. There are endless pics of people vacationing, sitting next to their dog, and smiling in restaurants and that, coupled with the info they share on their profile, is supposed to give you an idea as to who they are. But when you add video to the mix, like Facebook Dating has, it can help some profiles stand out more than they normally would.
According to a press release, Facebook Dating now allows folks to add either Instagram or Facebook Stories to their profile as a way of connecting via everyday moments that go beyond typical, static images. And when you think about actually being able to see someone talk and show off their personality, it makes sense why it might play a role in attraction, before you even meet.
"Videos can give a little bit more information about someone on a dating site than just a profile picture," Lily Ewing, MA, LMHCA, a therapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. "In video, you might be able to read nonverbal cues and body language a little better, which might help you round out your overall read on a potential date."
Let's say this person adds video of themselves vacationing, hanging out with their dog, or eating at their favorite restaurant. These quick glimpses into their life — while not giving the whole picture — can certainly offer more information than you'd ever get from a photo alone. And as you watch, your brain will be busy assessing how they act, talk, and hold themselves.
After all, "attraction is closely related to physical cues like body language, voice pitch, etc.," Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "Some people carry themselves in a way that is very attractive, but that can’t be expressed through static photos or words on a page. On video, you can get a better idea of the person’s total package and see if that deepens or lessens attraction."
Videos might even help you pick up on potential red flags, should there be any. "Many people lie or 'fudge the truth' on their dating profiles," Bennett says. "By seeing a video, you can get a more accurate representation of the person behind the profile."
In some cases, the video might save you the effort of marching out to a restaurant, only to realize the connection isn't quite right. But video might also be what prompts you to march out to restaurant to meet someone who might not have piqued your interest based on photos or chats alone.
"Personality traits like confidence and charm are difficult to show through photos or over messaging," Bennett says. "But, you can see them clearly in a video. Watching a video can give incredible insight into someone’s personality, including sense of humor, confidence levels, wit, and how they handle awkward situations."
Of course, you'll never know for sure until you meet up for drinks or coffee or a stroll around a museum, but video can certainly provide more info than you're probably used to getting online. "Dating profiles can be very vague," Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, tells Bustle. "This is why the video element can be very helpful because it allows you to make more informed decisions."
So beyond charming videos and intriguing body language, what else might be important to keep in mind? "Shared values are a big part of compatibility, and are important for hitting it off on a first date," Ewing says. "Values are just what’s important to a person [...] Look at what people are highlighting in their profiles, and see if their values seem to overlap with yours!"
Video can help in further identifying compatibility, she says, and that'll help when it comes to deciding who you'd like to hang out with — and possibly even date in the future.
Lily Ewing, MA, LMHCA, therapist
Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist