There has been a continued shift towards video-focused dating apps in recent years as more users opt for authentic connections that photos and text often fail to achieve. Throughout February, the last month of “handcuff season”, three startups are launching dating apps that use video to help users find love: Candid, Ditto and IRLY.
Video provides a more authentic experience for users who may be tired of mindlessly swiping for hours on profile pictures that honestly start to look the same after a while. Not to mention, online dating has fallen prey to scammers, catfish, and ghosts, making it even harder to find your soul mate.
This week, TechCrunch looked at three new video-based dating startups that are using video to connect people before their real-world dates.
Candid launched on February 14 to offer users a new TikTok-style dating app with video profiles to show off your personality. 45-second videos are saved in the app, so potential matches know the video was taken recently and is authentic.
Meanwhile, other dating apps allow users to upload videos to their dating profiles from their camera roll or social media, so the videos may be several years old or possibly taken by another person. Hinge recently launched video-specific prompts, which require users to record within the app.
Candid works similarly to Hinge’s new feature. Users can choose various prompts such as “Why I love my pet”, “A recent shower thought”, “Perfect first date”, as well as “Freestyle”, a prompt that allows users to talk about All they want.
You can also choose multiple categories to display at the bottom of the video, which helps the algorithm move potential matches with similar interests higher up in the game, so users are matched with like-minded people. For example, you can choose from various values, interests, and goals, whether it’s cooking, nature, spirituality, religion, and more. Categories appear as hashtags that move across the bottom of the screen.
Candidate users can vote on other video profiles, selecting the most “creative”, “stunning”, “funny” or “candid” post. Videos with the most votes or reactions will have a banner at the top saying “#1 Creative” and so on.
In the future, Candid plans to launch features like retouch filters on video profiles and the ability to video chat with potential matches.
Candid co-founder Sharon He created the app because she experienced online dating fatigue herself, scanning hundreds of profiles and having hundreds of horrible first dates – 155 dates, for be exact.
“I came up with this idea after trying Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and many other apps for almost three years. I had 155 first dates,” he told TechCrunch. “Candid is based about all the frustrations I’ve been through myself.” She actually met her co-founder, Kyle Kelly, on Bumble, who bonded with He about how they wanted to reshape the online dating game. .
Currently, Candid is focused on marketing its app to colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as UC Berkley and the University of San Francisco. However, the dating app was launched in the United States for anyone to download. It is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Video chat, in general, is a great way for users to meet online dates. There are many video chat dating apps, including Hulah, Zepeel, Lovoo, Clover, and Filteroff, among others.
We’ve also seen video speed-dating apps gain popularity among companies looking to change the online dating game.
Even big tech company Meta has dipped its toes into the space, testing a video speed-dating service called Sparked. However, Meta ended the experiment last year after it was unable to gain enough traction.
Video speed dating, however, remains an interesting concept for users who may wish to meet their potential matches face-to-face digitally first, allowing them to determine if the person is who they say they are before moving on. go on a date in person. . It also allows users to quickly determine who they can have a conversation with. Video speed-dating apps usually limit the length of each call to less than five minutes, which is handy if you don’t want to find an excuse to end the call if you don’t feel like it.
Ditto, for example, hosted its first live video speed-dating session for users living in New York City on February 13 at 8 p.m. ET.
Formerly known as Iso Date, Ditto is the startup’s new video speed-dating app where users can have three-minute speed-dating sessions via live video chat. Sessions are held every Tuesday from 8-9 p.m. ET. Note that there is currently a limit of 30-40 people per session, but this may change in the future.
Ditto is currently only available to New York users. The company plans to roll out the app in Toronto and Los Angeles in late April or May, with future expansion to international cities in the UK, Germany, France and Australia.
Before the user joins the session, he can select his preferences – age, gender, sexuality and interests. Once the event has started, a host will greet the user and explain how Ditto works before the user is connected to a live video call where they can speak with a potential match.
Each video call lasts three minutes, allowing users to meet up to 20 potential matches during the one-hour session. Ditto also has a $19.99 subscription, “Ditto Deluxe”, which includes a “Stop the clock” feature where users can suspend the date during the session and extend the video chat.
At the end of each call, users are given the option to “Like” or “Skip”. They can also examine themselves by selecting prompts such as “Can hold a conversation”, “Funny”, “Serious”, etc. If it matches, the user can connect more via the in-app messaging feature or set up a longer video. discussion date.
Ditto is also partnering with third-party organizations to host video speed-dating events in the future, which will focus on common interests, such as yoga, dogs, and more. Eventually, Ditto wants to organize networking sessions and sessions for people to meet new friends, similar to what Bumble did with Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz.
However, some users may be hesitant to use video chat-based dating apps because it raises the issue of security. Let’s be honest, no one looking for a relationship online wants to feel on Omegle or Chatroulette. That’s why Ditto uses AI to detect nudity or harmful images like a swastika tattoo. Ditto co-founder and CRO Luke Connolly told TechCrunch that AI technology takes a short recording of the inappropriate video to help the company investigate the issue further, and then the video feed stops. The person is then banned and their account is deleted, he explained to TechCrunch.
Ditto also has a reporting feature that users can use at any time to report an incident with another user.
It is available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Another video chat-based dating app, IRLY (I Really Love You), will launch on February 28. Catering to Gen Z, IRLY allows users to video chat with a potential match and play in-app games like “Truth or Dare”, “Would You Rather” and more.
There are also conversation prompts like “The weirdest food combo I enjoy is…”, “The first thing on my to-do list is…” or “The most ridiculous thing to which I believed as a kid is…”, so people have different ways of breaking the ice.
Users have the option to switch between “Direct Mode”, which instantly starts a video call with a potential match based on your preferences, and “Classic Mode”, which allows users to send messages and schedule a video chat for a later date. IRLY also gives users the ability to chat with video messages.
Although not available at launch, IRLY is working on launching audio messages, virtual gifts, video profiles, as well as paid features. He’s also working on implementing an AI feature that detects nudity or other inappropriate content (which shouldn’t have been an afterthought!). A reporting and moderation system will be available at launch, we are told.
IRLY was founded in 2021 by Canadian university students Connor Rose and Laura Rollock. Social media influencer Cameron Dallas joined as co-founder in November 2022.
“Dating apps are the most common way to meet people these days, but they often fail to provide authentic and meaningful connections,” Dallas told TechCrunch. “We solve solutions built on a foundation of video chat-based communication that allows users to see and hear each other before they meet in person and break the ice with fun and engaging games. We believe that adds a human element to dating apps that people currently miss.”
These apps aren’t the first to use video, of course. Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and Badoo are some of the big players that have been riding the video wave for years, launching features like video prompts for profiles and live video chat. Smaller startups have also experimented with different ways to incorporate video, such as Snack, Desti, and Feels.
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