Due to current lockdown measures and the prospect of continued social distancing in the coming months, socialising has made its way online. Many people have turned to video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends.
Online dating is no different, with dating application Hinge unveiling plans to introduce video calls after “virtual dates” grow in popularity under lockdown measures.
Last month, the dating app launched a ‘Date from Home’ feature, and this has been upgraded with the new option to video call from within the app.
In-app video is due to launch this summer and to coincide with that, Hinge has also launched Hinge Labs to study behavioural data on app-based dating. It has discovered that users are starting more conversations, and sending more messages to matches during lockdown.
Pandemic fuels appetite for Hinge video dates
At the beginning of lockdown in the UK, Hinge surveyed users about video dating, finding that while almost no one had tried it 70% were open to the idea.
Fast forward two months and 64% of users have had a virtual date in lockdown. Over a third have been on a video date in the past week along.
Furthermore, 61% of users in the UK said they plan to connect with people virtually before meeting in person for a date after social distancing ends.
Rival Tinder, which is owned by Match Group, reportedly has plans to launch “one-to-one live video” as well. According to Business Insider, the platform reported record usage despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Plenty of Fish, another dating platform also owned by Match Group, has launched a free livestreaming feature that allows users to to “date from a distance”, suggesting that many dating apps are now looking to new ways of connecting users.