Facebook The company announced today that users will be able to take part in “virtual appointments” shortly. The social network plans to introduce a new video calling feature that allows users of the Facebook dating service to connect and make video calls via Messenger, as an alternative to a real date. This type of trait is in high demand given the coronavirus pandemic that has forced people to stay at home and practice social distancing.
For online dating apps that aim to connect people in the real world, however, this is a big challenge for their business.
Government closures have currently limited places where online data could meet on their first date. Restaurants, shopping centers, bars and other retail stores are closed in all regions affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. But even if these restrictions are lifted, many users of online dating apps will be careful about meeting strangers when they first get to know each other. Video chat offers a safer option to investigate possible connections to their games.
With the new Facebook The dating function goes live. Online data can invite a match to a virtual date. The recipient can either accept or reject the offer via a displayed popup.
If they accept this, Facebook dating users will be connected in a video chat operated by Facebook Messenger to get to know each other.
While the feature was still being developed, Facebook declined to disclose more details about how it worked in terms of privacy and security features.
Facebook is not the first online dating service to switch to video as a result of the pandemic. But many competing dating apps took over video functions long before the outbreak of the corona virus.
Bumblebee, For example, it has been offering voice and video calls in its app for around a year. The function there works like a normal call or Apple's FaceTime. However, users do not have to provide their phone number or other private information such as an email address to increase security.
The company states that usage of the feature has increased in the past two months as users are interested in virtual dating.
Meanwhile, Match Group recently launched videos for a number of the dating apps he runs.
This month, the Match app added a video chat that allows users who have already found a match to connect via video calls. Match-own Hinge has also introduced a “Dating from Home” prompt and, according to Match, is also preparing its own live video date function. Another match feature, Plenty of Fish (PoF), started live streaming in March, offering singles a new way to hang out with friends and potential matches.
Match Group's flagship app, Tinder has not yet adopted live video data, but still offers a way for users to add videos to their profiles. The company could not comment on whether video dating is in the works for Tinder or not, but in the post-COVID era, it would be almost bizarre not to offer such a feature.
Other dating apps have also started video dating, including eHarmony and a number of lesser known dating apps that are hoping to gain a foothold for their video dating concepts.
Facebook says the feature will be launched in the coming months and will be available wherever Facebook Dating is available.