Tinder Is Testing Video Chatting For Virtual Dates

Photo: Courtesy of Tinder.
Maybe you can hold off on dating for a month, or two or three to focus on building yourself up from the inside. But we're about five months into a quarantine and despite the intermittent efforts to reopen and regional COVID-19 case spikes, we're slowly realizing that we might be safer at home through the end of the year.
So we're past the point of holding off on life until things reopen, and we're focusing on ways to sustain our social lives through screens and from a distance. Online dating is easily one of the answers. Especially now that Tinder is letting some users experiment with its upcoming video chatting feature. If you are a Tinder user in Colorado, Virginia, Illinois, or Georgia, you might soon be able to go on virtual dates with one of your matches, if you both consent.
In less precarious times, you would swipe your way down to some decent matches on Tinder, chalk up a nice conversation, and then think about escalating your prospect with a quick first date in a crowded space (just in case). Since that is now a less reliable option, Tinder's video chatting feature is unique in that it will only become available once both parties agree to it. So if you're ready to take things to the next level, toggle the Face to Face button. If the other person isn't feeling it, they'll never know, but if they feel the same way, you'll both be able to chat Face to Face. If you're not feeling up to talk to matches on video calls, you can opt-out for the day and change your mind later. The feature is also being tested in Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru, and Chile.
Tinder isn't the first dating app to facilitate video chatting. Last year, Bumble established itself as the first major dating app to introduce video chatting, with eHarmony being the most recent to join the bandwagon in late April. Tinder's push to test its latest feature might signal a robust demand for safe video dating. People have been adding phone calls and video calls to their online dating steps, often leading up to an in-person date. Having this feature folded into Tinder's interface, however, will make it a smoother process for everyone involved and reduce the chances of mixed messages or crossed wires.

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