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1686310cookie-checkNew features of top dating apps: profile videos
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10 February 2022

New features of top dating apps: profile videos

Have you ever wondered how the online dating industry has evolved and why it looks the way it does today? If you have, you probably believed that it originated only in the twentieth century. You’d be completely wrong. 

Let’s follow the stages of development of the online dating industry. Be prepared, it starts a long, long time ago…

  • 1695 — the first newspaper ads appear in Britain, including some where single men talk about themselves and try to find the perfect match.
  • 1727 — for the first time in history, a woman was able to place an ad in a newspaper “Lonely Hearts” column. 
  • 1800s — aristocrats of all stripes join search for a soulmate through newspapers. At the same time, the first scammers appear, who use the personal data of ad posters for their own nefarious purposes. 
  • 1900s — the trend for finding a match in the newspapers migrates to the United States. First of all, among single country farmers who are deprived of the opportunity to get acquainted with a large number of potential partners “offline”.
  • 1920s — former WWI soldiers actively look for old army buddies, leaving search ads in local newspapers. 

You may say that all this has nothing to do with online dating. And you would be wrong. After all, the principle of the same “Lonely Hearts” columns is used in many modern dating applications. Only now, instead of newspapers, we have apps for smartphones. 

The real story of online dating begins a little later:

  • 1959 — Stanford students Jim Harvey and Phil Fialer create a “Happy family planning services” project. They use a questionnaire with a punch card and an IBM 650 computer, have 49 men and 49 women fill out the questionnaire, and then the computer tries to match the best pairs.
  • 1965 — Harvard students Jeff Tarr and Vaughan Morrill continue to develop the ideas of Harvey and Fialer. They also use the questionnaire and the more powerful IBM 1401 system. The main idea is to match students based on their similarities. Their experiment turned out to be very successful — in a couple of years the technology was used by several million people.
  • 1995 — the first modern dating site in history, Match.com, is launched.
  • 2000 — Dr. Neil Clark Warren launches eHarmony, an online dating service with a focus on finding the most compatible couples, who are likely to have a long and strong relationship.
  • 2012 — one of the most successful dating apps, Tinder, appears, using the principle of swiping and finding a match by location. It is from this moment that the online dating industry began to gain maximum momentum.

In the years that followed, the online dating industry experienced few global changes. However, in 2019-2020, when the world was changed by the coronavirus pandemic, and offline dating became very difficult, a new “normality” began, in which all communication occurred via the Internet. And this has become one of the main reasons for the sudden active change and innovation in dating applications. But what are these changes and are they really something completely new?

Instead of tedious photos and long descriptions — creative video

Tinder, being one of the most popular dating apps in the world, was one of the first to explore the path of active change. Many people remember that back in 2020, Tinder introduced a video chat function, which made it easier for users to meet and communicate within the application. Following close behind, Tinder, Bumble and Match implemented a similar feature.

On June 22, 2021, Tinder announced the introduction of several new features. But the most important among them was the ability to add videos instead of photos to your profile. This innovation allows users to represent themselves better, show their creativity and make a vivid impression.

The dating service Hinge implemented a similar function. Also, here you can post videos on your profile from popular social networks — Instagram or Facebook. Or just choose from your phone gallery and download directly. Whichever is more convenient for you. 

By the way, interest in the video format in dating apps appeared long before the coronavirus and quarantine. Active users will surely remember that back in 2018, Tinder introduced the function of adding short looped videos, called Loops. But at that time the new functionality did not have much popularity. The developers tried to motivate users to use Loops, giving an additional 10% more approval swipes. At that moment, the developers were guided by a popular similar function on Instagram, but in Tinder it was implemented poorly. It was impossible to shoot a video for Loops directly in the app. You had to perform a lot of unnecessary actions, which not everyone liked.

But with the video chat function, the situation was completely different. Only this time, the developers of Tinder and other dating apps were not inspired by Instagram, but Omegle. And that was the right decision.

How Omegle video chat and its rivals have changed the online dating industry in the 10 years since launch

Online chat service Omegle was launched in the spring of 2009 — long before Tinder and many of its rivals. However, initially it was possible to communicate here exclusively in a text chat, and video communication appeared only six months after the launch. But that’s not important right now. The main thing that Omegle showed was that Internet users love to interact via video communication, which is convenient for them and opens up a lot of opportunities for expanding your circle of acquaintances.

Subsequently, there were many alternatives to Omegle: the simple but functional video chat site, Chathub; chat service with karma rating, Emeraldchat; the site with themed chat rooms and search by interests,  Chatrandom; the platform with gender and geographic filters, OmeTV; or Omegle video chat with ladies, which connects men only with girls, and many other sites.

Why are dating apps implementing video calling features and adding videos to profiles right now?

The fact is that at the time of the appearance of Omegle and its alternatives, relatively fast Internet was exclusively wired. For many, that was completely inaccessible. And there was no question of fast mobile Internet and Wi-Fi everywhere.

In Europe, 3G networks began to appear only in 2003, and even then in a very limited number. And in most less developed countries not until 2015. Up to this point, the overwhelming majority of people simply did not have the opportunity to communicate via video from a smartphone. Now that we live in the 4G and 5G era, this is very simple. But at one time even sending a message in some instant messengers was problematic.

Nowadays, there are high-speed networks even far outside the cities. So expanding the list of dating apps with video features is only a matter of time. 

New dating apps with a focus on video

The addition of the video calling function in popular applications is a new but not unexpected phenomenon. But in modern society, many users do not prefer new features, but completely new applications. And a lot of them have appeared recently. 

  1. The Sauce — an app where users upload short videos instead of photos. Much the same as on Tinder after the update. But while Tinder still has the ability to upload regular photos, on The Sauce you can only use videos. 
  2. Jungle — one of the newcomers to the online dating market, with several interesting features. Firstly, it also has a video chat function for chatting with people who interest you. And secondly, Jungle is ideal for organizing double or even triple dates.
  3. HILY — an innovative dating app whose main feature is machine learning, thanks to which HILY finds the users that suit you best. There is also a video chat function. Plus, the application can host video streams, which will delight many users. 
  4. Qemistry — an application that the developers themselves call TikTok for dating. Here the emphasis is placed on video content, and each user’s video is their presentation. The Qemistry application has already gathered more than ten thousand active users only a month after its launch.
  5. Thursday — one of the latest products in 2021. The application works only on Thursdays — on other days it is impossible to find a potential match or chat with other users. Instead of swipes and photos, videos are used — short presentations in which users explain about themselves, their interests and hobbies. Thursday is gaining popularity very quickly, but so far the app is only available to residents of New York and London. Of course, Thursday’s reach will soon expand to cover other cities and countries.

And these are not all smartphone applications that rely on video. There’s no doubt that we’ll see many more new dating platforms in the coming months and years.

What will happen next?

The emphasis on video calling in dating apps is likely to continue to gain traction. Older formats like swipes are not as efficient as originally thought. People want to get to know each other better before a real date. A few photos in your account and a short description in your profile are not enough for this.

With the rapid development of internet technology, video chat will soon be available in even the simplest and most popular dating apps. And anonymous video chat sites, such as Omegle, do not stand still, continuing to delight users with new features. There are many interesting features ahead that we can’t even predict!

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