Social distance dating gets a boost when Tinder launches in-app video calls later this year

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It’s a whole new world, and not in a cutesy, Aladdin kinda way. Meeting new people largely revolves around a) not being scared to go close to them and b) wondering what they look like under that mask. Even dating services like Tinder are having to adapt. And adaptation is coming, in the shape of in-app video calls from the dating service. Expect the feature to land in Q2 2020, so before the end of… say… June?

The rise of the Johnson-Cam?

At first glance, this seems like a terrible idea. A dating app, where sex is at least in the top 3 things its users are thinking about, offering direct video connections? That sounds like a one-way ticket to Sausageland (population: you) for women on the service but the subject of managing toxic users is presumably one that Tinder has considered.

And if they haven’t, they’d best get on it. Even the likes of Zoom, which doesn’t have a major focus on bedroom antics, is battling errant unwanted nudity. Tinder doesn’t stand a chance, unless it’s got quite an advanced image detection system looking for dudes doing the helicopter. Save that stuff for WhatsApp, chaps, and people who actually want to see it.

Either way, it seems likely that strangers chatting to each other over video instead of meeting up for coffee probably won’t be wearing pants. If it works for job interviews or TV appearances, might as well keep the comfort going when it comes to dating, yeah? Just… don’t wave it about in view of the camera.

First-world problems

The move to video is easy to explain. The service saw a decline in paying users earlier this year, according to the earnings document that explained Tinder’s plans to roll out video — which is actually a great idea in an age where gathering in groups is a bad idea. The cause, obviously, is the massive social distancing campaign taking place around the world, but parent company Match.com said that things have stabilised since February/March 2020. So people are still planning on being social, after all. They’re just going to have to do it with masks on. And, occasionally, via video.

The service appears confident in the future, saying “We are confident that demand for human connection will never dissipate and remain committed to fulfilling that need. This period of social isolation would have been much more dire for single people – who no longer have other avenues to meet and connect such as bars and concerts – if not for our products. “

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