Dating has evolved from two people meeting on the street or at a coffee shop and setting up a date to get to know each other, to people simply downloading an application on Google play or their Apple app store, swiping right, and having a virtual date in the comfort of their own homes.
Recently popular dating app, Tinder and a Muslim dating app called Muzmatch have introduced video chat in their mobile dating apps, which allow users to have virtual dates with individuals they have matched with.
According to WARC, Tinder announced that it would begin to test video chat in its mobile dating apps in select markets prior to the coronavirus pandemic. It had previously tested video chat before the COVID-19 outbreak and didn’t see any significant adoption, but that has changed.
However, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of video chatting with someone they do not know.
“I feel like it is an invasion of privacy because you don’t actually know the person that you are video calling,” Binta Khalifa*, a Muzmatch user.
“Maybe I am still a bit old fashioned, and would prefer to wait till after the lockdown so we can dress up and meet in person.”
Some people feel that the addition of the video chat feature on dating apps makes things easier and continues to create the opportunity to find love despite being locked indoors.
“I’ve been enjoying the video chat option. It’s allowed me to make new friends and a possible love match while sitting in bed,” Tinder user, Pertunia Khumalo said.
“In our latest wave of coronavirus research, 41% of Gen Z say they plan to continue video calling more frequently after the outbreak. Expect to see this behavior become the norm,” said Chase Buckle, trends manager at GlobalWebIndex, writing for WARC.
Some of the benefits of virtual dates are that they have forced people to become creative and slightly more romantic. People have gone to the extent of ordering meals for their dates and having them delivered to each other’s home or each person cooking their favorite meal while on their video date.
Other dating sites that have added the video date option include Bumble and Salams.
Could this be the beginning of a new dating era?
*Name changed to protect their identity