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As coronavirus forces self-isolation, video calling feature on dating app sees a massive rise
Video chat on dating apps might have seemed like a nifty – but ultimately inconsequential – feature before last month. But now that we seem to exist in an entirely videoconferencing-based society, it looks like Bumble – seemingly the only major dating app to have rolled out the service pre-pandemic – has been reaping the benefits.
In a release this week, the app said it saw a 56 per cent increase in video calls during the week ending March 27 compared to earlier in the month.
In an attempt to capitalize on that service, Bumble has rolled out a “Virtual Dating” badge that will appear in users’ profiles who are open to video chatting the company will donate to the WHO Solidarity Fund for each badge.
It’s worth noting that none of its biggest competitors – including Tinder, Hinge, Match and OKCupid, all of whom are owned by Match group – currently offer a video chat option. Match.com has plans to roll the service out sometime in the coming weeks.
But more conventional communication channels on dating apps are also seeing a boom: Tinder reports that the length of users’ conversations has increased by as much as 30 per cent since the virus took hold.
Meanwhile, Bumble says messages are up 26 per cent overall, and adds that one in four chats are seeing a large number of messages exchanged – or, as the company puts it, “turning into meaningful conversations”.