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In the 1980s and 1990s, video dating was actually pretty popular. People would record videos with their camcorders at an office of a matchmaking company. Then singles would come in and watch the videos one by one and choose someone who they wanted to go on a date with. Speed dating was also pretty popular because you could meet anywhere between 10 to 50 people in one night and decide again, who you wanted to go on a date with face-to-face.
Fast forward 10 to 20 years, and dating has turned into either a swipe left or a swipe right to find your next fling. Even though Tinder and other apps have made online dating a lot more popular, it took a long time to get to that point. Just three years ago when I first started building my own video dating app, only 15% of singles worldwide were using dating apps. Thanks to Tinder and other apps like OkCupid, Coffee meets bagel, Hinge, and others, online dating apps are now used by almost 50% of singles.
It takes time for a barrier to come down, whether religion, race, or the stigma of dating online. For some reason, people just never felt comfortable putting their personalities and pictures online and meeting each other in a virtual world. But now that it is more commonplace, people are comfortable, and they are meeting at a record pace. The question is, what is the next evolution now that the walls have been broken down to the world of online dating?
Video. Real-time video. That is where dating is headed. And here’s a few reasons why:
- People are tired of getting catfished. Everyone knows that photos are usually made to look better, make up is used, and good angles are prominent. But when you meet that person in real life, they are rarely like their online persona, both in looks and personality. Videos will change that.
- Vine, Instagram, Periscope, YouTube, Snapchat, and other apps are making video more and more ubiquitous across the board. People are getting used to showcasing their lives using video. What better way to get to know people on a dating app except for video?
- Every evolution takes time to take hold, the online dating revolution took 10 to 20 years to take hold. Video might take another 10 years. But we are ahead of the game, and have been here for years.
- Investors are always looking for the next big thing, whereas today they may not see how big a market video dating is, one day they will, mark my words. When that happens, it will explode.
- Single parents would rather have 20 bad dates from the comfort of their home while the kids are playing in the other room, rather than getting ready, spending money and time, to have one bad date in person.
- On the other hand, singles could have a really good date using a video dating app, and then feel more comfortable in person when they finally meet instead of having that awkward 21 questions, uncomfortable silence, and just the weird first date vibes.
Overall, video dating is the best way to find out if you have chemistry with a potential single person, before meeting in person. This will cause a shift in online dating to the point where there will be a lot less bad dates, less catfishing, and more relationship building. Having video chats and sending video messages prior to meeting in person will help establish some sort of foundation. Only time will tell to see when this massive movement will start to emerge. In the meantime, we are here, we are ready, and we are all about real-time video.