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The rise of video dating applications in the pandemic

When the UK was first subjected to restrictions in March 2020 due to Covid-19, Christina knew that a date search was taking a hit. Like others, he turned to virtual dating. So as a rising trend, has flirting with video in online applications changed our way of flirting?

Christina, a 43-year-old South African babysitter living in London, says her coronavirus restrictions will prevent her from seeing anyone for a while.

Christina says she still loves the idea of ​​going to a bar with her friends for a drink.

Christina says video calls are less focused: “This way I can save time and money. Plus, I get less hangouts.”

‘Slow love’

Although the internet has become the most common means for couples to meet in the last 20 years, dating has changed with the restriction of travel and dating during the spread.

According to a report published by Hinge, dating apps on phones are widespread around the world, but downloads of these applications increased by 82 percent.

People spend a lot of money on dating apps. We Are Social, a consulting service, said Tinder closed ahead of TikTok and Netflix last year in terms of user spending.

However, dating companies say the research has led to different changes.

Where it is still possible to meet face to face, even when away from social distance, there has been an increase in people postponing their first meeting face to face and instead preferring to flirt longer.

Experts say this trend is due to the increasing use of video calls. It has also been dubbed “Zoomancing”, which means flirting with videos in online applications.

Dating coach and TedX spokeswoman Hayley Quinn told the BBC: “While old, normal ways of meeting people have been taken away from us in real life, people’s desire to meet and connect with someone has not diminished.”

Quinn says people prefer video applications to get to know each other before meeting face-to-face due to the pandemic.

The dating expert believes that it gives people more opportunities to freeze their social life and think about how to build a relationship.

Anthropologist Helen Fischer says people have more meaningful conversations with video.

Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and senior scientific adviser at Match.com, believes this has fueled a trend she calls “slow love.”

Fisher, who has been researching single people in the United States for years, says only 6 percent of single people in the pandemic use video chat, but now only 1 in 5 people.

“People spend most of their time at home. They have more honest, more transparent and more expressive, more meaningful conversations,” Fischer explains.

For example, Christina notes that the limitations of the pandemic have forced her to talk more openly with her future lovers than she did in the real world in the past:

“Now it means getting to know each other in a more platonic way.”

Cultural change

Applications like Grindr offer users alternative ways to stay connected.

As expected, several dating apps offered users more options, such as the ability to video chat during a pandemic.

The Grindr application, used by LGBTI + people, provided premium video chat for free for certain periods and also organized events such as Pride Week.

Alex Black, Grindr’s marketing director, told the BBC that they saw a definite cultural change in the use of dating apps during the pandemic:

“About 48 percent of our users say they relate to someone through photos and videos. This shows us that people find different ways of relating when there is no face-to-face meeting.”

Zack Schleien, co-founder of Filter Off, started with a personal dating experience.

Filter Off is one of them. Zack Schleien, the company’s founder, used his dating experience last year to create a video chat-based app.

Even before the pandemic, Schleien said he wanted to do a video interview with his favorite candidates before meeting face to face.

Schleien said he went to appointments, but quickly realized that sometimes either the chemistry didn’t work at all or none of us were affected by the other:

“So before I met, I started asking people to make video calls to see if they were feeling good. Most people rejected me. But I was sure others would want something like that. Pandemic perceptions changed and video chat became more acceptable.”

Experts believe that there will be more 'meaningful' first meetings when normal life continues.

Dating coach Quinn said that according to the results of the survey, people will continue to make video calls even when the pandemic is over.

According to Tinder, more than 65 percent of users who tested the video calling feature, which was introduced in October, will use it again.

Fisher of Match.com says video calls are now a kind of review tool and will continue to do so when we return to our normal lives.

Stating that less ‘first meeting’ will be seen, Fisher said he would eliminate people who have things they don’t want to see before meeting face to face:

“But we will also witness more meaningful first meetings.”

Virtual meals are also part of new dating experiences.

Virtual dates can still be difficult. Christina pointed out that some single friends who work in jobs that require regular conference calls don’t want to spend more screen time looking for some.

Also, as with traditional dating methods, there is no success in virtual dating. Christina said that she did not have a very good relationship with anyone she met in video chats.

“I congratulate all of us despite the epidemic,” said Christina, who says she cooks new meals for her family.

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