Many dating apps' video call feature has been introduced since the pandemic started.
There are many advantages to utilizing a dating apps' video call feature within the platform of a dating app.
All major dating apps have rolled out their own software that allows users to participate in video calls within their platforms.
Most people agree that 2020 fundamentally changed society, including how people grocery shop, travel, work, and date. As reality changed, people turned to dating apps' video technology to connect. According to their data, Zoom’s mobile app scored 485 million downloads in 2020 alone.
Video calls play a much more significant role in day-to-day life now than they did even five years ago. This phenomenon isn't just reserved for the office; since the pandemic, dating apps' video technology and voice calling features have expanded.
The Evolution of Online Dating
The surprising origins of online dating trace back to 1959 when two Stanford students tried their hand at matchmaking for a class project. They matched 49 couples using a punch card questionnaire and an IBM 650 mainframe computer.
In 1965, two Harvard students used a 75-question survey and an IBM 1401 to conduct the social experiment Operation Match. This experiment was the first computer-based matchmaking service in the United States; singles mailed their questionnaires and a three-dollar fee before receiving a list of computer-generated matches. By 1966, Operation Match claimed over 90,000 people were using their service.
In 1995, Match launched as the world's first online dating website. The internet was still a novelty, and people were still learning how it worked. The convenience of email boosted its popularity throughout the decade, and the 1998 hit rom-com You've Got Mail further promoted its usage. Soon after, instant messaging emerged.
The social media boom of the 2000s brought even more people to the internet, specifically, the launch of Facebook in 2004. While Facebook isn't a dating site, it has undoubtedly impacted the world of online dating. Making its debut in 2007, the smartphone placed the internet in the hands of millions, and dating apps were quick to follow. In 2012, location-based dating and social discovery apps became popular.
People search the term “online dating” over 135,000 times a month, and experts estimate that over 25 percent of couples meet online. The world of online dating is ever-changing and evolving. Like the invention of email and the social media boom, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the trajectory of online dating.
Is There a Dating App With Video Calls?
When the pandemic began, businesses needed to adapt to stay relevant and avoid breaking stay-at-home orders. Similar to the workplace, dating apps modified their approach. Many well-known dating apps and sites implemented new technology that allowed users to participate in video calls.
Advantages of Video Dating and Voice Chat
Embedding the option to chat via voice or video within the platform allows users to forgo the need to exchange personal information — like phone numbers or social media handles — to talk intimately with one another.
While people want to assume the best in others, there is always a sense of caution when speaking to strangers online. Allowing users to chat over video or voice calls within the app or site ensures an extra layer of safety. It also allows individuals to see or hear the person they've interacted with in real-time.
This technology also benefits each platform because it keeps users engaged. Rather than leaving the app or site to have a phone or video call, users now engage in those activities within the platform. It incentivizes users to continue interacting with their product even if they've found the one.
Which Dating Apps and Sites Offer Voice and Video Chat Options?
Many platforms have rolled out new options since the pandemic. Most major sites and apps offer voice or video call features. Take a deep dive into each of these platforms and their available features.
Tinder offers a feature called "Face to Face" video chat, which lets users start a video call with a match directly from the Tinder app. Both users must opt into this feature by navigating to their messages, tapping the video icon on the screen, and sliding the toggle to the right to unlock the "Face to Face" feature.
Once you both have unlocked the feature, you'll get a confirmation message from the app. Upon confirmation, you start a call by simply visiting your messages with the match, tapping the video icon at the top of the screen, and clicking "Call."
Tinder's "Face to Face" feature is available on their mobile app and is compatible with iOS and Android. Tinder is the top free dating app, with over 70 billion matches to date.
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Bumble offers video chat and voice call features. The platform introduced these features to create safer spaces on Bumble dates. In addition to the standard Bumble Dating, Bumble also offers Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, which provide video chat and voice call features.
Before starting a call, you first have to match with someone. Once you've matched with another user, video and phone icons appear in the top-right corner of your conversation screen. What sets Bumble apart from other services is that women get the option to call as soon as they match with someone, which can count as their first move.
Men only get the opportunity to call after a woman they've matched with makes the first move. Bumble's video chat and voice calling features are available on their mobile app, which is available for download on iOS and Android. While Bumble offers a premium option to unlock additional features, the free version offers more than enough features for users who don’t want to spring for the top tier.
Hinge claims to be a dating app designed to be deleted based on their emphasis on long-term user connections. Shortly after the pandemic, Hinge introduced video chat and voice call features. Before utilizing the video chat feature, you must exchange messages with a match; this doesn't include an initial comment you may have sent when liking someone's profile.
The purpose of that requirement is to help ensure calls are safe and respectful. Once you're ready to make a video call, tap the camera icon in the top right corner of your chat screen. You can also place a voice call by tapping the phone icon in the top right corner of your chat screen.
Hinge's video call and voice chat features are available on their mobile app, which is available for download on iOS and Android. Hinge is a free app that offers Hinger Preferred for users who want to invest in additional features.
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Launched in 1995, Match helped pioneer the world of online dating. Match offers what they call "Vibe Check." Users can Vibe Check with another Match member once they've accepted the community terms and conditions. You must also have sent each other a message — or a like — to receive the Vibe Check feature.
Once you've matched with another user, you'll receive a video icon in your chat window. Clicking the icon allows you to call your match. Your match must accept for the call to begin. There is no time limit to calls.
Match's Vibe Check is available on desktop or the mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android. While Match does offer a free option, they also have several payment tiers that unlock more premium features.
Grindr allows users to share video messages and participate in video calls within their platform. You can send video messages to users up to eight seconds long. Free users can only send 10 video messages per day, while paid XTRA members have a daily maximum of 30 video messages.
Unlimited members can send 100 video messages per day. After messaging another user, you can start a video call with them. Users must be online for video messaging to work. Free users get one minute of video chatting each day, XTRA has 300 minutes per month, and unlimited members have 1,000 minutes per month.
The Grindr mobile app is available for download for iOS and Android and offers both a free and paid version of the platform.
eHarmony offers "Video Date," encouraging users to meet each other virtually and enjoy your safe space. They allow users to use the "Video Date" video call feature on their mobile app and website. eHarmony encourages users to make their video dates a full experience, such as enjoying a virtual happy hour or cooking a meal via Video Date.
The Video Date feature becomes available in your thread and on your match’s profile after allowing access to your camera and microphone. The eHarmony Video Date feature is available on desktop and mobile app for iOS and Android. While eHarmony offers a free membership, premium memberships are available for different price points.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel claims to be the dating app for people who are sick of swiping. Coffee Meets Bagel recently introduced a video chat feature on their platform. However, the video chat feature is currently only available to members on iOS in select regions.
Before starting a video chat, you need to confirm your choice. Next, you'll see a screen asking for camera and microphone permissions. Once you've unlocked the feature, you'll see a confirmation message.
To start a video chat, go to your conversation and tap the video icon at the top of the screen. You'll find yourself in a waiting room until the other user accepts the call. Video chats max out at 15 minutes. Coffee Meets Bagel offers both a free and premium version available for download on iOS.
Happn allows users to like or dislike other users and has recently introduced video and audio calls. Once you’ve matched, you must grant access to your camera and microphone before making a call. Users only receive one video or audio call for each match. The Happn mobile app is available for download on iOS and Android, with a free and premium version.
Badoo pre-dates most other dating apps in the video dating world, claiming to be the first service to offer a live video feature. Badoo launched its video chat function back in August 2017. Badoo's video chat function connects users in real time after exchanging messages.
Badoo offers a "freemium" service, meaning users can utilize core services without payment. Badoo is available for download on iOS and Android.
Live Stream Dating Apps
Do you prefer interacting with a broader community more than video chatting one-on-one? Plenty of dating apps allow you to live stream to your community.
Community places have fostered relationships since the beginning of time. Restaurants, bars, sporting events, bookstores, churches, gyms, concerts, and more are all places people connect to find common interests.
Live streaming allows people to build community and find connections among other individuals. In this age of the internet, dating app companies have found ways to create these types of environments entirely online.
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish Live is all about community. Users interact with other users during live streams by using the chat feature. Write something fun to catch someone's eye or click someone's username to initiate a private chat.
To go live, users must click the "Live" icon and accept the terms and conditions. Plenty of Fish offers a free version as well as premium services. This platform is available for download on iOS and Android.
Clover claims to be more than just a dating app; it's an app for singles that encourages users to make new friends while searching for a date. Clover allows users to interact with thousands of live-streaming singles locally and worldwide. Most features of the Clover app are free, but added features are available for premium users. The app is available for download on iOS and Android.
Zoosk Live is a platform where users can connect in real-time. Zoosk encourages users to create, connect, message, and chat during live streams. All Zoosk users have access to Zoosk Live, regardless of subscription type.
With many different categories — such as trending, nearby, and date — streamers and viewers have many opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. Zoosk is available for download on iOS and Android.
Audio Dating Apps
If you don’t feel comfortable with a dating app that utilizes video chat, plenty of options use only audio! Audio dates are a fun way to ease into online dating and are perfect for shy or reserved users.
There's also a sense of nostalgia with audio dates. It reminds users of a time when the only way to interact with a significant other — besides in person — was over the phone. Similar to the advantage of video calls via dating apps, these platforms allow users to engage in voice calls without disclosing personal information like phone numbers.
Vox allows users to listen, meet, and fall in love. Vox claims voice dating is a new way to get thrills and pleasure from communication. This platform allows users to communicate anonymously or be open; the choice is up to the individual.
With Vox, you can send voice chats back and forth through private messages. Vox offers free and premium membership options and is available for download on iOS and Android.
Vocal claims to be tailor-made for relationships; its ethos is about making a platform that focuses on genuine connections. After matching with a date, users get to know each other better through longer calls and messages.
Unlike other dating apps, Vocal has forgone the swiping feature. Instead, it highlights your personality by using spontaneous real-time conversations to match people.
Vocal is striving to make online dating a safer and more enjoyable experience. Users remain anonymous until they choose to reveal their identity to a match. The app is available for download on iOS and Android.
The creators of String used the pandemic to reinvent online dating and encourage users to date with their voices. They believe voices speak louder than words and that users can get to know each other better through verbal communication. String is available for free on Android.
Video Calls, Live Streams, and Audio Dates, Oh My!
The world of online dating is ever-changing and expanding. Gone are the days when all users could do was send written messages back and forth before deciding to meet up in person. Online dating has expanded to become a more inclusive and accepting space. No matter your preferences, there is a platform that fits your needs.
The right product for you is dependent on your wants and needs. Each platform has slight variations in its features, and you should consider your priorities before picking your platform.
Between video calls, live streaming, and audio dates, there are plenty of options to find the perfect platform. Regarding safety concerns, each platform has functions to block and report misbehaving or inappropriate users.
Best Free Video Dating App
Tinder and Bumble are your best bet if you're looking for a cost-effective option. These platforms offer so many features completely free of charge, and their user-friendly mobile apps make their platforms incredibly accessible.
As well as being the best options for video dating, Tinder and Bumble generally rank at the top of the best free dating apps. With a combined total of over a hundred million active users, Tinder and Bumble are the top dogs of the online dating game.
Best Free Live-Stream Dating App
Clover is the best dating app if you're interested in exploring the world of live-stream dating. Designed to be a community for singles to meet and form connections, Clover is the perfect fit for anyone looking to try live-stream dating.
Best Free Audio Dating App
Of all of the options for audio dates, Vox is the best choice. Its comprehensive platform is extremely accessible and user-friendly. If you're interested in letting your voice lead the way, Vox is the best fit.
Best Dating App for Serious Singles
If you are tired of games and are looking to settle down and find a serious partner, Hinge and Match are your best options. Hinge emphasizes long-term connections between users, while Match — a pioneer in the online dating industry — has set up millions of couples over the past three decades.
If you're serious about finding your perfect match, Hinge and Match provide just the right amount of assistance in the endeavor.
Find Your Partner
If you still need help setting up your profile, check out this article to make your profile stand out. While some people might be cynical about getting to know someone via a video call, live stream, or audio date, these tools show how far technology has come while helping users form genuine connections.
Video calls, live streams, and audio dates via online dating apps and sites are fantastic ways to get to know someone better while protecting your safety and privacy. These platforms break down barriers previously in place and help bridge the gap to in-person meetings. Online dating isn’t as daunting of a task with new technology.
Relax, open an app, and find your perfect match!