Gone are the days (for now) of swiping right, and hooking up a few hours later – or slinking back home to reassess your priorities.
Of course, some have chosen to do things the old way, but it’s not ideal.
There’s a reason that ‘social bubbles’, or small groups of people that you trust to stay safe, mask up, and physically distance themselves, is a thing right now.
Back to the rise and rise of what they’re calling ‘virtual dating’ which has become so popular that even Tinder is on board.
The app is rolling out ‘Face to Face‘ to users worldwide (it was launched earlier this year in select regions). It’s a one on one video feature that allows you to go on a virtual date without the need to exchange any personal details like your cellphone number.
Tinder, says TechCrunch, is well aware, as are we all, of the creepy side of online dating, so they called in its ‘Trust and Safety’ team to build this one.
“We’re excited to share that our Face to Face feature is rolling out to our global community after receiving positive feedback from our members who have had early access to it,” said Rory Kozoll, Head of Trust and Safety Product at Tinder.
“This adds to our growing list of features built focused on member safety throughout their dating journey, like Photo Verification, Safety Center and our offensive message detection technology.”
The last thing we need right now is a video version of the persistent DMing and crotch shots that often come standard with using the app.
It’s also bad news for catfishers, or “a person who assumes a false identity or personality on the internet, especially on social media websites, as to deceive, manipulate, or swindle”.
According to htxt.africa, it’s not yet available in South Africa, but is in the United States, UK, Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile.
The global rollout means that it should reach our shores at some stage.
For the feature to work, both people have to opt-in. You have to match first before you’re given the option to chat via video, and even then, if you change your mind you can end the call in the same way that you would a regular phone call.
To put it differently, once you’ve chatted for a while via the usual messaging service, and feel comfortable enough to take it to the next level, you can tap the video icon.
The feature won’t be unlocked until both of you have toggled the icon. It doesn’t notify your match when you tap the video icon and you can also untoggle the icon and disable video chat whenever you like.
If weirdos start saying inappropriate things or calling too often, you can either untoggle the feature and/or report them by scrolling to their profile and following the “report” instructions.
And hey, even when the pandemic is under control, it’s not a bad way to check someone out before meeting up.
Not to mention the added bonus of not being caught off guard when you meet up with someone who was using a picture from 10 years ago on their profile.
Sorry, catfish – it looks like your luck is running out.
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