We’ve all become overly acquainted with video chatting to make up for our lack of social lives in the past year or so.
We’ve been getting a lot done via video; working, studying, chatting to loved ones near and far, liaising with doctors, watching music shows, and even dating.
Pat yourself on the back, No, seriously.
Anyway, dating apps like Hinge, Bumble, and Tinder have already added video chat capabilities to their apps, mostly in response to the pandemic and people’s need to see real-time faces.
Now, Facebook is adding a video chat dating app to the mix, too, but with a twist.
You’ll be speed dating profiles for four minutes at a time, leading to a 10-minute chat if it went well, with the option of taking it to the next level by exchanging contact information (to move the conversation to other platforms that Facebook owns).
Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, which works on experimental apps for the company, is busy testing the app, which is called Sparked.
The Sparked website (which now appears to have been taken down) sets itself apart from other popular dating apps by promising no public profiles, no swiping, no endless DMs, and no cost.
All you need is a Facebook account and maybe some key cards to ensure the four-minute video chat with strangers isn’t totally awkward.
For now, there’s a sign-up process and a waiting list, which The Verge explores.
When signing up, users have to type out what makes them a kind dater. The app says these responses will be “reviewed by a human at Sparked” before people can go on speed dates.
Users also have to choose whether they want to date men, women, or nonbinary people, and then are asked if they are open to dating trans people.
Sparked is still in a small beta test at the moment, but it will be the second Facebook dating product after Facebook Dating, which is most popular in the US and UK.
Feel free to check out all the screenshots of the sign-up process over at The Verge, or sign up yourself when the app becomes available, although it is unclear when this will be the case.
I’m just glad to see Facebook worried about unkind people on their platform for once.
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