There’s a lot to love about navigating the inevitably complicated world of dating via apps and websites. Aside from the simple fact that it’s more or less the default mode of relationship-finding for 20- and 30-somethings these days, online dating also offers opportunities for you to meet people who you probably wouldn’t meet at a bar — people who actually share common interests with you, people who are making love a priority at the same level you are. Putting these high-tech dating platforms to work also means that you can make more informed decisions about your love life in the comfort of your own home, with the luxuries of time and space on your side so you’re not feeling pressured or rushed to make a decision about someone before you’re ready. In spite of all these advantages, though, online dating lacks one very major element: face time (we’re talking about the real kind, not the app on your smartphone). You can learn a lot about someone from their profile, but it’s easier to connect with a potential S.O. when you’ve actually seen them, heard the inflection in their voice when they talk, or watched them laugh at themselves after a corny joke. All of that’s been off the table so far, but dating app Coffee Meets Bagel has recently changed that.
On November 8, CMB announced the introduction of a new Video feature within their app. Say goodbye to the days of awkwardly suggesting a video call with an online crush because you want to make sure they’re who they say they are and to see if you might actually connect with them IRL — video functionality is now available within the actual Coffee Meets Bagel platform. Every day at 7pm EST, users will receive a video question (think “Where did you meet your best friend?” or “Do you kiss on the first date?”). From there, they’ll be able to view their matches’ eight-second video responses to the question or to record their own. Taking a cue from Snapchat and Instagram Stories, the CMB Video function deletes all recordings at 7pm the following day, when a new question is released and the cycle begins again.
According to CMB co-founder and COO Dawoon Kang, the app’s new feature was inspired by feedback from singles, many of whom said that the major drawback to online dating is the lack of authentic connection.
“Right now, a sense of connection is established only after you’ve met in person,” Kang says. “Lack of connection on the app makes it feel like work. We want to change this. We want people to experience authentically connecting with others on the app because this is what is going to leave singles feeling inspired and excited — actually getting to know people. Video is our first step to making that happen.”
Early feedback suggests that users are already feeling inspired and excited by this new addition to CMB. Seventy percent of the feature’s beta users visited Video on a daily basis, and the profiles of those users who actually created videos of their own were boosted fivefold. More than half of the users who created videos got liked that same day, which Kang says is a significantly higher rate than that of users who didn’t create videos.
“I hope [users] use Video to share about themselves,” she tells us. “Be open, have fun, be spontaneous, and see what comes of it!”
Will you check out CMB’s Video feature? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Coffee Meets Bagel, featured photo via Getty)