Meeting potential matches online is hardly revolutionary dating behavior, but over the past year, some people looking to make romantic connections have leaned on this technology in a whole new way — and that’s lead to some exciting developments and advancements from app designers. Probably the biggest trend to come out of this time is that of the virtual date, and some experts predict that it’s actually going to stick even when it’s safe to meet in person sooner and more frequently. It’s this belief that inspired one video dating app to launch its latest effort: Hinge’s video prompts.
According to a Hinge survey, 65 percent of daters plan to continue doing virtual dates even after social distancing protocols begin to lift. This — like a few other practices to keep post-pandemic — allows the dating process to be slower and more considerate for many users. “Video dates are here to stay,” says Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science at Hinge. “They’re an easy yet valuable ‘virtual vibe check’ that allow Hinge users to see if they have chemistry with someone before meeting up in person. You can skip the long commute and expensive cocktails, while getting a sense of your match’s sense of humor, values, and personality.”
Anyone who’s used Hinge in the past is probably familiar with the app’s unique use of “prompts” in your profile (anything from “A Shower Thought I recently had” to “I’ll know it’s time to delete Hinge when”), and as of Monday, April 12th, it’s offering a similarly engaging, low-pressure approach by way of video. Here’s how it works: Once you start chatting with someone, the video call function (think FaceTime) will let one user swipe through a range of prompts to ask one another. There are eight types of prompts: The Warm-Up (the basics), Dive in Deep (a little more personal), Behind The Scenes (a sneak peek at your daily life), Not So Serious (fun and out-of-the-box), Dim The Lights (more romantic in nature), Underrated or Overrated (weigh in on some polarizing topics), and Let’s Delete Hinge (answer as a team).
For some users, this video function is a natural precursor to an in-person date, but still feels more personal than just messaging through the app. So if things go well, the next step could be planning some actual face time. But in the case that you want to stay virtual a little while longer, Hinge recently released a kit with Uncommon Goods that includes the makings for cocktails or mocktails so you get still get the first date experience through your screens. In such a transitional time, it’s nice to have your options.