Tinder is going to launch its own in-app, one-on-one video chats later this year. Match Group, the brand’s parent company, announced the feature in its earnings release today. Details are scarce, but the fact that Tinder is even going to release this feature is big news. This would be one of the largest feature introductions for the brand, and an especially impressive undertaking considering Tinder has millions of users, and video calls can be places ripe for abuse. The company couldn’t share additional details with The Verge.
Harassment and abuse could be difficult to screen for on video, as opposed to text-based messaging. But presumably, the team is either building its own offensive image detection system or looking to a third party to provide one. Users will also have to get used to the idea of swiping and then chatting with people over video rather than just screening their dates in person.
The app’s only video feature until now has been looping GIFs
Otherwise, Match provided updates on its brands’ performance during the COVID-19 pandemic where most of the world is under strict lockdown and unable to meet up for in-person dates. It says it’s seen an uptick in the average Tinder swipes each day and said they reached “all-time highs.” Women users under the age of 30 increased their daily average swipes by 37 percent, Match says, in the month of April compared to the last week of February. The average number of daily messages sent across all of its products, including on Hinge, Match.com, and OkCupid, in the month of April was 27 percent higher than during the last week of February, and for users under the age of 30, it was 35 percent higher.
That said, the company did also note that it saw a decline in first-time paying users from February to March, although the numbers were still higher than last year at this time. It also regained its subscriber momentum from March to April.
“As the lockdowns have dragged on, we have seen some impact on younger male users, while there has been some recovery in the over 30 demographic,” the company says.
Although the dating apps are making changes to their product in an effort to keep people dating, the full impact of the pandemic on dating will likely be seen later this year. If lockdown orders stay in effect around the world, it’s possible people will shelve dating until they can actually meet up in person.
“We are confident that demand for human connection will never dissipate and remain committed to fulfilling that need,” the company said in its earnings note. “This period of social isolation would have been much more dire for single people – who no longer have other avenues to meet and connect such as bars and concerts – if not for our products.”