Bumble Introduces In-App Video and Voice Calls

Bumble
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Leading the way for major dating apps, Bumble launched an exciting new feature for its platform: in-app video and voice calls. It will soon be available in Bumble Bizz, Bumble BFF and its signature dating app.

The new feature is similar to Facetime, in that you can voice or video call a match directly from within the Bumble app. The ability to make an in-app call will be available only once a match has been made, according to Tech Crunch. In other words, there must be a double opt-in so users won’t be getting unsolicited calls from random users.

And, in line with Bumble’s trademark – women make the first move – these calls can only be initiated by a woman. So guys will have to wait by their phones, or apps as it were, for their matches to call.

This particular feature is a step in the right direction for a dating app to address the safety concerns of users. Instead of having to exchange phone numbers, two matches can call and video each other via the app and avoid handing out more personal information. If there isn’t a spark, or if they un-match, they lose their ability to make a call. (In other words, a woman can force a match to lose her number if it doesn’t work out.)

The video feature gives users “a more real life interaction, and [is] saving them time by getting a deeper understanding of who they’ve matched with before they decide to meet in person or share valuable contact information,” Magic Labs CEO Andrey Andreev told TechCrunch.

Security has been a major focus for Bumble. Last month, the company announced its upcoming “Private Detector” feature, which analyzes photos sent via in-app messaging to let users know if there’s anything explicit, so they have the choice of whether or not to open the message.

Badoo (notably also part of Magic Labs, Andreev’s new holding company) is the only other major app to offer in-app video and voice calls.

Other popular apps have launched video features for user profiles, capitalizing on the popularity of social media features like Stories. Tinder launched a video feature called Loops which allows users to create looping GIFs. Hinge has also allowed users to upload videos to their profiles.

Incorporating video has become a focus of dating apps, especially as users look for new ways of connecting online before they decide to meet. And as dating app companies expand to new markets, there is already a growing preference for video in addition to photos and messaging. Magic Labs also announced that it will be bringing video to its other apps in the near future, Lumen and Chappy. For more on this service, read our Bumble app review.