Contributed by: ElyseRomano Tuesday, September 11 2018 @ 09:04 am
Celebrities aren’t immune to the pervasive popularity of online dating. Despite their fame, stars like Tiffany Haddish, Charlize Theron, Zac Efron, Martha Stewart, Chace Crawford, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, and Andy Cohen have admitted to experimenting with dating apps. There’s even Raya - an exclusive app designed just for celebrity singles.
But here’s a name we never expected to see associated with online dating: Norm Macdonald.
The Canadian comedian has made a radical departure from stand-up and SNL to co-create a dating app with serial entrepreneur Vivek Jain. The app, called Loko[*1] , places the focus on meeting face-to-face with video-only profiles. This helps matches make genuine first impressions based on personality, the founders claim, and eliminates several major problems faced by online daters.
“One evening I went over to my friend Norm [Macdonald]’s house to vent about my recent first dates that went nowhere,” Jain told Urban Daddy[*2] . “Norm wanted to get to the bottom of this so we talked until we figured it out. And we realized the problem was first dates. They rarely go well. It seemed like an inefficient use of time—when free time was so precious to begin with.”
Countless singles have been disappointed by matches who don’t show up for dates or look nothing like their photos. And that’s if they make it to the date in the first place. Countless more are simply ghosted after days or weeks of exchanging hopeful messages. For daters seeking serious relationships, this behavior is particularly disheartening.
“I think the existing dating apps have a place for many singles, but there is a void when looking at the 30+ age demographic who are looking for committed relationships based on a real, meaningful connections,” Jain explained. “This demographic doesn’t have time to waste on first dates that aren’t enjoyable or text exchanges that go on for weeks—that may or may not result in a face-to-face date.”
Enter Loko, which uses video profiles and chats to function as “face-to-face dates” that can be conducted from the comfort of your sofa. New members must create an eight-second “Hello” video as an introduction. They may also add a 30-second “About Me” video to provide additional information. With the profile complete, it’s time to start swiping.
If a connection is made, both parties have 24 hours to schedule a virtual chat within the app called an “Elimidate”. Each video chat can last up to 15 minutes, during which you’re expected to get to know each other and arrange to meet or exchange contact information. You won’t be able to match or communicate again through Loko, so don’t waste time if you think you feel a spark.
The policy might seem harsh, but it serves a purpose. The Loko team hopes a looming time limit will be the push daters need to get offline and into the real world - no endless swiping or back-and-forth text conversations that lead nowhere.
“We believe singles in 2018 are ready for video dating,” Jain says, noting that the medium curbs the pratfalls of other dating apps, like catfishing. “It’s a perfect mix of bringing technology together with old fashioned dating charm—where human interaction and personality are the root of making real connections.”