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Dating App Bumble Launching Video Feature

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Do you think a few photos provide enough information to determine whether or not someone is a good match? The makers of dating app Bumble think they aren't, and that video can help.

The popular female-centric dating app will soon release BumbleVID, which will allow users to create a video "story" with unlimited 10-second videos, which will each delete after 24 hours. According to Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe, the video feature was inspired by Snapchat.

To make sure the videos are current, Bumble asks users to record their 10-second features within the app, which then posts to their profiles. If someone wants to use a pre-recorded video from their phone or another source, it has to have been recorded within the last 24 hours. These videos will also be marked with a tag saying they weren’t posted “live.” The new BumbleVID feature also lets users send their videos to specific matches.

It seems Bumble prefers video to be the focus of their users’ online dating experience going forward. Users can see who looked at the video, and their videos will appear on the Connections and Conversations page, so they can see the videos of anyone they are talking to.

Short videos aren’t new, especially ones that disappear. While Snapchat pioneered the practice, Instagram added 10-second disappearing videos to its features, too, which have become popular.

Other dating apps have tried to feature videos in profiles so that daters have a better idea of who their matches are. Instamour and Charm both offered video profiles and video chats for users to get to know each other better before agreeing to meet in person. But these apps don’t have the reach of an app like Tinder or Bumble, and also didn’t capitalize on the success of Snapchat’s disappearing, short clips.

As website TechCrunch pointed out, Bumble’s entry into Snapchat and Instagram’s territory could mean competition for them. When you are out with friends and take a short video, you might reconsider posting on Snapchat or Instagram and instead add it to your Bumble profile to see who’s interested and who might reach out.

Another point that TechCrunch makes is that the short videos add a level of “realness” to people’s profiles. Instead of being highly curated with photos that have been altered to some degree, videos give you a little more insight into someone’s personality and quirks. It’s not quite so polished, so it’s more like dating in real life.

We’ll see how this move plays for Bumble, and what other dating apps might follow.