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Lively And Hinge Bank On Video To Bring Authenticity To Dating Apps

Communication
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Video is in. After the explosive success of Snapchat, competitor social networks scrambled to launch Stories features of their own. Instagram’s copycat proved so popular that Instagram Stories usage surpassed all Snapchat activity in April 2017.

Yet despite the success stories, online dating remains mysteriously absent from that race to innovate. On the surface, the search for love seems like an ideal candidate for video - if a picture on a profile is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth several times that - but few dating services have dared incorporate video into their features.

Hinge and Lively hope to be at the forefront of the eventual, seemingly inevitable, push to make video a regular part of the digital dating experience. Lively, a video-based social app, recently announced the release of augmented live video chat, while Hinge debuted a feature to add video clips to profiles.

Lively embraced video from the get-go. Launched as a product from Zoosk’s R&D group, Lively invites singles to upload photos and videos that are then transformed into story collages. The idea is that dynamic video profiles can express a personality better than static images and text, helping users get to know each other better and connect more easily.

Now Lively is taking things a step further. With live video chat, users are able to select a topic and start chatting instantly. Sessions begin with the screen blurred to make users feel more comfortable (no worries if you’re still in your pjs at 4pm) and protect their privacy. As you continue to talk and build a connection, the blur fades away to reveal your face in all its real-time glory.

“Lively is about creating fun ways to help people connect, not just match,” says Zoosk’s SVP of Product Behzad Behrouzi. “We’re hoping to create an overall experience where people can feel more relaxed being themselves, and more excited to meet and get to know other people.”

Meanwhile, over at Hinge, users can now upload existing videos from their phones or Facebook and Instagram accounts. Hinge’s CEO Justin McLeod told Mashable that the company introduced video because “it adds more texture to profiles, so people can really get a good sense of you.”

"What we’re trying to do is create a way to share that feels natural. It's an extension of how they’re already communicating,” he added.

And that’s not all. Back in January, Bumble announced plans to add disappearing 10-second videos, though the feature has yet to materialize on the app. Match also recently announced Match Stories, a proprietary tool that lets users stitch together 60-second clips from a combination of photos and videos, with the option to add a voiceover on top.

With so many dating services jumping on the video bandwagon, singles may finally be ready for their close-up.