As many parts of the world continue to struggle to slow the spread of COVID-19, many events and social gatherings have turned virtual, so you might expect dating apps to also adapt to the current circumstances. Tinder is doing exactly that by adding video call support to its app in a test beginning today in a few select countries.
Called Face to Face, the feature allows matches to get to know each other more intimately using video calls. As usual, the company is focused on safety, and the feature was actually built by the Trust and Safety Team at Tinder. As such, the service tries to set its implementation of video calls apart in a number of ways.
For starters, the ability to go face-to-face with one of the user's matches is only available once both users decide they want to enable the capability. Video calls are only enabled on a match-by-match basis, and consent to video calls can be retracted at any time, so the other side doesn't even get the option to call. The app will also check-up with users to make sure they want to keep using Face to Face after a call, while also making it easier to report users.
Tinder will also present some ground rules for video calls before the capability is turned on. Users must agree to keep the call free of sexual content or nudity, avoid harassment, and more. Finally, users are stuck into a split-screen view, so both users can feel equal during the call.
The dating app ran a survey with its users in the United States in May, and it showed that half of them were using other services to make video calls with Tinder matches. Naturally, Tinder would likely prefer to keep its users on its own platform as long as possible, so the addition of video calls isn't unexpected. Currently, the feature is in testing in Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. It's also being tested in the United States, but only in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, and Virginia.