Until now, online and mobile video dating has mostly been about looking at video clips. Flikdate for iOS, however, is all about live video calls, making it feels more like a mix of Chatroulette and Match.com than the current crop of video dating services.
The Flikdate team gave me a demo of the service earlier this week and it turns out the app is about as easy to use as it gets. You simply sign up with your Facebook login (no worries, the app doesn’t post to your wall or access any of your data), tell the service if you want to chat with men or women, and after that, it just takes one click to get started. The service works over 3G and WiFi (though the video quality tends to be more consistent over WiFi).
The team built a monetization scheme right into the app. By default, every conversation is limited to 90 seconds and costs you one flik. If, however, you decide that you want to talk for longer, you can go on a virtual “date” without time limits. That’ll cost you 5 fliks, but if your partner accepts your proposal, he or she will now appear in your datebook and you can go on another “date” or communicate by text chat anytime.
Once you run out of fliks, you can either wait a day for the service to automatically top off your account or buy 25 additional fliks for $0.99.
Chances are, the memory of Chatroulette and its constant parade of exhibitionists is still burned into your unconscious, but Flikdate hopes to avoid this problem by allowing you to ban users who decide to expose a bit too much of themselves. As Flikdate uses Facebook as an identity mechanism, which allows it to easily ban users who misbehave. On the service itself, of course, you are completely anonymous – but if you decide to take those pants off, Flikdate knows who you are.
Flikdate was founded by the all-girls team Dominika Wolski, Crystal Johnson, Lauren Lin and Kimberly Hunt. The company’s advisor’s include Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, Lemon.com‘s Isabel Pesce Mattos and echoecho‘s Nick Bicanic.
The Flikdate team has submitted its app to Apple and expects it to be live within about a week. At first, the service will be iPhone-only, but an Android app, as well as geofenced sessions (so you could limit dates to a specific college campus, for example), are coming soon.