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Face to Face, Tinder’s opt-in video chat feature, is now rolling out globally

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Tinder, currently the world’s biggest biggest dating app for people to find matches and connect with them, is expanding another feature today to extend the time people spend in the app, and the communications they can have within it.

Face to Face, an opt-in-only feature that Tinder launched earlier this year that lets users video chat with each other without exchanging personal information and only when they’re facing the cam, is now expanding globally, perhaps a timely move in a moment when many people are not meeting in person.

Tinder is well aware of the creepy aspects of dating services, and so tellingly it has touted how it’s not the company’s video team but its Trust and Safety team that built this one.

“We’re excited to share that our Face to Face feature is rolling out to our global community after receiving positive feedback from our members who have had early access to it,” said Rory Kozoll, Head of Trust and Safety Product at Tinder. “This adds to our growing list of features built focused on member safety throughout their dating journey, like Photo Verification, Safety Center and our offensive message detection technology. ”

Dating apps might seem like a strange category to thrive in a period where many are focusing — either because of government rules, or on recommendations from health experts, or both — on social distancing and congregating in small, known, regular bubbles.

But in fact there seems to be an opportunity here: they become a way for people to connect and get to meet each other, at a time when many bars and other traditional meeting spots are closed down, or at least finding their normal operations very limited, and people simply will see each other less in person for all the reasons you might imagine.

As a case in point, Tinder, according to stats from AppAnnie, has continued to linger in the top rankings of downloads of lifestyle apps this year (it’s currently at number three on iOS in the US).

And the video chat feature only accentuates the idea of using the app not just to see who is out there and who you might match with, but to communicate with those people.

Another plus here is that is not a complete free-for-all spamfest of unwanted people approaching you, as they might in a bar.

Tinder noes that both parties need to be opted into the feature, and you have to have matched already in the regular part of the app before a chat can be initiated.

And even then you can choose to ignore video chats when they come in, as you might a regular phone call.

And, if you are getting creepy people saying inappropriate things to you and calling you too much, and you don’t want to turn the feature of altogether, you can report people by scrolling to their profile and following the “report” instructions.

Tinder has been playing with video features for years to extend the ways that people interact on the app, video being one of the most popular and engaging mediums in apps currently.

It’s been a mixed bag of outcomes. Tinder Loops, another way of showing yourself off, has been around since 2018 and is still going strong. Other efforts like its Swipe Night apocalyptic interactive video in-app show were shelved in March due to Covid-19, although more recently it looks like the show is getting revived in other markets.

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