Dating is never easy, but in a time when most people are practicing social distancing and isolating in their own homes, it’s become nearly impossible to meet new people. Even if you wanted to meet someone for coffee, or go get a drink with them, there’s really no place to go. Now, one dating app has adapted to this challenge, offering users the opportunity to go on virtual dates with one another. Here's how Hinge is getting us all remote-date-ready.
Hinge's new "Date from Home" feature allows you to tell your matches you're ready for a remote date.
On April 7, Hinge announced that it was introducing a new option to its app that allowed people to go on remote dates. The company behind the app, which is branded as a dating app for people who “want to get off dating apps,” has said that the goal of the new feature is to allow people to feel socially connected even as they remain physically isolated.
“While we may need to be physically distant right now, we can still be socially connected. We are excited for the launch of 'Date from Home' as a new and easy way for our users to continue their dating lives," Tim MacGougan, Hinge‘s chief product officer said in a press release.
How does the feature actually work?
The "Date from Home" feature adds an additional layer to the chats that users normally have in the app. As you’re chatting with a match, the app will ask you if you’re ready to participate in a phone call or video chat with your match. Both members of the chat have to say that they’re ready for a call before the responses are made available to the other person. You can also change your response if you’re the first to answer and your chat partner has not answered yet.
Once you’ve both said that you’re ready for a virtual date, the app will offer a message that says, “Now is the perfect time for a video or phone call." Once that message appears, you can work to schedule a time to talk in a video chat or over the phone. After you receive that message, the app will also check in with you to see if you’ve had a virtual date, the same way it would ask if you’d met in person.
Additionally, instead of asking you if you’re open to a second date, the app will now ask you if you’d like to get to know the person better. According to reporting, Hinge has found that roughly 70 percent of its users would be open to virtual dating. The company also said that roughly one-third of its users found the hardest part of online dating to be the shift from chatting to meeting one another in real life.
“Date from Home is designed to combat this widely-felt apprehension and provide an easy way to signal when they're ready for a virtual date, so they can get off the app and enjoy getting to know each other in a safe way," the press release announcing the feature says.