Bumble’s figured out a new way to bring video to its app: in-app voice or video calling. The feature applies to all of Bumble’s use cases, including Bumble Bizz for making professional connections; Bumble BFF for making friends; and Bumble for dating. The option to start a call will surface only once a match has been made. Women can call from that initial match while men have to wait until a woman has made the first move. The overall appeal is that people don’t have to swap phone numbers to chat, so if they unmatch, the other person loses their ability to make a call.
Only one other major dating app, Badoo, allows for video calling within the app, which isn’t coincidental. The same man — Andrey Andreev — operates both Badoo and Bumble. Andreev just consolidated the apps, along with Chappy and Lumen, into a new holding group called Magic Lab with plans to invest in new tech to “bring people together.”
Video has slowly come to dating apps in various forms. Hinge allows people to upload videos to their profile, while Tinder has a feature called Loops on people’s profiles that are looping GIFs. Video chats might have the potential to save people from bad first dates, but they could also be strange if people abuse the privilege to call or don’t establish norms around when would be appropriate to call.