Sick of Swiping? This New App Connects Local Singles via Random Video Chat
Remember Chatroulette? At the turn of the decade, it debuted as an online video chatting service with the good intentions of connecting random people from anywhere on Earth, but it basically launched a worldwide d*ck pic epidemic instead. Well, the new dating app Blindlee is bringing a similar idea to your love life, but with built-in protection against those unsolicited images.
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Blindlee boasts a pretty revolutionary idea when it comes to online dating in today’s world. In harsh contrast to your usual swiping suspects such as Tinder and Bumble, the startup app connects nearby singles of a similar age — at random — for a three-minute “icebreaker” video call. It’s an attempt to make online dating a little bit more organic by bringing daters (mostly) face-to-face as their first point of contact.
So how does it all work? The video feed starts out 100 percent blurred. Now, this could be a commentary on meeting potential dates with beer goggles on at a bar, but that’s not the true-to-life dating experience that Blindlee intends to mimic. After the two daters connect to the call, the app will suggest topics to get the conversation flowing (just like any expert wingman would). It’s only after the call concludes that each dater has the opportunity to “match” with the other. If both sides agree that there’s something more to explore, they can continue to chat via text.
But when do you actually get to see the person on the other end of the call? Admittedly, the protection against unsolicited images heavily favors female daters. The ladies are the ones who can initiate blur reduction from 75 percent all the way down to zero percent. However, the guys on the other end do have to agree to the reduction of the blur as well, so it’s not entirely one-sided. (No word on who gets the reins in gay and lesbian relationships, though.)
The idea is certainly inspired, but will it have you instantly deleting Tinder from your phone? Probably not — and the app’s founder doesn’t expect you to.
“This is more niche and is definitely a new, untried concept to the dating world,” says Blindlee co-founder Sacha Nasan. “However, the good thing about dating apps is that they are not substitutes but complements.”
Nasan is not worried about competing with other dating apps because he’s confident that Blindlee has something new and different to offer online daters, mostly in the 18-30 demographic. And when it comes to the age-old hookup vs. relationship debate, he says Blindlee falls closer to the relationship end of the spectrum.
Overall, the concept is pretty low-risk with a potentially high reward for daters seeking a genuine relationship. A video chat easily exposes would-be catfish, and most can agree that it’s a major plus to weed out unsavory singles who are happy to flop their business out on camera regardless of the opposing party’s disgust or disinterest.
So, did video chatting with total randoms just have the glow-up of the decade? You can judge for yourself with the Blindlee app, now available in the App Store and on Google Play.
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