April 17, 2020
If you thought the single life was hard before, the pandemic has completely changed the dating landscape. Hesam Hosseini, CEO of Match told Cheddar Friday that despite being stuck at home, people are still looking to mingle.
"Singles, probably more than anyone, are feeling isolated as they stay at home. I think the dating industry, and Match, have a pretty important role to play as apps or tools that can connect you to people you don't know. We can play a role in making singles feel less isolated," Hosseini said.
The app also has a resource page called Dating While Distancing where users can share their concerns with dating experts. Hosseini said there have been a lot of questions about different ways people can keep up with a new relationship while social distancing and questions from users flying solo who still want to connect.
"The advice we give is, first and foremost, follow the guidelines in your local city and keep it virtual," he said. "Now is not the time to be dating someone new in person, but try to have fun with it."
Speaking of keeping it virtual, many couples have been trying 'video dates' to connect with each other, although the CEO said couples started trying that method even before the coronavirus outbreak began.
"Video has been around within dating, but adoption has been pretty low. We ran a survey and during COVID-19 we found that almost 70 percent of singles are now interested in trying video, which is what led us to launch Vibe Check on Match," he said.
Vibe Check is an in-app video calling service that allows singles to safely video chat with each other before deciding whether to exchange phone numbers. Hosseini thinks video dating will last after the pandemic is over.
"The way we've thought about video as the name implies, Vibe Check, post-COVID-19 and post the lockdown, it's not meant to replace in-person dates. It's meant to be a shorter way to know if you have a spark with someone'' he said.
The CEO said they've found more people on Match are having deeper conversations with each other after measuring the frequency of the back-and-forth between two people. He is also seeing changes within the early stages of dating.
"When you're on video I think it could lead to more meaningful conversations and actually get a deeper connection with someone," he said. "We are seeing even just the early stages of dating changing and maybe for the better that we are moving away from 'hook-up culture' and more towards building real relationships."