Why are you pressing this button? is back for a special episode about virtual dating in 2020. The pandemic has forced many people to stay at home, which means that the dating had to go online. In this episode, Kaitlyn Tiffany and I talk to Online Data and Bumble's vice president of strategy for how to adapt to pure virtual dating. They try to find out which characteristics and behaviors may remain after social distancing and the end of the pandemic.
Dating apps have relied on virtual data in recent months. Tinder starts video calls and added a feature called Global Mode that you can use to match with people around the world. Hinge has introduced a virtual dating badge that users can insert into their profiles to indicate that they are unavailable for a virtual date. Bumble has also expanded the reach of people and made it possible to send audio notes within the app. Bumble already had video calls available in the app, and predictably their usage skyrocketed during the pandemic.
"We saw an 84 percent increase in video calls between users," said Priti Joshi, vice president of strategy at Bumble. "And what we hear from our users is that this is basically a way for them to make a secure connection, since they are currently unable to establish an IRL connection."
For example, video calls lasted 28 minutes on average in the last week of April, according to Bumble. People talk longer and try to make video call data more similar to the data they would personally have.
However, data says they are not enthusiastic about everything virtual data has to offer. Listen to the episode above to hear about three dates that explain their virtual dating trips and the features they're likely to maintain. As always, you can subscribe to the show wherever you normally receive your podcasts. However, to make it easier, here are the usual places: Apple podcasts, Pocket casts, Spotify, Google podcasts, and our RSS feed.