If you’re single and haven’t tried virtual dating, it might be time to get on board.
The gradual easing of lockdown restrictions is great news if you want to verify your date is who they say they are, from a safe 2metre distance. But, it’s likely you’ll not wanting to be holding hands, even if they are slathered with hand sanitiser, for a while to come.
Blindlee, a new online dating app, blends the best of Tinder and Zoom to offer users the chance of blind dates over blurred three-minute video calls.
London-based Sacha Nasan, 23, was inspired to create the app with his cousin Glenn Keller, 21, after their cousin went on a date with a man who ended up being 15 years older than how he presented himself online.
“We wanted to make an app that was instantaneous, connecting two people directly with a safety net between them,” Sacha said.
“Many people also use fake profiles. People are different behind a profile, and whilst it’s not in person, video is a good indication of how they are in real life.”
So, how does it work?
“We are matching two strangers who don’t know each other,” he said. “They first match certain criteria and then we get them on a three minute blurred video call. We want people to establish a deeper connection, not just focus on initial physical appearance.
“There are fun ice breakers during the call and importantly, only the woman can control the blur. So, she can start the call at 100 per cent and then if she wants to, she can reduce the blur.
“The man can choose to accept this. After the three minutes we ask if they like each other, if they say yes, then we consider that a match. They can then contact each other directly if they want.”
In recent weeks, the lack of physical social interaction, perhaps unsurprisingly, resulted in an increase in participants using the app.
“Blindlee was a side project,” Sacha said. “Covid-19 helped in terms of our exposure and getting our name out there. Suddenly people were at home or had to social distance so you couldn’t go on Tinder and meet people in the pub.
“So you see this paradigm shift to video dating. We were already using video; suddenly we were mentioned in Forbes, Glamour and the Wall Street Journal. Our sign ups have increased by 500 per cent.”
Once life returns to “normal” and you’re able to sit across the table from your date at the pub, will there be a place for Blindlee?
“Video dating will stay mainstream as a first filter,” Sacha explained. “Users were using Blindlee as a pre-date also. Essentially dating is a numbers game; they can use video as a pre-date to avoid wasting money on an actual date or wasting their time.”
For more information about Blindlee, you can visit the website here.