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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Opinion

Latest dating app attempts to charm users with video profiles


New York Magazine and Tech Crunch have both decided to cover a social dating app that was produced last week called Charm. There are few distinctions between this creation and that of Tinder, a social app marketed to locate “interesting people” nearby which allows you to “like” or “pass” on their picture. Charm features quite a different spin: instead of using profile pictures to connect singles, it uses video footage.

Social network MeetMe has combined the perks of Tinder and Vine to ultimately reveal the best, most “updated” version of its users to the digital world of dating. According to co-founder Geoff Cook, Charm’s short, looping videos offer a much more honest approach to a medium some would say is falsified. For MeetMe, the app’s core mission is to bring authentic people together.

“A major benefit of the video approach to dating is that it doesn’t reduce people to just a profile photo,” said Catherine Cook, co-founder and vice president of MeetMe.

Since its release, the app has caused a stir among users as a potential mobile version of several questionable video-related dating sites. Erica Schwiegershausen at New York Magazine calls the app “mortifying,” while other Tinder users are equally appalled at the idea.

“Isn’t one of the reasons we all love Tinder how easy and no-fuss it is? This is just too much,” Schwiegershausen said.

Charm representatives have confirmed that a zero-tolerance policy is enforced for all content and all videos are reviewed. Each video clip is between six and 10 seconds in length, allowing users to show off a skill, deliver a smooth pick-up line or perform a short skit.

For those who are unsure how to properly represent themselves, Charm advises that “people who are happy and friendly get the best response.”

But all this begs the question of what to film in order to find a mate. Do you film yourself singing in the car in your best Céline Dion impression? Perhaps you film yourself cooking a magnificent dinner for two, or maybe you can just film a 360 of your head.

It could just be me, but this digital matchmaker is liable to become confusing, what with the many different kinds of videos that are sure to be uploaded by its users. But with both Tinder and Charm in its pocket, MeetMe has no plans to slow expansion. With its aim being to perfect the offerings of each app, there is room for more to come, each with its own game-changing selling point.

“This is the first of four new apps coming out of MeetMe in the next 6 months,” Cook said.

Let’s hope the dating world is ready.

Opinion columnist Alex Meyer is a creative writing freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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