Bumble has introduced three new updates to help users have a positive dating experience while social distancing measures are in place.
Firstly, singles now have the option to add a ‘Virtual Dating’ badge to their profile, which shows their matches that they are willing to have a video or voice call. It is hoped that the badge will aid the potentially awkward transition from sending to text messages to something more intimate.
The social app has also committed to making a donation of $1 to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for every person who adds the badge, up to a total $10,000. Bumble has already donated $100,000 to the cause early this week.
Hinge released its own ‘Date From Home’ feature last week to help daters decide if they were ready for a virtual date.
Data from Bumble shows that usage rates of its video chat feature increased by 93% after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a worldwide pandemic.
CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd told Mashable: “We’re in a time where it’s paramount that people physically distance themselves IRL but that doesn’t mean we need to be socially disconnected altogether.
“In fact, in a time like this it’s more important than ever to stay connected and engaged with others — and let’s face it, connection is a fundamental part of being human so we will find a way to stay in touch!”
Bumble users are also now allowed to expand their distance filters to include anyone in their country. It was previously limited to just 50 miles, but since a large portion of the world is on lockdown it has become less important to meet someone nearby and more important to engage in fun interactions.
Finally, daters are able to send recorded audio notes as part of the in-app conversations, which should act as another stepping stone before having a live call.
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