Online dating company Dating.com is enabling users to meet and connect in the metaverse. Users will be able to meet in a digital environment called Decentraland, and communicate with other user’s avatars through the use of virtual reality technology.
The company has shared a number of benefits that users will be able to enjoy with this new system. Firstly, meeting in the metaverse allows users to join from around the world, “where distance is no boundary to finding a match”, it says. The platform’s global capabilities will be demonstrated when international couples, having met on Dating.com, will participate in an upcoming virtual wedding event.
A second benefit is that dating in the metaverse allows singles to meet new people without the superficial judgements that might come in the physical world. Meeting via virtual reality and avatars means users “can build relationships focused on personality, shared values and common interests” without the inconveniences of money spent and time wasted on physical dates, the platform explains.
“It’s the perfect time to launch meta-dating products”, KJ Dhaliwal, Chief Strategy Officer at Dating Group, told The Drum. He explained that after the COVID pandemic, people are more open to meeting others using technology, and that AR/VR platforms are improving. On a wider scale, technologies such as NFTs, cryptocurrencies and avatars are creating a virtual world “where people can interact and transact as they do in the real world”, he continued.
This is not the first time online dating companies have ventured into the virtual reality space. The Match Group, which owns Tinder, announced plans in 2021 for “Single Town”, a virtual world where singles could interact and connect. However their interest in the metaverse has slowed down after economic uncertainties and concerns about “what will or won’t work” in the metaverse, reported Business Insider.
The rise of virtual reality dating has also led to new safety concerns. Instances of groping in the metaverse were reported in Horizon Worlds, the virtual reality platform operated by Meta. Users can combat this by activating their “Safe Zone” which acts as a protective bubble and stops others from interacting with them, Meta’s internal review found.