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”On Hinge we encourage our members to be authentic with one another because we know that leads to the best connections,” explains Hinge founder and CEO Justin Mc Leod.“Our profiles already do a great job, but video creates the opportunity for our members to learn about potential matches in a way that simply can’t be captured with still photos and text.” The company will also encourage video adoption, too, by showing Hinge profiles with video to five times more people it says.The company this week announced its plans for a Stories feature, too.In Match’s case, the stories can stretch to 60 seconds, as compared with Bumble’s 10-second videos, for example.Meanwhile, Zoosk’s newer product Lively is hoping to capitalize on video to bring more people to its app.Launched last summer as a product from the company’s R&D group, Zoosk Labs, Lively had adopted video from the get-go.The company says users can add videos up to 30 seconds long, by pulling from those that already exist on their phone.However, it’s shying away from short-form, disappearing videos like those found in Instagram, Snapchat, or Messenger “Stories.” In fact, Hinge will not prompt people to take a front-facing video at all, only those pre-recorded or previously shared to Facebook or Instagram.
So it only makes sense that they would adopt video as well, given the growing popularity of the format on social apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as the industry’s larger embrace of “Stories” as a means of offering an angle into people’s lives, activities, and interests.Now, Zoosk is pushing the bar even further in terms of video with the launch of live video chat.The feature, which will be public on Wednesday morning, is designed to help users make connections with people that extend beyond dating.(The videos imported from social networks can be longer than 30 seconds, Hinge notes.) Instead, Hinge believes support for videos will allow members to better show who they really are, by sharing fun or memorable moments and activities from their lives.This continues the dating service’s larger mission of helping users find relationships, not casual encounters.
“It’s more of a way to storytell, and express yourself beyond a photo,” explains Bumble co-founder CEO Whitney Wolfe, “but in a way that was native to how we in our audience already use social media video.