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“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.We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel – we wanted to just take what was already working well in other platforms, and give them the opportunity to do that with people they don’t know yet, versus their friends,” she says.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 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.(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.
(More to come on that this fall.) Again, Bumble’s interest in video has a lot to do with how the company feels the format will help users show more of themselves, which is the common thread between all the dating apps’ embrace of video.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.Shortly after, Bumble will roll out its own video support as well.Announced in January, Bumble VID will allow users to share video “stories” on their profile.
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Bumble says it decided to hold the feature back because it would make more sense from an engineering perspective to launch it in the rebuilt app arriving this fall.