BBC - July 21 - Video dating surged during lockdowns, but how much will the trend stick around in the 'new normal'? A recent survey from Match showed that 69% of users in the US were open to video chatting, whereas just 6% had tried it before the pandemic. There was also a surge in interest in livestreaming dating games, with The Meet Group, a US market leader in the sector, reporting a 95% surge in usage of its products since March. These include video speed-dating events and blind-dating games for users who want to focus on personality rather than looks. Dr Helen Fisher, who works as an advisor to Match Group, says that lockdowns around the world followed a period in which many millennials were already experiencing swiping fatigue. Dating app growth slowed globally in 2019, and Fisher's own research before the pandemic suggested a growing appetite for closer emotional connections developed over a longer period, instead of casual hook-ups. With countries now easing lockdowns, most dating experts think people will quickly return to developing romantic relationships offline, rather than focusing on video-based dating. However, there is a consensus that the trend for video dating won't disappear completely, with many suggesting that video calls in the 'new normal' will form part of a screening process before a first real-life date.
by Maddy Savage
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