Social distancing hasn't totally killed the dating scene, courtesy of technology. While COVID-19 keeps us self-quarantined, it's prompted many to turn to their apps to date. Yes, we're utilizing our phones in yet another way to connect with strangers at a time when we could all use the connection. If you want to go beyond the usual digital options, scroll on below to see a few extra features to allow you to connect with others.
Tinder is about to roll out their Passport feature for free until April 30. This option, which is typically exclusive to the app's Tinder Plus and Gold subscriptions, will allow users to change their locations to other cities without having to actually move anywhere. Instead of being stuck to your location (and house), the app will offer users the ability to conversate with others since they'll be able to digitally "travel" to other cities. The option will kickstart around March 26 until April 30.
If you want to try out video dates, Badoo can be a good alternative to chat with somebody. Once you've matched with someone, you will need to exchange a message and that'll unlock a feature to call each other. As per the company, more than 468 users have joined the platform, so the chances for connection seem relatively high, right?
Plenty of Fish
Amid the quarantine, Plenty of Fish has launched its LIVE! feature in places heavily impacted by the pandemic. For instance, folks in places like New York, California and Washington have reportedly been able to livestream with fellow users. The full global launch of the feature is set for the end of April.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is typically meant for exactly what its title suggest, but the folks behind the app have attempted to reinvent the notion behind virtual dating. The app has reportedly begun hosting video calls for 10 to 15 members at a time, with moderation by a company representative. If a participant is interested in another member, the user can e-mail the representative. If both parties are interested, the rep will connect them.
Alternatively, there's Hinge to incorporate some romance into the mix amid the quarantine. The app allows users to text, send phone calls and, most notably, conduct video chats. "With 70% of Hinge users expressing interest in going on digital dates, we’re encouraging our community to ‘date from home’ using phone calls and video chats to build connections," the dating app said in a message to users.
This one is new to the scene but the first dating app launched during and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aimed at college students, this app is for the college students worldwide that are now quarantined at their homes. "College is one of the only times that people can be connected with a wide pool of people they have connections with; because of the new social distancing restrictions they are no longer able to do that,” the co-founder said in an e-mail to The Los Angeles Times. "OKZoomer was created to use the free time people currently have to help them build connections that will last beyond the distance, the social distance."
Aside from owning Tinder, Hinge and Plenty of Fish, Match has launched a "Dating while Distancing" hotline, which is staffed by the company’s experts and available (and free) for users 12 hours a day. This might not be the resource to actually find a partner, but it's a definitely an area to learn to become a better dater.
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Photo: Getty Images