Tinder wants to help you meet your match from the comfort of your couch. The new Face to Face video call feature, which is slowly rolling out across the United States, lets you video chat from the Tinder app without handing out your phone number, Instagram handle, or Snapchat username.
Unlike other video chatting services, Face to Face is designed specifically for dating. Both users need to opt-in to Face to Face video before they can even see a “call” button, and opting-in occurs on a match-by-match basis. You don’t know if your match has opted in until the “call” button appears in your chat, and you’re free to disable video chat at any time.
After Face to Face is unlocked, both callers must agree to Tinder’s “ground rules,” which are pretty predictable. Tinder doesn’t want any nudity, sexual content, drugs, harassment, or hate speech on Face to Face chat. You can mute your microphone or disable your video at any time during the call, and Tinder always asks if you need to report a user after a call ends.
One of the more interesting things about Face to Face is that it’s a split-screen chatting system. You can see what you look like during a call, which makes it easier to get good lighting or hide your surroundings from a stranger. Just don’t stare at yourself too much, you handsome devil.
As you’ve probably guessed, Face to Face video chat is Tinder’s solution to social distancing. It sounds like a creepy idea on paper, but according to a recent survey, about half of Tinder’s US users went on a video date with a match in June. Plus, video chatting is a lot safer than in-person dates, and it could help people vet their matches before meeting up in person (after the pandemic blows over, I mean).