All the single ladies and all the single gentlemen will tell you that dating during the coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge.
With restaurants, movie theaters, churches and nearly every other dating destination closed, meeting other singles has been practically impossible for the past year.
Dating apps have surged and new dating apps have emerged. One new dating app called Filter Off is unlike the others that base matches only with profile pictures and bios.
"The most important difference is, we're video first," said Zach Schleien, co-founder and CEO of Filter Off. "There is no swiping. You're not basing different people off their profile pictures or their bio. It allows you to connect with people over video first to see if you like them for who they are."
To use Filter Off, users will create a bio and upload photos of themselves. They're then shown a few possible connections and if there is a match, the two people can connect over a Facetime-like video call.
Yes, you can do that with other dating apps. So what separates Filter Off from the others are video speed dates?
"Filter Off will schedule those dates for you," Shleien said. "You may go up to eight video speed dates that evening."
The speed dates are 90 seconds, which should be long enough for two people to decide if they'd like to chat more.
"We also have a matchmaking service that's also free," Shleien said. "You'll tell your
matchmaker who you are and what you're looking for and your matchmaker will set you up on three matches every day."
Filter Off also hosts events for communities with shared interests, whether that's a hobby, a religion, or an ethnic group. You may join an event or create your own for your community.
While Filter Off does not disclose how many people currently use the app, I did find one event with over 400 RSVPs.
As for security, Schleien says the videos are not kept on the server and users do not have to share their full name, address, or phone number unless they choose. Anyone who acts inappropriately on a video call can be booted if someone reports them to Filter Off.
Accounts are tied to a person's phone number, so if they get booted or terminated from the app, Shleien says they won't be able to use the app again.
It is free to use and there are apps for iPhones and Android devices. Users can also connect with other users through the Filter Off website.