Bumble opens video chat and voice calling to matches, without revealing numbers

Dating app Bumble added video chat and voice call features, in order for people to feel safe and make more confident connections with their matches.

The video chat and voice call options only appear for those who match with someone. A video icon and phone icon will then appear in the right-hand corner of the conversation screen, offering women the choice of calling as their first move as soon as they match. Men, meanwhile, will only be able to initiate a video chat or voice call after women make the first move. If people are unmatched, they also lose access to the features.

The voice and video features are now available to the Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz sections of the app. Video chats and voice calls create a safer space on Bumble Date by allowing matches to become more familiar with each other before meeting up in person, and without having to exchange numbers first. The features also create deeper connections in Bumble BFF by allowing potential best friends to skip chat messages and go straight to seeing each other gush about their favorites, while also opening up opportunities for meaningful conversations on Bumble Bizz that count as professional meetups.

Bumble is not the first major dating app to offer video chats and voice calls, as Badoo has previously activated video calls. Not surprisingly, the same man, Andrey Andreev, operates both apps and has consolidated them with Chappy and Lumen into a new group named Magic Lab that is planning to invest in new technology to “bring people together.”

The new features carry the goal of “giving users a more real life interaction, and saving them time by getting a deeper understanding of who they’ve matched with before they decide to meet in person or share valuable contact information,” wrote Andreev in an email to TechCrunch.

Bumble’s video chats and voice calls, without requiring an exchange of phone numbers, supplement user profiles and chat messages, which only get so far in establishing connections with other people. The features also look to help the dating app lodge a better challenge against the leader in the space, Tinder.

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