The whole point of dating apps is that you can swipe right while sitting at home eating cold noodles in your pajamas. But Viduo wants to change all that. Instead of messaging prospects with witty texts, you’re supposed to woo them on video. Like, with your face. Your real face, which you should probably wash first.
Basically, the free app works like Tinder, in that a person of your preferred sex pops up on the screen and you get to either accept or reject them. But unlike Tinder, you can then also see their video answers to “fun and flirty icebreakers.” In their example, a rugged Texas gentleman named Jason likes a nice brunette called Caitlin. He asks her a romantic question auto-generated by the app. Caitlin responds with a video of herself answering the question (“where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited?”), and then, assuming Jason likes Caitlin’s video, he gets to respond with a video of his own. Then, romance blooms. Or at least, they can start texting about their videos. Presumably romance blooms sometime after that.
Theoretically, that all makes sense. Watching someone on video ought to be closer to meeting someone at a party — you get a sense of their voice, their manner, the way they talk and think and also whether their profile picture was taken in the last eight years. Unfortunately, though, actually being on video is terrifying. You want a date, not a role in some touring production of Cats — do you really have to put yourself on tape for this?
Yes. Yes, you do. But, Viduo promises, Viduoing is super fun. “Express yourself!” they say. And don’t be nervous — the videos (viduos?) get deleted as soon as they’re watched, so you won’t end up a meme, if that helps. (That helps, as long as someone doesn’t take a recording of their phone screen.) Right now, Viduo’s only got 600 users nationwide, so the jury’s still out. Is video dating the future? Maybe. Probably not, though. Liking someone enough to message them is one thing. Liking someone enough to put on a presentable shirt is something else entirely.