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(Photo: Tinder)

Dating in the time of coronavirus is not easy, but Tinder may have a solution. The online dating service this week introduced a new Face to Face test for select members across the globe.

Rolling out first to folks in Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as US users in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, and Virginia, the function aims to keep people connected while keeping them safe.

“We prioritize safety in everything we do, and understand that putting yourself out there and meeting new people requires a certain level of both control and comfort,” according to a company announcement. “So we built our feature with some thoughtful tweaks that help it stand out from your typical video experience. And no, you don’t have to worry about unwanted calls.”

(Photo: Tinder)

Face to Face was designed by Tinder’s Trust and Safety Team to enable video chats on a match-by-match basis—i.e. only once both parties have “liked” each other. Ideally, you’d get the conversation going via text first, before diving into a virtual confab. But as long as you both swiped right (and opted in to the feature), you’re welcome to tap the video icon at any time. Not feeling your best? Too busy to be on camera? Simply disable Face to Face for the day, then turn it back on tomorrow.

“No one should be put in the corner when it comes to getting to know a match,” Tinder said. “Conversation is a two-way street, and it’s better when you’re together 50/50. Plus, this helps you make sure you’re putting your best face forward with your match.”

A post-call pop-up will appear at the end of each chat asking how it went. Users can send a report to the team at any time once the call ends.

Video dating may be the future, according to a Tinder survey of US members, half of whom have conducted off-app virtual chats in the past month. Nearly half of Gen Z members, meanwhile, claim they want to continue using video as a way to test the waters with potential matches, even once their favorite date spot has opened again.

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