Bumble is launching video stories to show more of your match

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Bumble will soon release BumbleVID, which will allow users from across the dating platform to create a story with unlimited 10-second videos, which will each delete after 24 hours.

Here’s how it will work. Users record 10-second videos from directly within Bumble. These videos then post to their profile, and can be viewed by anyone who comes across their profile while swiping. You can also draw on these video, and eventually the dating app will introduce features to add additional depth to your video – like filters, location tagging, etc.

You can also add pre-recorded videos, but only ones taken in the last 24 hours, and they will be marked with an indicator saying they weren’t added “live”. And just like on Instagram and Snapchat, you’ll be able to see how many people saw your videos and who the people were.

In addition to being shown on each person’s profile when you’re swiping, the videos will be shown on the connections and conversations page – so you can see the video stories of anyone you are talking to, as well as the stories of people who you’ve connected with but haven’t started talking to.

The feature will launch in the next few weeks, and be available for everyone who is photo verified on the platform. The company had a bit of a setback with photo verification, mainly due to a response that exceeded their ability to verify every picture by hand. But they are now re-rolling out the feature on a limited scale, and expect it to be fully available soon.

Whitney Wolfe, cofounder and CEO of Bumble, explained that video had been on the company’s radar for a long time – but that the foray into video is much riskier for a company that connects strangers, instead of a company that connects friends (like Instagram and Snapchat). Nevertheless, Wolfe explained that after 2 years it was time for Bumble to add video, especially when video has become a part of every other major social platform.

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Pioneered by Snapchat, a video story consisting of 10-second clips that delete in 24 hours is now the de-facto way to share stories on the internet. Even Instagram’s CEO admitted that their hot new feature was inspired by Snapchat, saying “they deserve all the credit”. And in a similar vein, Wolfe explained that there’s no need to have an ego and try to reinvent the way short-form video is done on mobile. She said Bumble’s main focus is providing value to users, and making them relearn a new way of sharing video instead of adopting the hyper popular “story” method would just be a disservice.

A Stronger Incentive to Create Content 

Swipe-based dating apps are currently pretty static. You work hard to create a profile, then essentially sit around (and swipe) while waiting for someone to swipe on you. There’s just not much more you can do to make your profile more interesting. Until now.

What’s a better incentive to create content than an opportunity to score a date with a guy or girl that you wouldn’t have otherwise matched with?

Take this example: You’re out with your friends on Friday night and want to share a short clip on one of your stories, but the moment won’t last to capture video in each platform individually. So which one do you pick? Instagram, Snapchat, or….Bumble?

Typically you’d just pick the platform where you have the biggest following or group of friends – for me that’s Instagram. But what if there’s a girl or guy you just matched with on Bumble who hasn’t started a conversation yet, and you really want to get their attention. It’s a no brainer that you’re going to eschew your friends on Instagram for the chance to impress a potential date.

BumbleVID will also help engagement – more people will spend more time on the platform, since they now will want to watch a video on each profile they swipe.

Adds Reality to Dating

A side effect of being static is that profiles on dating apps are still pretty perfect. Notice I’m not saying fake – it’s hard to succeed long term on Bumble or Tinder if you have straight-up fake pictures and information, especially with Bumble’s new photo verification features.

However, there is certainly a tightly-curated aesthetic that most people try to maintain on social platforms. And this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Sure it’s important to look pretty and sound cool, but you don’t want to come off as a person that is totally different from who you will be in person.

So BumbleVID could fix this. If enough people start creating video content on a regular basis, it could actually become weird to not have un-polished, ephemeral video always on your profile.

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