Coronavirus Is Changing Online Dating Permanently – Forbes
S ixty faces stare back at Dawoon Kang, each one enclosed in a neat square as she kicks off a Zoom call scheduled for 8 p.m. sharp. It’s a diverse crowd—men, women, white, black, Asian, Latino—but they’re all young, live in or near New York City and are members of Coffee Meets Bagel, the dating app that Kang cofounded and runs.
A month ago, before the coronavirus began its rampage through the U.S., the whole thing would’ve seemed profoundly strange, a direct contradiction to the app’s raison d’être: Pair off users and encourage them to rendezvous face to face. But these are not normal times. Most of America is being told to stay at home, avoid unnecessary interactions and, most definitely, avoid intimate moments with someone you haven’t yet met.
“This is not a video-dating event or a speed-dating event, there is no pressure to look a certain way or say something perfect,” Kang, 37, says from her San Francisco home. “We thought it would be great to provide a space to share what we’re experiencing and just try something different and fun.” To put everyone at ease, she offers an admission: “I definitely am not wearing any makeup.”
Kang is not alone in her pivot. Every one of Coffee Meets Bagel’s competitors—Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and others—are