Have a date, online, Tech News & Top Stories – The Straits Times
With the prospect of going out on dates scuppered due to circuit breaker measures, Mr Kishen Ravindaran turned to video conferencing and had his first virtual date last month.
“The date was pretty fun,” says the 28-year-old, who works in the aviation industry.
Conducted on a high-quality video-conferencing platform and with the dating agency he uses – Kopi Date – helping to smooth out conversation kinks with a “starter kit”, he ended up chatting with his date for four hours.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, many dating agencies have had to arrange virtual dates in place of outings to cafes or restaurants.
Singles are warming up to the idea as well. Popular United States-based mobile dating app Bumble, for instance, saw a 56 per cent increase in video calls from March to last month among its users from around the world.
Home-grown Kopi Date and Lunch Actually are among dating agencies that have turned to virtual dating.
Kopi Date, founded in July last year, is tapping video-conferencing platform Whereby, which allows custom branding within the chatroom so that the dating agency’s video dates are held in a Kopi Date-themed chat window.
It has branded its virtual dating service Date From Home.
Kopi Date co-founder Lee Jing Lin says: “We spent quite some time trying out multiple video-call programmes in search of a platform that could come as close to our signature Kopi Date experience as possible, before finally deciding on one because of its user-friendly yet beautifully minimalist interface.”
She says that since moving to video conferencing for