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New video speed dating app Filter Off fosters romantic connections during COVID-19 pandemic

Filter Off takes the focus off of pictures and swiping by encouraging singles to build deeper connections through conversation and community

SAN ANTONIO — With less than a month until Valentine’s Day, a new dating app is hoping to make some special love connections. 

Filter Off is a video speed dating app that removes the focus from (pictures and puts it back on the person) pictures that can be swiped on and puts it back on meeting new people and building meaningful connections. 

Co-founder and CEO of Filter Off, Zach Schleien, said that the app was born out of necessity and of course, “a lot of bad first dates.” 

“It was a process-- online dating. It takes a lot of time to go from the swipe to finally meeting in person. A few years back, I started asking my dates if we could video chat before meeting up and the ones that said yes, I quickly got a feel if we had good chemistry and whether we were attached to one another. And I said I wanted this to be the way that people date.”

Credit: Filter Off

With that in mind, Schleien set out to build a dating app that was video-first. 

While most of the apps on the market have incorporated a video feature to complement users’ experience, none of the apps make video the main focus, which is where Schleien said authentic connections occur. 

The video feature with traditional dating apps Schleien explained is “still in the old paradigm of online dating. You’re still swiping, browsing, and basing your judgment off of their photos of witty lines in their profile. With Filter Off, it's video first. So it really allows you to be you and let your personality shine.”

But there’s more. In addition to making video the primary form of communication, Filter Off is very community-based. While Filter Off hosts community-based events, organizations/communities can also run their own virtual speed dating events at no cost. Through these community-based virtual events, people with similar interests/backgrounds have a greater chance of meeting one another. 

To check out Filter Off’s upcoming virtual events, click here.

To find out more about running your own event, click here

HOW TO USE FILTER-OFF

Now on to the actual dating process. 

After creating a profile and inputting one’s preferences, the app will figure out a user’s location and offer up virtual events based on location and interests. If you find an event that you’re interested in, the event will be added to your calendar. After confirming your attendance the day before the event, the app will begin scheduling your dates. 

“Once your first date begins, you press ‘start date’ and you’re entered into a three-minute video speed date. And when the speed date concludes, it’ll ask you whether you like each other or not. And then you move on to the next date. When the event concludes, you’ll see if you have any mutual matches where you can then message them on the Filter Off platform or video call them again.”

Despite launching a new app one month before the COVID-19 pandemic, Filter Off couldn’t have come at a better time. 

Credit: Filter Off

Schleien said that given the circumstances with people social distancing and spending much of their time indoors, many are feeling disconnected. Filter Off gives people the opportunity to get to speak to someone as close to face to face as possible. By prioritizing video, people are getting to know each other in a way that feels much more personal than texting or messaging. 

“People are now realizing the importance of connection. They don’t want to waste their time swiping and just messaging back and forth. They want to meet someone and that’s what video first allows for. It allows you to go through a number of dates to see if you have that vibe and connection.”

And while “video-first” may be a necessity during an ongoing pandemic, Schleien thinks the trend will continue post-pandemic as well. 

“What we’ve noticed during the pandemic is a lot of it is communications. You may be video chatting for hours and you’re just communicating, and you build these really deep connections with other singles. And I think that’s what people are craving and what they want.”

For more information on Filter Off and upcoming virtual speed dating events, head over to getfilteroff.com