Dating and meeting potential romantic partners in the “new normal” looks a lot different from this time last year. People who were accustomed to frequenting bars, nightclubs, lounges, and outdoor events in hopes of meeting someone new, have now relied on dating apps, social media, and various video chatting platforms in search of a potential love connection. And since the onset of the pandemic, there has been quite a surge. However, one dating app has found a way to combine online dating with video chat to provide a unique experience like no other.
Launched a year and a half ago, Filter Off provides users with the opportunity to participate in virtual speed dating events and take advantage of their matchmaking services. Birthed from a place of wanting to provide authenticity and efficiency, founder Zach Schleien said, “The origin behind Filter Off stemmed from my long-time fascination with dating apps and the ability to connect with someone outside of your friend circle. Typical dating apps can take a lot of time with all of the swiping, then going back and forth with messages, only to either not hear from the person at all, finally go on a date and there’s no chemistry, or maybe the person doesn’t look like you thought.”
After being turned down when asking to video chat before meeting in person, Zach became inspired to design an app that’s video first. He says that it “hit the sweet spot by proving an experience without all of the swiping or browsing.”
For their matchmaking service, users can be set up on three to five curated dates each week, allowing them to control who they would like to see. When given a match, dates are set up with specific times to video chat for three minutes. This then gives users time to see if there is a romantic interest, and from there are entered into a match. Over time, as the algorithm gets smarter, users will begin to receive matches based on their preferences.
As for events, they are location and team-specific, and open to all ethnicities, genders, religions, and sexual orientations, allowing users to filter what they are looking for. According to Zach, “Filter Off is accepting of everyone, and the themed events bring people together. All we care about is connecting people from a romantic and authentic sense. And we feel that it’s important for all people to feel accepted and represented.”
With Chicago being Filter Off’s fourth-largest market, on Wednesday, July 29th at 8 pm, they will be holding a virtual speed dating event for Black singles. Users are encouraged to get dressed up, grab a drink of their choice, and be prepared to go on up to seven different dates all from their living room.
When asked about their rate in comparison to typical dating apps, Zach said Filter Off is, “A great way to meet people beyond the photo. When going on a virtual event, if the feelings are mutual, it’s considered a “like – like.” We have a 25% “like – like” rate compared to typical swipe apps whose rate is less than 1%. When you’re on video, you really get to know who the person is, and it’s less about what they look like. From an authenticity point of view, it’s a really refreshing aspect for the dating app industry as a whole.”
Visit https://getfilteroff.com/ to learn more about Filter Off and download the app to RSVP for Wednesday’s event.
Contributing Writer, Racquel Coral is a lifestyle writer based in Chicago. Find her on social media @withloveracquel.