Coffee Meets Bagel -- the dating app whose founders resoundingly rejected a $30 million offer from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank's Season 6 -- is taking a cue from Snapchat and introducing a disappearing video feature Wednesday.
The goal is to help singles make "real connections" before they even agree to meet one-on-one, says Dawoon Kang, co-founder and COO. Each day, users will be prompted to answer a question designed to reveal a bit more of their personality, such as "Do you kiss on the first date?" or "What stereotype do you live up to?" They will have eight seconds to record their answers and the videos will disappear once a new question is asked.
Kang says the company spent most of the year researching how to introduce the video component to their platform. "It's scary to create videos for strangers," she adds.
Beta participants, especially women, were originally reluctant to embrace the idea. That mostly changed once they learned the videos would automatically disappear. According to the company, those in the beta program also saw their profiles viewed five times more than usual. Half who created a video were "liked" that same day.
Other dating apps like Hinge and Zoosk's Lively launched similar concepts earlier this summer, in the form of video profiles. Bumble, the dating app where women have to make the first move, said in January it was planning to add a Snapchat-like video feature to its platform before the end of the year.
For those who grew up in the 80s, the return of "video dating" might ring familiar. Before any online services were available, matchmakers used to tape clients to show to potential dates (though they were generally longer than eight seconds). "A video is worth a thousand pictures," says Kang in a press release.
Kang and her sisters Arum and Soo founded Coffee Meets Bagel in 2012. So far, the company has raised $8 million and claims to be profitable, although they declined to share financial information.
The daily videos will be posted on a dedicated section, but only women will be able to watch the responses from both male and female users. In addition to 24/7 monitoring, the company says it has put a system in place to automatically take down any video that is flagged as inappropriate by two or more users.
You can watch a demo below: