The best video dating apps for 2021

Previously seen as the last resort for desperate people, dating apps have been embraced by today’s online generations as a perfectly acceptable way to meet new romantic partners. If there was a lingering stigma against them, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely erased it. With everyone stuck inside, how else could singles socialize? However, not all dating apps are created the same. Right now, the best feature of a dating app isn’t just a community of cool users, but a video feature that lets you chat with other people face to face. With these best video dating apps, nothing can stop you from closing your eyes to your next potential lover.

Our virtual reality

Many dating apps have browser-based versions, but chances are you’ll do most of your swipes on a mobile device. It’s just easier to casually browse games on the handheld you carry with you all the time. These handhelds are also equipped with cameras and microphones perfect for video calls. Along with video calling, dating apps replicate the usual dating experience, without the physical proximity.

You can trust our reviews

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better purchasing decisions. (Read our editorial mission.)

Online dating can never replace a real-life dating, but video calling significantly bridges the gap. Right now, talking to people on the phone may be the only sure way to meet someone in your area, let alone halfway around the world. Even with the pandemic subsiding (hopefully), video calls are a useful extra step before making the ultimate leap to meet an offline match. Scan attractive profiles, send alluring messages, get virtual face time, and finally see if sparks fly in person without social distancing.

How to go to a video date

The video calling feature in dating apps goes beyond just turning on your camera and leaving you wolves in love. Match, Tinder, Bumble, and eharmony recognize that making a connection like this is scary, even scarier than sending a faceless message. Fortunately, these apps try to make video dating as comfortable as possible.

For starters, random users just can’t call you out of the blue. You will never see unwanted cups. Instead, video chat is usually a feature that you can only access with existing matches. Even so, the app then asks both people if they want to video chat and only connects them if both parties agree. Some apps go even further with their video functionality. Clover and POF let you stream live with the whole community, not just your own matches. They’re like a romance-themed version of the live broadcast on social media like Instagram.

Apps without a built-in video chat can still ask you if you are in video chat, so you can coordinate your virtual date on a separate chat service. Video conferencing tips that help you look good on a Zoom call also help you look good on your video date. As for ideas? Many dating apps also have blogs where you can read all kinds of tips, including virtual date suggestions. Ok Cupid lacks video chat, but her blog has some great remote dating ideas like karaoke, shared dinners, and virtual tours. Vinylly allows music lovers to purchase tickets for in-person and virtual concerts.

Recommended by our editors

Ready for your close-up?

Video chat is such a big part of today’s dating app market that major apps that didn’t offer virtual dating before the pandemic have been working overtime to upgrade. Hinge made sure to announce loud and clear when they finally added video features alongside nifty audio recording features. Facebook experimented with audio calling in its main dating app and video speed dating in a separate app called Sparked. So if you don’t see your app of choice in this roundup, there is hope that the service will embrace video calling in the future. In the meantime, turn on your camera and open your heart with these best video dating apps.

For more on dating, check out: How I Ended Up in a Tinder, Match vs. Tinder: Which dating service deserves your undying love ?, and the Best Connection Apps.

About Jimmie P. Ricks

Check Also

Apple App Store fixes dating app issues, says Dutch regulator

The Dutch consumer protection regulator says Apple “changed its unfair terms”, ending a dispute after …