Vancouver dating app uses video chat to curb catfishing

Dec 19 2017, 9:42 pm

A new online dating app based here in Vancouver offers unique features you won’t find in other apps like Tinder – most notably, a video chatting option for identity verification purposes.

Most of us in the online dating world have been there before – you get gussied up to meet your date, only to find out they aren’t the person in their pictures. The realization that you’ve been catfished is disappointing, and your precious time has been wasted.


Tingle aims to avoid potentially awkward interactions like that with their video call feature that allows users to bond face-to-face before they even meet.

“Being able to verify someone’s identity is a major safety component, but also seeing someone before you actually meet them in person – well, photos can tell lies,” Tingle founder and developer Ian Bell tells Vancity Buzz. “We are a visual species on some level, being able to see them allows you to build a closer bond or rule them out.”

Bell believes opening up that line of communication allows people to form deeper connections, no matter if they’re looking for someone long term or someone just for tonight.

When it comes to dating, Bell is no slouch himself. Before finding his wife, he estimates he went on 300 first dates, many of them via websites or dating apps. In his quest to find “the one,” he noticed a pattern among the women he dated.

“The behaviour of online dating was very similar for everyone, there was always a reticence to give away their phone number for obvious reasons, and so you’d progress through this stage where they’d give you their email, then their phone number, and the whole process would last weeks,” he says.

“It’s a very unique and interesting social dynamic, probably something our parents didn’t experience.”

Other features unique to Tingle include disposable messaging (a la Snapchat) and an ability to “teleport” to other cities if you’re a world traveller.

So far the app is available in Canada, the United States, and the U.K., and already has thousands of users, according to Bell.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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