Date.fm: Real-World Sparks in Online Dating

eHarmony Love Doctor, we know you have a foolproof matching formula. But there is something seriously missing from the magic equation that has worked pretty well since the dawn of time: the spark check. Photos, asynchronous messages and “winks” all have their place in the online dating scene, but our partner Date.fm is taking it one step further.

They realized that the real-world dating cues are totally lost in translation when you bring the experience online. Face-to-face interaction is important. Primarily to verify there is a spark, and secondarily to verify that their Prince Charming, who looks like Brad Pitt in his profile picture, doesn’t actually look more like Willem Dafoe. No offense to anyone who finds Willem Dafoe attractive.

Date.fm, this week’s App of the Week, used the new OpenTok iOS SDK to add a live face-to-face video chat feature to their iOS app. And because our iOS SDK is as flexible as our web SDK, Date.fm was able to seamlessly integrate it into their existing experience.

How does it work? Date.fm users that mutually like each other, can now fire up their spark radar and start a private conversation via video chat from their mobile device. As Ryan Lawler of GigaOm said users can “skip a step and actually have a conversation with a real-life person before deciding whether or not they’re worth spending a Thursday evening with”.

Online daters are already video chatting together. The problem? Their only option is to use 3rd party apps and services to make the face-to-face interaction happen. So instead of video chatting directly in Match.com, they make a Skype date. Date.fm is giving the people what they want: an opportunity to video chat within the safety of a dating service. It doesn’t require anyone to exchange contact details, and provides for a more seamless and user friendly experience.

If you’re looking for some Friday night company, it may be time to fire up your iPhone’s cam and start a mini speed dating session on Date.fm. You can download their app here.