After rebranding from MyYearbook more than a year ago, social network MeetMe is off and running on its next big adventure. It’s a Tinder meets Vine social dating play, and it’s called Charm.
MeetMe’s focus has always been on meeting new people who may end up being great friends. With Charm, the company believes it can make a play in the dating space by using videos and instead of photos.
According to co-founder Geoff Cook, the company has been impressed with the growth of dating app Tinder, which lets users flip through one photo after the next and rate potential suitors with a simple yes or no. However, one issue that Cook takes with Tinder is that photos can be outdated or misleading.
With Charm, the same Tinder-style format exists with simple swipes for yes or no. Yet, instead of showing you photos which may not paint a real picture, Charm shows you short, looping videos.
These videos are created the same way you create Vine videos, by holding your thumb to the screen and recording. These videos play on a loop just like Vine. If two users like each other, Charm unlocks their chat functionality.
To MeetMe, this follows the app’s core mission of bringing authentic people together. But will video work in the realm of online dating?
The reason that pictures seem to work well on Tinder or Grindr or OkCupid is because it gives controlled access to users. I can decide exactly what other users see of me, and they can make their decision to chat with me based on the limited access I give them. However, a video selfie is a much more intimidating venture than a photo selfie, especially knowing that potential suitors will be rating that video.
Still, Cook says that beta testers are having fun with the video feature and that users enjoy seeing more realistic versions of the people they’ll later meet.
But why a standalone app? According to Cook, you don’t want to build a mobile app that thinks it can do everything, but rather have an app that’s really good at one thing.
“Eventually, some of the functionality of this app or future standalone apps may work its way into MeetMe,” said Cook. This is the first of four new apps coming out of MeetMe in the next six months.