A new app called Filter Off uses video instead of pictures to make meeting potential partners a lot easier. Phumlani S Langa speaks to its co-creator about how it eliminates catfishing.
Filter Off – Video Dating
Free on the iStore (Android version coming soon)
Being the only unspoken for member of #Trending, I have put myself forward as a guinea pig for a new online dating app. Luckily, the idea of meeting new people all in the name of journalism doesn’t seem like a bad one.
First, I caught up with Zach Schleien, the co-founder of Filter Off, an anti-catfishing video dating app from the US. It uses video calling to match you up with someone compatible. I don’t know if you have ever experienced the agony of being catfished, where the person lies about what they look like or who they are, but I can imagine that it can be quite a gut-wrenching experience.
Schleien explains how the app came about: “I started a dating blog a few years ago, and it reviewed apps for the modern dater. I sold that and started Filter Off, which is like the dating app I always wanted to use as the swipe right or left apps took so long to actually meet people.”
He wanted to create a speed dating format to determine whether or not you vibe with a person quite quickly, placing the emphasis on the human connection and less on the looks.
“Catfishing is a problem as you never really know who is behind the profile. I recommend asking for their social media handles before going ahead or even making a video call.
“When using Face Time, it removes the filter and so when you see a person face to face you can see what they actually look like.”
But Filter Off is not just for dating. You can use it to meet people when you’re travelling overseas and don’t have any friends to hang out with.
It is always more memorable when you arrive in a foreign country and see it through the eyes of one of the locals instead of simply visiting the usual tourist attractions.
Also you might be single and perhaps looking to getting hooked up with someone from a new and different place.
On Filter Off, you set up your profile with your age, the kind of person you’re looking for and what kind of person you are.
Then you get vetted based on your location and placed on a waiting list. Once you’re cleared you can engage in short, 60-second video chats with people.
These chats happen daily at 7pm and after that you might be lucky enough to strike up a golden connection with someone and get to go out, if you both give a thumbs up after the call. The name says it all – there’s no faking the funk.
We’re talking about that real love Mary J Blige sang about. Besides, filters are wack. There shouldn’t be any need for that, especially as the buzz word on such platforms these days is sapiosexual.
Yes, brains are in and there is no filter on any platform for intellect. For now, this app has the most users on the east side of New York, with South African numbers still small.
Schleien says he is more than keen for the numbers to grow in South Africa as the app is available on the iStore and the Android version is coming soon.