Banking on the recent popularity of video-sharing apps like Vine and visually focused dating tools such as Tinder, a new platform for making potential matches has entered the relationship sphere: Charm.
Created by the founders of MeetMe.com-formerly known as MyYearbook.com-the Charm app asks users to upload short videos of themselves to attract others, positing that film provides a more realistic and vivid portrayal of oneself than a mere profile photo can.
"In many cases that photo is the best photo of that person ever taken and five or 10 years old," said CEO Geoff Cook, who, along with his sister and vice president of brand strategy Catherine Cook, contends that the images appearing on most people's Facebook feeds and traditional online dating profiles are a "best of" or "highlight reel" from that person's life.
"Our purpose is to encourage authentic exchanges between people," said Geoff Cook, who added that Charm is the first of four standalone apps the company is releasing.
The videos on Charm range from 3 to 10 seconds and users can host a maximum of four videos at one time. Having launched the app on Tuesday, it has already been downloaded by tens of thousands of users, said the Cook siblings.
"We're seeing a lot of variety and creativity," said Catherine Cook. "People have shown some real talent. One girl in D.C. posted a video of herself playing the 'How I Met Your Mother' soundtrack. There were definitely some funnier ones too, like a guy pretending to be smooth then falling over. They show a lot of personality."
If a person enjoys what they watch while scanning Charm, he can then formally "like" a video on the app. When two users both "like" each other's videos, a connection is established and the two can begin communicating with one another, similar to the Tinder dating app.
But don't be afraid. Content control is also in play.
"We have zero tolerance for abusive content, nudity or hate speech," said Geoff Cook. "We review every video posted within minutes and have removed anything questionable immediately."
So is video-screening potential dates the wave of the future or fraught with awkwardness? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.