Thursday January 30, 2014 | 08:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

Last fall, social network MeetMe launched a standalone video-dating app called Charm. After rebranding itself from MyYearbook more than a year ago, this was MeetMe's first big launch.  At the time of the launch, TechCrunch called Charm, "a Tinder meets Vine social dating play." Since hearing about Charm's launch, every time I would think about video-dating the first thought that would come to mind was, "who on earth would want to video date?" I mean, I accidentally switched the camera on my phone to front view earlier this week and my entire day was ruined. I couldn't even imagine presenting myself for a "video date" in such a fashion. It would be like a FaceTime chat from hell.

Then I thought about it a little more. With the help of some very good lighting and a properly angled camera phone lens, this could be the perfect app for the very lazy mid-winter person who I'm convinced lives in all of us. He certainly lives in me this winter. I mean, online dating has been an accepted, and embraced practice for many years now (see my Tech Trends WMTW ABC segment on the subject here). It allows me to avoid having to go out in public and actually meet people to ask out on dates. I can do all of that on my laptop from the comfort of my home. However, I still have to take the next step which involves going out to actually meet these people in real-life on a date. How annoying. It's far to cold lately for that.

So, what Charm, and the many other video-dating apps out there — View n Me, Flikdate, Video Date, and Instamour do, is enable me to go on a date without ever putting on my pants and getting off the couch. How cool is that? Maybe there actually is a future for these apps after all. As Alison Davis of New York Magazine explained, "All you need is one minute, one smartphone, and the acknowledgement that you're probably one 'what are you wearing' away from a bad idea."

Of course, I've never actually met anyone in real-life following one of these video-dates so perhaps I should rethink my strategy. Damn.

If you think you can make a go of it and you'd like to learn a little more about video-dating, check out this story from earlier this week in USATODAY, "Latest trend in digital dating: Live video chat dates."

Happy video-dating everyone!





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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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