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Lolly: Short Form Video and Dating Combined

If TikTok and Tinder had a child, it would be Lolly. The new US-based dating app allows users to upload short-form videos to their profiles which they can scroll through in a vertical feed, evocative of TikTok. Founders Sacha Schermerhorn and Marc Baghadjian, who are both in their early twenties, launched the app at the end of 2020, the year when dating was forced to revert to online instead of in person.

A sign of the times

During the pandemic, dating app Hinge launched ‘Date from Home’ in-app video calls, as well as Tinder introducing ‘Face to Face’, a similar video call concept that allows users to feel closer to their matches. Lolly pilots short-form video as its primary unique selling point. Users should upload videos to their profile that will showcase their personality and humour far more adeptly than a selection of photographs accompanied by a short bio. 

With TikTok gaining a worldwide usership of over 1 billion, it is clear that short-form video content is engaging to GenZ and Millennials, a demographic who also consider dating apps to be an important part of their lives. A Think with Google report said: “Over half (51%) of those between 18 and 24 say video and virtual dating is important. And for 21% of Gen Z, a texting conversation can even count as a date”. This signifies that there is indeed a large market for online dating tools. 

What makes Lolly different?

Whereas competitor dating apps may allow users to simply swipe ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to other relationship-seeking hopefuls on their feed, Lolly has an algorithm that allows users to see more of what they like. Users can scroll past videos they don’t like, or if they enjoy a video they can ‘clap’ it up to fifty times – this is Lolly’s equivalent of a ‘like’.  

Clapping a video feeds the app’s algorithm, meaning that it is likely you will come across the same user again if you clap for them. This algorithm also allows for similar matches to appear on your feed. Lolly’s unique algorithm differs from other dating apps where if you say ‘no’, you won’t come across the user again. 

Lolly has similar community guidelines to TikTok in regards to matters such as nudity or hate speech. They pride themselves on the fact that when videos are flagged, a human will review them. Videos on Lolly do not host comments, which they hope will cut down on trolling and harassment of users. Ensuring the app is safe for all users to enjoy their dating experience.

As in-person dating remains out of reach for the foreseeable future, online dating is becoming more appealing and easily accessible. We welcome the generation who will find love from behind a screen.

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