I Test Drove the First-Ever Video-Dating App and This is What Happened

When it comes to dating, mating (sorry dad!) and picking up, my friends and readers know me as a serial dater who’s up for trying anything at least once. So when I heard about Zepeel, this hot, new video-only dating app that just launched in Toronto, I downloaded it, created a profile (with a 30-second video intro about myself) and tried it on for size.

The whole premise of Zepeel is that it’s based on video-contact. So, instead of swiping away at stationary pics, you get to see various vids of different prospects, to determine whether or not you want to match with them.

My friends always make fun of me, but a guy’s speaking voice and beard are the key traits that make it or break it for me. If his voice doesn’t appeal to me, I couldn’t be less interested. It’s always the first thing I compliment a man on if I’m into it (and him). I’ve also swiped for dudes donning a full-fledged beard on an app, only to meet in person to find them clean-shaven and baby-faced, or worse, not looking anything like their profile pics, which is a total waste of time for all parties involved tbh. This app is great because you know what you see (and hear) is what you get.

So much of attraction comes down to whether or not we can carry on candid conversation, and dating apps often fool us into thinking someone can maintain witty banter. However, anyone who’s dabbled in online dating knows that text can be deceiving. If you match with someone on this app, you have the option of chatting through messaging alone or through a real-time video feature, which can help you determine more authentically (and reliably) if you want to take the time to actually meet in person.

I was a bit nervous to watch the first video as I didn’t know what to expect, and feared it would be cringeworthy or aggressive. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the first profile I found was of a babely boy who talked with confidence and spoke about his hobbies, interests and what he was looking for in a woman. I caught myself smiling, while feeling a sense of relief (for him and I both!) that his vid was actually natural and organic and not rehearsed and strategic.

As I sat in bed, sifting through video after video, I couldn’t help but wonder what took an app like this so long to come to fruition. I mean, these days, we’re shooting and watching Insta vids, Snapchats, Facebook moments, etc., so this app makes total sense on how we digest content and communicate.

I had some reservations about filming myself, something I’m sure we can all relate to, but after going all-in, here’s what I learned:

Don’t re-shoot

The saying usually goes that the third time’s the charm, but that’s for everything but this. Get the gist of what you’re going to say, then shoot it all at once with the knowingness that you won’t re-shoot. The more times you film, the more fake you’ll come off.

Be playful and flirty

Men are attracted to women who are confident and authentic. Smile and have fun with your profile. Act as though you’re telling a fox you just met at a bar about yourself, not like you’re auditioning for a husband.

Film in an environment that showcases your personality

Instead of sitting down on your couch or bed, get up and move. Film it at a park, outside an ice cream shop, in your backyard…you get the picture. All these places provide insight into the type of person you are and the places you inhibit, and will add a little pep to an otherwise ‘meh’ setting.

What to wear

Here’s a perfect opportunity to attract a likeminded mate by showcasing your style. Everyone’s attracted to certain types, and your clothing and how you put yourself together puts out a vibe to someone who’s on the same page.

Be real

The whole point of this app is to detect authenticity and reliability through video. Be genuine about your intentions, what you’re looking for, and don’t waste time ‘matching’ with someone if you’re not sure you’re really interested in them or if you don’t feel an immediate attraction in their initial video.