Video Chat App "Filter Off" Is Hosting Vegan Speed Dating. Here's My Review

March 1, 2021

Popular old apps like Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid have surged in COVID times and become even more normalized. We’ve also seen countless newer dating services, including ones that cater to specific types of daters. For vegans, Veggly now hosts over 300,000 users and recently celebrated its millionth “match.” Are you a single who is passionate about veganism but also tired of the typical online dating process? If so, you might like what Filter Off has to offer.

Filter Off is a video-based app, so every potential match begins with a quick face-to-face chat. My favorite feature is that the app hosts speed dating events where you can talk to many new people in a row. If you’re reading this in early March 2021, see if these upcoming events interest you:

  • Vegan Date Night (Global): March 9, 2021 at noon EST
  • Vegan Date Night (USA & Canada): March 9, 2021 at 9 pm EST
  • Vegan Date Night (Global): March 16, 2021 at 8 pm EST

There are also events for Black, Latinx, Christian, Jewish, gay and lesbian, divorced or widowed singles, for runners, and more! Local events too—mine shows me “Phoenix Date Night” since I’m in Arizona. To test the app, I recently attended a date night for folks who love the app Clubhouse. Okay, so I lied about being on Clubhouse. Lucky for me, no one brought it up during conversation! 😅

I don’t regret the fib because I had a great time talking to new people (about eight in a row). The experience confirmed for me several key benefits to Filter Off that other dating services have lacked.

What Filter Off gets right

My #1 dating site woe is that texts and profile pics aren’t enough to know we’ll click. I tried getting folks on OkCupid to call me ASAP and it was like pulling teeth! On Filter Off, the video chat is already built in the app, safe and private. Users seem more committed since they’re willing to show on camera, and when you “match” it actually reflects a face-to-face spark!

A 2nd issue: It’s not like our brains don’t judge in real life, but to me “swiping right or left” on dozens of profiles made me feel picky and judgmental. Filter Off is swipe-free. Just pick if you wish to speed-date someone, and after the call you can thumbs-up to keep chatting.

Apart from events, the app lets you see 3 new potential dates a day—and they disappear after a day unless you say yes! You can’t just browse around. OkCupid is there if I want to do an exhaustive search, but as a weary online dater I love the minimalist, time-sensitive feel of Filter Off! It makes you appreciate each person more. The study “Swiping for Trouble” showed that those with social anxiety and loneliness use dating apps compulsively. They avoid being face-to-face or having to make decisions. Filter Off prevents me from being timid or obsessive; it makes dating simple, immediate, and transparent.

Catfishes: Speaking of transparent, I’ve never been fooled by one but catfishes are a big concern. FBI records showed 18,000 U.S. catfish victims in 2018, with total losses over $362 million that year. Ha, trying to hack a video date is much harder!

This style of dating saves SO much time. It lets us skip pointless back-and-forth over text, as well as awkward coffee shop interactions. Google Play describes Filter Off as the world’s first video dating app. By taking the plunge into going fully video-based, founder Zach Schleien and his team do a great service for daters wanting something different. Hopefully this paves the way for other apps to integrate webcam.

Filter Off is new and has room to grow

Born in February 2020, Filter Off will foreseeably adapt as new users flock to try the platform.

The current “Looking for” preferences are: age, location, height, politics, relationship type, body type, kids, ethnicity, religion, education, and marital history. This is less specific than apps that also consider pets, smoking, alcohol, marijuana, employment status, astrological sign, and diet. Still, the selection is decent for a younger app of its size.

The app may be underwhelming if you are trans or non-binary. At present, the gender prompt asks if you identify as Male, Female, or Other. As a transgender woman, I chose Other when I entered my first speed dating event. With over 700 people attending, I got a whopping zero matches. Apparently, no men aged 25-31 wanted to date beyond the binary, so the event was essentially canceled on my end. How disappointing!

I have since changed to Female and now get plenty of matches. But I wonder if FilterOff could add 2 more options—Trans Man and Trans Woman. “Female” advertises me mostly to folks who’d date cis ladies only. Meanwhile, many who would date transgender are attracted either to men or to women, but are not necessarily pansexual. Thus, “Other” is likely too broad for them to click on. Yeah, I imagine I’d match with better dating prospects if there were a Trans Woman or Transfeminine category.

That said, I’m able to explain I’m a trans woman in my profile which helps! Your profile permits you to add photos + a short bio and to answer a few questions about yourself. When joining an event, you can see the whole lineup of dates and check out their profiles. Last time, I canceled the ones whose descriptions didn’t excite me; they got swapped with different dates.

The RSVP process is awesome. You can sign up for an event in advance or do so last-minute as long as you arrive on time. Video calls last less than 4 minutes, and you get time in between to center yourself and preview the next dude/gal/person.

All in all, I am super jazzed about Filter Off. The events make it effortless to just “meet” interesting guys like we’re in person again. The face-to-face abundance forced me to defrost my social skills and it renewed my enthusiasm for online dating! The app takes safety seriously as well. If you’re already on one of the most popular apps, I bet you’ll love Filter Off’s minimalist, swipe-free, catfish-free, video-based approach. See you at vegan speed dating!

Also by Phoenix: Safe, Effective, Natural Mouthwash Alternatives

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Photo: Dylan Ferreira via Unsplash

Phoenix Huber
Phoenix Huber writes about personal growth, compassion for all, and daily vegan life. Based in Arizona, her hobbies include taking notes to remember her phone calls with friends, leaving effusive comments, and journaling. (She’ll get back to you once she finds some real hobbies that don’t involve writing.) An aspiring freelancer and researcher, Phoenix loves getting to amplify people’s messages of joy and kindness. Oh, and her family rocks! Find more articles from her on Medium.

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