VKontakte Launched Its Own Dating App Called Lovina

Being one of the top five social networking sites all over the globe and the number one most visited site in all of Russia isn’t enough for VKontakte, so the good old VK decided to launch its own dating app called Lovina in the hopes of putting Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in its back pocket. But make no mistake – Lovina is not the new Tinder. Earlier this year news broke out of Tinder’s alleged order to store data of Russian users and to provide it to the Russian government upon request. Needless to say, this news angered, perplexed and troubled Russian and non-Russian Tinder users alike, so VK’s Lovina launch comes exactly in the right moment.

The dating app won’t require a joint VKontakte profile and users can get it for free on iOS from Apple’s App Store or on Android from Google Play. According to official reports, the VK team won’t be putting ads neither in the free, nor in the paid version of the app. Unlike most apps, Lovina will make profits through the premium features users can pay for rather than from displaying advertisements and making people pay just to get rid of them. Moreover, unlike most dating services in general, this one actually relies on videos.

So, how does it work?

Singles looking for a new mate can either browse through profiles of nearby people on a random basis, much like Tinder, or use a special questionnaire to narrow down their search. Once they find a potential partner, they will have the option to chat with them through in-app instant messages. And this is where it gets tricky. If the users don’t engage in a live video chat or a video story with one another, their chatroom will be deleted from their history in 48 hours.

The feature allegedly prevents users from getting misled about the real appearances of the people they’re interested in and simultaneously provides some sort of safety through the chance of remaining somewhat anonymous for 48 hours until they decide if they want to keep chatting with their interlocutor.

Another innovative feature of Lovina is the so called carousel of available singles for video calls. Similarly to Facebook and Instagram’s carousel of Stories, Lovina users can select from a carousel of video chats. In other words, users would have two options when seeking a good match – the public Stories of random people in their area available for a video call or the private in-app messages. Once two paired users have undergone the mandatory video call in less than 48 hours after they’ve exchanged their first hellos, they won’t have a running countdown on the instant messaging and will be able to chat indefinitely without any deadlines.

Needless to say, all of this would raise quite a lot of controversy among VKontakte’s target audience. However, if you let math do the talking, the dating app has a promising future. Facebook had around 6 million daily users based in Russia for its 2017 census, while VK had nearly 80 million at that point.

Furthermore, after Tinder’s alleged agreement to store user data for all Russian users and to provide it to the Russian government became public knowledge, many Russian singles trying to find a good match via online dating services openly rioted against it and started looking for luck elsewhere.

On top of all that, the Lovina board has decided to introduce a freebie offer for all new users that could possibly increase the dating app’s popularity – download the app, get a premium account with all premium features completely free of charge for an entire month and then automatically go back to a basic free profile.

What do you think?

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