Home Dating apps Match Group to add audio and video chat, including live group video, to its dating app portfolio – TechCrunch

Match Group to add audio and video chat, including live group video, to its dating app portfolio – TechCrunch



Dating app maker and parent company of Tinder, Match Group, said in its second quarter results that it would bring audio and video chat, including group live videos, and other technology to broadcast live to many of the company’s brands over the next 12-24 months. Developments will be fueled by innovations from Hyperconnect, the social media company that this year became Match’s biggest acquisition to date when it bought the Korean app maker for $ 1.73 billion.

Since then, Match Group has been relatively silent on its specific plans for the Hyperconnect technology or its long-term strategy with the operation, although Tinder was briefly spotted testing a group video chat feature called Tinder. Mix earlier this summer. The move appeared to signal an exploration of social discovery features following the Hyperconnect deal. However, Tinder told us at the time that the company has no plans to release this specific product in the coming year.

On Tuesday’s results, Match Group offered a little more information on the future of Hyperconnect, after the acquisition officially closed in mid-June.

According to Match Group CEO Shar Dubey, who held the most senior position last January, the company is excited about the potential for integrating technologies developed by Hyperconnect into existing Match-owned dating applications.

This includes, she said, “AR features, self-expression tools, conversational AI and a number of what we would consider elements of the metaverse, which have the element to transform the online meeting and mutual knowledge process ”Dubey explained, without going into specific details on how the products work or on the applications that would benefit from these improvements.

Many of these technologies emerged from Hyperconnect’s lab, Hyper X, the same in-house incubator whose first product is now one of the company’s flagship applications, Azar, which joined Match Group on the acquisition.

Dubey also noted that work to begin these technology integrations was already underway at the company.

By the end of the year, Match Group said it expects at least two of its brands to be integrated with Hyperconnect technologies. A number of other brands will implement Hyperconnect capabilities by the end of 2022.

In doing so, Match aims to transform how people think about online dating.

To date, online dating has been a fairly static experience in the industry, where apps mostly focus on profiles and photos and then offer some sort of matching technique – be it swipes, quizzes, or something else. Tinder, in recent years, has started to break out of this mold by innovating with an array of different experiences, such as its in-app “Choose Your Own Adventure” video series, “Swipe Night”, video profiles, instant chat features (via Tinder’s product, Hot Takes) and others. But it was still missing some of the real-time elements that people have when they meet in the real world.

This is one area where Match believes Hyperconnect can help improve the online dating experience.

“One of the holy grails for us in online dating has always been to bridge the gap that occurs between people who chat online and then meet someone in person,” Dubey said. “These technologies will eventually allow us to create experiments that will help people determine whether or not they have such elusive chemistry or not… Our ultimate vision here is that people never have to have a bad first date again,” she added.

Of course, Match Group’s positioning on the Hyperconnect agreement as being more interesting because the innovation it brings – and not just the stand-alone applications it operates – also comes at a time when these applications have not responded. the company’s revenue expectations.

In the second half of 2021, Match Group said it expects Hyperconnect to contribute $ 125 million to $ 135 million in revenue – a financial outlook the company says reflects some setback. He attributed this in large part to the impacts of COVID, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where Hyperconnect applications operate. Other impacts on Hyperconnect’s growth included a more crowded market and Apple’s changes to Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which impacted a number of applications, including other networking applications. social, like Facebook.

While Match still believes Hyperconnect will show “solid revenue growth” in 2021, he said these new technology integrations in Match Group’s portfolio are now “a higher priority” for the company.

Match Group posted mixed first-quarter earnings, with revenue of $ 707.8 million, higher than analysts’ estimates, but earnings per share of 46 cents, lower than projections of 49 cents per share. Paying customers increased 15% to 15 million, from 13 million in the quarter a year earlier. Shares fell 7% on Wednesday morning after the results were announced.