How Filteroff dumped traditional online dating

The video speed-dating app values personal connection over endless swiping.

89809The number of Canadian singles has been steadily increasing since 2000, with a reported 9.49 million men and 8.45 million women saying they weren’t in a relationship as of 2021, according to a 2022 study published by Statista Research Department.

While a portion of those likely aren’t swiping on the latest dating app, a substantial amount are: eHarmony reported that 36% of Canadians use online dating. Add a global pandemic into the mix and it’s no wonder that in the last few years, dating apps and websites such as Hinge, Bumble and OKCupid have changed the way Canadians are meeting and dating.

But as we emerge from the pandemic and begin to crave face-to-face interaction and communication, does this point to a break-up with dating apps? Zach Schleien, founder of dating app Filteroff, doesn’t think so – we just need to evolve.

Which is why he created Filteroff, a dating app that blends an online platform with more personal interaction than simply swiping left or right. On this modern-day speed-dating app, the user creates a profile and is set up on three curated dates. Determine a time with your date, then hop on a three-minute video chat and decide afterwards if you’d like to pursue the match.

“Our community loves the ability to meet people before the IRL experience,” says Schleien. “It’s like the first date before the first date. We’re all about meeting people, not profiles.”

Schleien noticed that the pandemic had shifted dating behaviour, and not only did singles begin to care more about quality over quantity, but it also became the norm to video chat before meeting up in person. “Singles have been much more intentional since the pandemic,” he says.

But Filteroff’s foray into making a personal connection didn’t stop there. In April 2022, the company introduced in-person events, including one held in Toronto at the Veld Music Festival this summer.

“One day before the IRL experience, we host a virtual event to allow singles to meet one another before the in-person event, so they know who will be there,” explains Schleien. “The hybrid approach is valuable to our members who can enjoy a virtual and/or in-person experience. We want to provide our singles with a few innovative ways to meet.”

Filteroff hosts events based on preferences and hobbies so members can meet others with similar interests. At Veld, the event saw 43 attendees with more than 18 matches made. The average age of the attendees was 34 years old.

Schleien notes that singles nowadays prefer a blend of online and offline experiences, and the numbers back that up for this New York-based company. Filteroff has increased its growth by 900% since April 2022, and is now hosting 4-6 IRL events in its area each month.

Filteroff is free to use on Android and iOS.