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Bumble's New Virtual Dating Features Will Help You Find Your Quarantine Boo

You’ve spent so much time swiping in the last few weeks that you’re thinking about adding it to the special skills section on your resume. Still, while you’ve perfected the art of cozy-meets-cute dress for virtual dates, finding love during the age of social distancing can be a little tricky. That’s where Bumble's new virtual dating features come in: The app's new tools, which launched on April 14, are designed to help you make deeper connections without ever leaving your digs.

Part of what makes dating so difficult these days is that you can’t really tell who’s down to take things to the next level with an epic Zoom ses, and who’s just swiping out of boredom. One of the Bumble’s new features is a “Virtual Dating” badge, which will only appear in users’ profiles if they’re open to video chatting. After adding this badge to your own profile, you can filter your selection pool to only show people who are also interested in virtual dating. Best of all, once you match with someone you want to get to know, you have the option to hop on a video chat right away. Since Bumble is all about letting women make the first move, ladies will see a video icon and phone icon in the top right-hander corner of their convo screen with all matches, whereas guys only get the option to use these features after their match has reached out in some way.

You can feel good about taking advantage of this feature, too. Every time someone adds the Virtual Dating badge to their profile, Bumble is making a donation to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. (The company previously gave $100,000 to the fund.)

Via Bumble

Another challenge RN is that so many people are quarantined in locations other than where they permanently live, either because their college shut down for the remainder of the semester or they chose to move in with family for the time being. In response, Bumble has expanded its distance filters, allowing users to match with anyone in their country (as opposed to the typical distance ranges of 1-100 miles of a user's location). If you’re open to matches in other states, just head to your app settings, tap the gear icon, and move your distance slider all the way to the right until it says "Whole Country."

BTW, if your thumbs get a little tired from all that swiping and typing, you can try Bumble's new Audio Note feature. To send one, simply hold down the microphone icon to the right of the text box and record your response — just be aware that the Audio Note sends automatically once you let go, so you'll need to slide your finger to the left if you want to cancel the recording. This feature provides a unique way to give your match a greater sense of your personality — so have fun with it. Whether you use this tool to tell a hilarious story of your quarantine woes or offer a sweet compliment, an Audio Note can go a long way in boosting your match's interest.

You know how overwhelming it can be to respond to multiple messages in a row? Bumble also added a handy new feature that allows you to reply to messages one by one. All you have to do is hold down the specific message you want to respond to, and hit "reply." From there, you have the option to respond with plain text, a GIF, or an Audio Note.

Via Bumble

Bumble launched in-app Video Chat and Voice Call features last summer, but unsurprisingly, those features have become even more popular since social distancing guidelines were put into place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the company tells Elite Daily that between the week ending on March 13 and the week ending on March 27, there was a whopping 84% increase in video calls. There was also a 26% increase in messages sent during that same time frame. Bumble reports that more than one in four chats are turning into longer, meaningful convos, too — so, apparently, lots of people are looking for connection right now.

Dating in quarantine may come with some new challenges, but remember: Change isn't always a bad thing. In times like these, it's all about adjusting your attitude and your tactics to achieve your goals, whether you're just looking for a digital pen pal to ease the pangs of loneliness or a boo with long-term potential. Luckily, Bumble's new features can help to ease that transition. Who knows? You may come to appreciate the major *perks* of dating from your couch — like, you know, the fact that you can potentially find "The One" without ever changing out of your PJs.