Filteroff, a video speed dating app, is hosting an April 11 event for people attending the Boston Marathon as runners, friends, family, or fans. Really, it’s for anyone who’ll be in town next weekend and cares about the race.
If you sign up for the free event, you’ll be matched with up to “eight people, based off of your preferences, and the dates last about three minutes,” explained Zach Schleien, co-founder of the Filteroff. “There’s different icebreaker games; [it’s] just a really authentic way to connect with singles and not swipe on profiles.”
Filteroff launched in February of 2020 — a complicated time to start a dating business. But Schleien said the pandemic changed people’s perceptions of video dates.
“We’ve hosted now about 13,000 virtual speed dating events. Prior to the pandemic, people did not embrace video; they thought it was weird. The pandemic really changed all that, given we’re all very comfortable with Zoom and FaceTime. People now see video as this really efficient and safe way to meet someone. Why would I meet someone at a bar when I can just hop on a quick video chat right beforehand?”
Filteroff hosts regular speed dating events and offers matchmaking services. The app also focuses on event-based virtual gatherings like the marathon night — virtual events that appeal to people who will be gathering for specific in-person activities. Schleien figures that if people meet on video a week before Marathon Monday, they can make plans to see each other in real life for carbo-loading, dates, etc.
“If they are runners, they can run it together,” he said.