Facebook is testing a video speed-dating app called Sparked. The app, which requires a Facebook profile to create an account, is developed by the company’s NPE Team, Facebook’s in-house group that works on experimental apps.
You can view the Sparked webpage here, where it describes the app as “video dating with kind people.” It also promises no public profiles, no swiping, no DMs, and that it’s free to use. The app will seemingly cycle people through speed video dates that last four minutes. It’s unclear how many video dates a person will go on per event, but the app says that if “you both have a great time” daters will then be scheduled for a 10-minute second date. After that point, Sparked suggests they can exchange contact information and stay in touch through Instagram, iMessage, or email.
The Verge attempted to set up a profile and was put on a waitlist, but the user sign-up flow suggests kindness is a key theme for the app. When signing up, users have to type out what makes them a kind dater. The app says these responses will be “reviewed by a human at Sparked” before people can go on speed dates. Users also have to choose whether they want to date men, women, or nonbinary people, and then are asked if they are open to dating trans people. The Verge viewed a landing page for a dating event in Chicago that says 47 people have signed up to attend. What’s unclear is how daters connect to the event, like whether they have to log into Sparked through the web, or if they’ll eventually be prompted to download an app. No app is live in the App Store or Google Play. (We went through this sign-up process just from a browser.)