Zoosk’s Newest Innovation: Lively is a Dating App Where Singles Use Videos to Tell Their Own Personal Story

Online Dating

Zoosk’s Newest Innovation: Lively is a Dating App Where Singles Use Videos to Tell Their Own Personal Story

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks • 9/29/16

The Short Version: Zoosk is once again breaking new ground in the dating space with the launch of their new app: Lively. To help daters connect and flirt more easily, Zoosk Labs built an innovative product that allows users to augment their profiles with videos that show who they are and what they enjoy. Instead of a single photo, a collage of video clips and photos introduces users to each other on the app. According to a study conducted by the dating site, 90% of young singles want more videos and pictures on dating profiles, so the company crafted a dynamic profile setup to answer that need and provide a fuller look at a potential match. Committed to authenticity, intimacy, and originality, Lively builds bonds based on experiences and personality rather than looks.

It’s hard to get a sense of who someone is on a dating app that relies on hastily swiping through photos as their main form of matching singles. With only a single photo and some tidbits of information to go by, you’re stuck wondering, “How do I know what this person is really like?”

Basic stats and a selfie don’t give you much insight into who’s waiting on the other side of the screen. To truly get to know a person (without actually meeting them) you need a little more.

Seeing an opportunity for growth, Zoosk surveyed their 38 million members to find out how they could improve dating services in the mobile space. The results indicated that singles crave reliable information: 90% of users age 18 to 34 said they would be more likely to message a person who had more pictures and videos on their dating profile. A majority also expressed interest in profiles linked to a social media profile like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Lively logo

On Lively, experiences replace selfies as the way to get to know someone.

So, the team got to work on building a unique dating app that launched on July 18, 2016.

Available for free in the App Store, Lively aims to help singles “get to know people better, faster” through a video and picture collage.

Instead of a tedious list of favorites or a run-of-the-mill bathroom selfie, the option to add videos gives users leeway to reveal more fun, interesting, and attractive aspects of their personality.

“A lot of the feedback was that Lively felt more intimate,” Zoosk’s CEO, Kelly Steckleberg, explained in a press release. “When you get on the app, it really does seem like you’re getting a small glimpse into someone’s life. It feels like the first step toward getting to know someone.”

2 Ways Videos Create a Dynamic First Impression on the App

Lively is the first product to come out of Zoosk Labs, and the team expects it to be a big hit with daters. The interface is familiar and simple: singles are shown one profile at a time and can accept or reject that person on the spot. If two people show mutual interest, they’re invited to chat. Pretty standard.

What’s new and different about this dating app is the use of video as a way to bring more authenticity to mobile dating. Instead of telling potential matches who you are, you can show them who you are.

“Watching someone’s stories really helps you get a sense of who they are much faster than photos,” Behzad Behrouzi, the Vice President of Product Management, said in an interview with Bustle.

Members can pull favorite clips and pics from their social media profiles to create a varied but accurate depiction of hobbies, interests, or sense of humor. This feature inspires more natural conversation starters while giving users a more complete idea about someone’s personality.

“Lively’s moving-story profiles will resonate,” Behzad predicted, “especially with those with active lifestyles and busy social schedules.”

1. Lively Content: Regularly-Posed Questions Prompt Users to Post Videos & Pics

The dating app hosts a constantly updated collection of content as singles add their experiences to their profiles in real-time. That’s why it’s called “Lively.”

Lively poses questions like “What did you do this weekend?” prompting users to add content that will raise their profile on the app. These rotating prompts encourage singles to keep their profiles fresh with new videos and pictures, which helps singles catch the eye of anyone browsing for a date.

2. Intuitive Editing Makes Creating, Saving & Posting Stories Easy

The editor feature is user-friendly so putting together an awesome collage of videos and pictures is no problem. From fast video cropping to reordering content by dragging and dropping, the app has many tools to ensure your collage looks just the way you want it.

Users are given much freedom when organizing a profile. The videos and pictures are meant to display an individual’s originality.

“Be ready to think outside the selfie,” Behzad advised. “We’ve seen some creative ideas that really show off who people are.”

More Than a Hookup App, Lively Builds Strong Connections

With Lively, singles benefit from a more well-rounded and intimate view of who a person is. This app diminishes the need for snap judgments or guesswork. Instead, you can use video and picture content as a more expressive and natural way to introduce yourself.

No more superficial connections based on a single photo — Lively marks a shift in the dating space toward greater authenticity.

“All those apps really do is create coincidences,” Behzad explained. “With Lively, chemistry begins online — experiences replace selfies and moving stories replace text as the focal point of member profiles.”

Screenshot of Lively's homepage

Break free from cookie-cutter selfies. Lively offers a way to connect with authentic and original videos.

With their new app, this dating innovator is both following the trends toward video content and giving singles a more natural way to flirt on a mobile device. This intuitive push toward storytelling and substance can only mean good things for singles in search of better dating app.

“Lively helps capture those intangible moments and aspects of someone’s character that draw people together,” he said. “This way, Lively will quickly create connections, not coincidences.”

A Pioneer in Dating: Zoosk Continues to Expand Their Reach

Since 2007, Zoosk has consistently broken new ground with creative solutions for online and mobile daters. Rather than swiping through endless streams of identical selfies, singles now have an alternative way to explore possible matches.

Kelly Steckelberg, CEO of Zoosk

Kelly Steckleberg took over as CEO of Zoosk in 2014.

Lively provides a space where singles can get a fuller sense of who they’re talking to from the get-go. The use of videos makes a more dynamic first impression and removes a lot of uncertainty in the initial mobile dating process.

This is just the beginning for Zoosk Labs, which has already started developing another new dating app to further help singles. Coming soon, Cinch will push singles to seal the deal by prompting them to “End Chat” or “Propose Date” after a set period of communication.

In the meantime, Lively’s video and photo collages are sure to keep mobile daters happily occupied as they browse for that perfect match.

“Lively allows daters to see each other in a whole new way,” Kelly said, “and because of that, the whole experience feels different.”