VKontakte Launches Dating App to Challenge Tinder, Badoo

Russia’s top social network, VKontakte, is launching its own dating app Lovina, RIA Novosti reported

Users can register with Lovina through an account on the social network or by phone number. Right after registration, the app’s algorithms will offer suitable matches. Acquaintances in the new service will occur through video calls and video stories, the company said. 

The Lovina app also offers a videochat to users who liked each others’ profiles, or sets a “carousel” of limited-time videochats for random users, in a model similar to speed dating when men and women are rotated across tables to have a several-minute chat, looking for a proper match.

According to AppAnnie data, Badoo, Tinder and Mamba are the leading dating apps in Russia. In June, the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor included Tinder’s parent Match Group Inc. into its “register of information-dissemination operators.” It means that the company must share user data in response to requests from law-enforcement, or risk fines and a possible ban on access to the service in Russia for failing to comply.

“From a photo and correspondence it’s not always possible to understand how suitable a person is for you. Only during live communication does it become clear whether a spark has run between you. With the help of video calls and video stories, you can feel the thrill of the first meeting and check if there is a desire to communicate further,” project head of Lovina Vladimir Makhov said in a company statement.

Lovina has no ads, but there are paid additional features. VKontakte, owned by Russian tech giant Mail.ru, said that Lovina users can pre-order the application and register in it before the official launch.