The League is a dating app that matches you together with a two-minute video chat

Dating in the 21st Century is a whole new ball game. Now The League is introducing a brand new, smarter way of meeting people – anyone fancy a video speed date via app?
Mobile phone using The League dating app, with difference app screens
Mobile phone using The League dating app, with difference. Photo: The League

Dating apps – the pros and the cons

Using apps to meet people isn’t new. The biggest dating app is probably Tinder, with about 50 million users. The premise is simple; create a profile, match with people with whom you share interests. If you both ‘like’ each other you can start messaging and see if it leads to something more.

There are however lots of problems. These include:

  • Encouragement to communicate via messages rather than meeting in person
  • Increased feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Mismatches – often with negative outcomes for both parties
  • The focus solely on physical appearance
  • Fake accounts and abuse of the system through inappropriate behaviour
  • A tendency of users to look for ‘no strings’ relationships with the ‘near you now’ function
    Mobile phone showing Tinder's Swipe Night function
    Tinder is currently one of the biggest dating apps, but is rife with problems. Image: Tinder

Step forward The League

The League launched in 2015. It is now available in cities worldwide, including London.

A key difference is the personalised matching service, and how this focuses on genuine factors of potential attraction. The app doesn’t just locate a huge number of people ‘near you now’.

Instead, The League asks users to select highly specific filters. These are then applied to provide a small number of ‘high potential’ matches. These preferences might include general filters such as age, religion and location. They might also be as specific as your levels of personal ambition, career aspirations and plans for the future.

The League says, ‘We let you set ultra-specific preferences and only suggest you a few Prospects a day that we think you will actually like. Save your time, energy, and swipe thumb.’

Matches are only made with people who meet every single criteria you have set.

What about security and privacy?

The League requires every user to verify their account via LinkedIn. There are privacy measures in place to try and eliminate fake accounts, and to ensure that users never have their The League profile, or the fact that they have one, visible on any social media platform.

Cyber security is vitally important in the modern information sharing era. Having security and verification systems in place is a must. Recent news about how social media uses AI to manage and guard users against data manipulation has brought this key issue to the fore.

Of course, one downside is that if you don’t have a LinkedIn account you’ll need one to join The League. The app is targeted at people looking for real, long-term relationships, not quick hook-ups.

There are other measures in place to mitigate against ‘spamming’ activity, or users who are really there just out of curiosity. The matching algorithm identifies users who repeatedly swipe right to indicate an interest, but then never actually bother to message.

Good news for anybody who has ever wasted time waiting for a reply on Tinder! Users who repeatedly misuse the app are awarded a ‘flakiness’ score. They are then ranked as low priority by the algorithm. Any matches not followed up with a message are deleted after 14 days.

Mobile phones at different angles showing The League dating app pages
Users must verify their account through LinkedIn in order to join. Image: The League

So what’s with the video speed dating?

Personally, I really like this idea. There is always going to be a big margin for error in online dating. You might be a perfect match on paper, but then find out you really don’t have anything in common apart from your careers in finance, and a mutual love of cheese and 60’s country music.

League Live invites users to ‘say goodbye to bad first dates‘ with video chats which last just two minutes. App users ‘meet’ three prospective dates via secure video chat within a six minute window.

Not only will this help genuine users looking for love find the right person, but will deter fakes from using the platform.

This directly contrasts with Tinder’s Swipe Night function, released in September. Swipe Night is a game users play together and make decisions which dictate how the story unfolds. Tinder say that the game makes for great ‘material for post-apocalyptic banter‘. Not really the stuff of true love though, is it.

It sounds like The League have some much smarter ideas.

How could this app experience revolutionise modern dating?

We reached out to The League to gain further understanding about the reasons behind the app.

Amanda Bradford, Founder and CEO, shared with us her thoughts. It turns out that this coincides with The League’s 5th anniversary. Not a milestone to be disregarded in the shifting sands of app sustainability.

The internet dating industry is currently worth around $1.958 million. That equates to a lot of lonely hearts. League Live is intending to disrupt the dating app industry.¬†Bradford explains that, ‘no other dating app has this live video function that emulates meeting someone live in a protected environment‘.

Outcomes are impressive. League Live results in four times the successful match rates of the app alone, and three times as many ‘speed daters’ exchange telephone numbers.

For me, this epitomises the way in which modern tech can be used to provide a better user experience.

  • Algorithms that weed out disengaged users? Check.
  • Increased accountability on the app, but increased privacy outside of it? Check.
  • Verification measures to protect against system abuse and safeguard vulnerable users? Check.
  • Enhanced communication to avoid face-to-face meetings with a ‘stranger’? Check.
  • More personalised, and ultimately more successful results? Check.

I’m always a little suspicious of online dating. But, considering how important it is for many young people to be able to meet and connect, if I had to choose an app, it would probably be The League.

What do you think? Does this sound like an app you would use? What do you make of the LinkedIn connection? Let us know!

[Update 20/11/2029 – We added in video content and quotes from The League’s CEO after reaching out for comment.]
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