A new online dating app, Zepeel, in the downtown core

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Between “Swiping Right” flash dating and extensive questionnaire profile matching on the other end of the spectrum, dating websites/apps seem to have one thing in common…you don’t know who the person is until you meet them in the flesh.

David Pinard - photographer Laura Rossi

David Pinard – photographer Laura Rossi

CityPlace and Liberty Village is home to predominately young professionals who lead busy lives. “Online dating doesn’t have the bad stigma it once had,” says David Pinard, Actor and past Bachelorette Canada contestant. “It’s just the way people connect and identify who is looking.”

“I’ve had success with online dating,” says Pinard. “Right now, my life is a little unpredictable, so I’m looking for more of a casual versus serious relationship. I’ve met a lot of great girls online. It’s just the access point to setting up an in-person meeting to see if there’s chemistry.”

There are singles, however, who haven’t had such a positive experience. We’ve all heard the horror stories of people creating fake profiles or altering photos to improve how they look.

Jenna Paolini

Jenna Paolini – photographer Laura Rossi

The whole online dating process can breed mistrust right from the start. “I had met someone online and felt we had chemistry,” says Jenna Paolini, Manager of Client Experience at a financial firm. “He was charismatic and funny over text, but when I met him in person, he was entirely different. He was boring and didn’t ask me a single question on our date. The worst was a guy who I had built the beginning of a relationship online, but when I met him he had a crazy temper and started a fight in the bar during our date!”

While you can’t learn everything about a person online, new video dating app Zepeel has created a format for singles to see even more about a potential match before they commit to an in-person meeting. With video profiles, video messaging and live video chats, Zepeel gives singles a more accurate glimpse of a potential partner. “Research shows that only 7% of communication is based on the words we say. 38% comes from tone of voice, and the remaining percentage comes from body language,” says Steve Szikszay, Founder and CEO of Zepeel. “Zepeel’s structure allows users to see more of a potential partner’s personality by absorbing the verbal and non-verbal cues given in their video profile.”

“I love the idea of video profiles, but even for me as an actor it was hard to figure out what to say. It can be intimidating to make the change from posting photos to recording a video, but I see how you could be successful if more singles catch onto the idea,” says Pinard.  Zepeel suggests filming a short video that just covers the basics of your name, age, what you do for work and what you like to do on your off time. More in-depth information can be shared through video messaging once a connection is formed.

“Video profiles are a smart idea because you learn so much about a person from their mannerisms and delivery,” says Paolini. “It is intimidating to think about filming because it’s different, but I would give it a go.”

Where singles might have to step out of their comfort zone a little to film a quick raw video profile, the benefit of being able to understand more about the person you are connecting with online far outweighs any awkwardness. “This is the new wave of online dating,” says Szikszay. “We know it is going to take time for people to get involved, but when you look at the rising stars of social videos on Snapchat and Instagram, we know users have the ability and desire to communicate in this way.”

To help motivate singles to get online and start posting videos, Zepeel will be choosing their favourite new profile uploaded by the end of March and treating them a dinner gift certificate to cover their first date. CityPlace and Liberty Village residents can also join Zepeel for a singles mixer on March 16th at Hunters Landing and April 6th at Williams Landing.

Zepeel is available for download now on Android and iOS.


Dean Maher

Dean Maher is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The 416 Magazine.