Two Yale University students have launched a virtual dating service in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
With over 150 universities closed across the U.S. due to coronavirus concerns, students are being encouraged to quarantine— taking all IRL relationships online.
Alas, Love Over Zoom was born.
According to Elite Daily, computer science majors Patrycja Gorska and Ileana Valdez came up with the idea on March 12th and within a few hours, their Zoom dating service was live.
“We’re missing out on prime relationship building time by being isolated,” reads their FAQ page. “If Zoom restricts us because they’re a paid service, we’ll create Google Hangout links. If that all starts to crash and burn, we’ll email you who you were matched with.”
For now, the dating service functions out of a Google Doc link. Though it seems that might change soon, as the number of signups has already exceeded Patryca and Illeana’s expectations. “Looks like we have waaaaaaay more people than zoom’s API can handle,” they added under FAQ. “We will be leaving the zooming up to you, but we’ll make sure you have a date :)”
To join Love Over Zoom, you must register with a valid college email address and answer some high-level questions about yourself. You will then be matched by the founders for your first date over Zoom.
In its first week, the dating service saw over 2300 student registrations from over 17 universities across the United States and Canada. According to the LOZ stats report, the founders only advertised in one Facebook group called Ivy League Meme Consortium. The initiative was quickly shared across multiple groups and sign-ups for week 2 are well underway.
The founders did not respond to Centennial Beauty for comment at the time of publication, however Illeana told Elite Daily, “I thought online matches would be successful because we have so much free time and so little contact. It’s the perfect environment for people to be brave and for internet relationships to thrive.” She also said the response has been “overwhelmingly positive” and that the duo were “technologically not prepared to have so much interest.”
The first dates took place on Friday, March 13th, with second dates being scheduled for this coming weekend.