For a growing number of apps, live streaming isn’t just an available option; it’s the main feature. In fact, according to eMarketer, 63% of people ages 18 to 34 watch some form of live streaming content regularly. Until recently, however, live video was a feature absent from most dating apps.
That’s why EastMeetEast, a New York-based matchmaking service which connects Asian singles in the U.S., is a standout among its competitors. Every week members receive a customized one-to-one match using the company’s proprietary matching system, which pairs potential couples based on their shared backgrounds, languages, dialects, hobbies, and culture. But while the app has seen success since its launch in 2016, EastMeetEast wanted to give its users more ways to find potential matches in the community.
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“Our main goal was to find a way to encourage more meaningful connections. We wanted a way for our users to discover people visually, emotionally, and in real time outside of search results,” said Kunal Thadani, EastMeetEast’s Senior Product Manager, on the decision to implement live video.
EastMeetEast utilizes live video two ways across its three-product portfolio. In the flagship app, users can either host their own or participate in live broadcasts, available through a one-to-many live video chat feature. They can interact with other users by sending messages, virtual gifts, and “likes.” Interested parties that want to continue the conversation outside of the broadcast can then do so through the direct message without ever leaving the app.
The newest product launch from EastMeetEast is a live dating show à la the hit television show The Bachelor available on iOS devices. At different points throughout the multi-party live video chat, users are “beamed in” to answer questions live to compete for a dream date with the featured Bachelor or Bachelorette.
In addition to creating more future “success stories,” live video encourages users to return more frequently to the apps and stay longer, which in turn increases the average session time. This kind of engagement is among the top reasons companies across a variety of industries, including online dating, social discovery, telehealth, are integrating real-time communications into their services and solutions.
But while live video and voice offer brands, retailers, and other companies the ability to engage with their users in new, creative ways, choosing the right solutions provider is an important decision.
“We talked to many different providers, but Agora gave us the ability to customize the functionality of the features we wanted quickly and cost-effectively,” said Thadani. “Their out-of-box solution allowed us to integrate live video into our app seamlessly, and the live streaming component was up and running within a few weeks.”
Along with an easy-to-implement solution, Thadani said Agora’s ability to provide quick and thorough personalized feedback for issues the team was facing within the app was also an important factor in cementing the relationship.
Kunal Thadani, EastMeetEast’s Senior Product Manager
According to Vimeo, 62 percent of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand with a low-quality video experience. To ensure EastMeetEast can provide its users with the highest quality real-time voice and video, Agora deploys its own proprietary virtual network that dynamically routes video data through the most optimal paths across 200+ data centers worldwide, meaning users will have the best possible experience no matter where they are or what carrier their mobile devices use.
EastMeetEast has seen a dramatic increase in the total number of users and in-app engagement since incorporating live video into its iOS app in February of 2018.
- DAU (Daily Active Users) increased by 37 percent.
- Daily app sessions per user increased by 20 percent.
- Users who had not engaged in-app recently returned.
When asked how EastMeetEast plans to continue to use live video and voice across its portfolio, Thadani said the team plans to improve its products’ existing features and wants to go “mainstream” before implementing anything new.
“We’ll continue to grow our two existing [live video] platforms for now. In the future, we might get more into using a camera to feed a live stream directly through a laptop, so our users have the highest quality video possible. That would also empower our team to create even more exciting content for our users.”