The background: Photos are a basic element from which most people judge whether they like a certain person or not on dating apps. The problem with pictures is that people look different in different pictures and differently in reality. Pictures don't convey how the person looks when he/she is active, e.g. engaged in a conversation, you can't see their live facial expressions, hear their voice. This is very important for deciding whether the person is attractive to you. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures.
One might argue that pictures are enough to get the first impression and then if people match they can have a video chat if they want to. Sure, but a video chat is already like a date. You need to have guts for it, you need to arrange the time, you can't just leave the chat after one minute if you are not interested, etc. Having more representative info about the person in advance is very convenient and saves time and potentially negative emotions for both sides.
The solution seems easy, - the users should have a possibility to film themselves and put a short video on their profile. However, the latter doesn't work in practice and that is clear from the fact that almost no one has a video on their profile on those apps. The reason is obviously not because it's hard to implement such a feature. A partial reason might be because it is considered unnecessary, which I tried to prove wrong above, but I think the main reason is that it's not user-friendly. Here are few likely drawbacks:
Most people wouldn't like to film themselves out of the blue, they would feel uncomfortable, they'd have to come up with what to do, what to say, how to present themselves in the video. Taking a selfie is much easier. Finding a somewhat fun video in your personal archive where someone else filmed you spontaneously (either alone or in a company) is an option, but still quite complicated - you need to search for a proper one, it might be of poor quality or you might be poorly visible in it, etc.
Even if someone would want to make a filming selfie of themselves, the video made with smartphone's front camera won't do much good. Poor filming quality of that camera is one thing, but constant movement of the smartphone while holding it in your hand makes it even worse. It's possible to rest the smartphone on some platform at a 45 degree or so angle, but this is additional hassle.
In order for the video to best represent the person it would have to be an interview/podcast type of video - where a person engages in conversation/answers questions, reacts, etc., and is filmed up-close. This simulates an actual meeting with the person for the one who is watching.
Tinder introduced a possibility to make very short videos (a few frames basically) of yourself to give users a glimpse of your moving image. This is user-friendly for the selfie maker, but such "videos" are pretty useless at representing the person.
The solution: An app could turn video making process into an interesting experience. One way to do this is to simulate an interview by providing questions that are randomly picked by the algorithm (so that the user won't know in advance what questions they will get). The user checks the camera, sound, how they look, etc. and once satisfied clicks start button, then the first question appears on the screen, like "Given all the possibilities, which place would you like to visit next in the world and why?", just a random example. The user then speaks the answer out loud, trying to look into the camera.
What questions would be provided is a very important part. All the questions that form the database from which the app randomly pics them should be carefully selected/created by staff members. There should be many questions in the database. Questions could be suggested by the app users and then the best ones selected by staff. The database could be frequently updated.
The algorithm would only serve the function of random picking and make sure the questions don't repeat. Good questions would make an interesting experience for the one being filmed and this, in turn, would make a good video to watch. Not knowing what question you'll get brings spontaneity and makes the experience more organic. Such an experience is pleasantly challenging.
A rather small number of questions should make the filming session, maybe ten or so. If the person is not satisfied with the video, he/she might repeat the process as many times as they want, but the questions would be different each time. This would enable the person to warm up with the process and feel more confident, but not to rehearse or fully control the outcome. When satisfied with the outcome the user would add the video to their profile. Such filming session should best be done on a pc (using either a built-in camera or an additional one) and not a smartphone. Most dating apps have website versions, this way the video from a pc can be easily added to person's profile.
The users watching such a video on someone's profile would first see the question written on the screen and after that the video answer. The video on person's profile should be accessible to other users only after they match with that person. Firstly because of privacy issues - showing your up-close video, in which you are answering questions, to potentially anyone on the app is more unsettling in terms of privacy than just showing your photos. Also, the users who are just swiping through profiles might be drawn to watch those videos and would get tired more quickly, since watching a video takes time, this would slow down the whole "swiping experience".
Do you have experience with dating apps? If so, can you relate with pictures being much more deceiving than videos? Maybe you have other ideas on how to bring a virtual representation of a person closer to reality?