We Interviewed Filteroff founder Zach Schleien, who talked with us about tonight’s Stranger Things-themed video dating event and how his application is changing the overall dating space.
Ever had a bad Tinder match whose face looked like a Demogorgon or whose personality was as empty as the vessel of a Mindflayed person? Well, you’re in luck, because tonight you can attend a digital date with fellow Stranger Things lovers who actually understood that reference.
Look, today’s dating world is hard. Meeting people just isn’t the same anymore between the pandemic, moving friend circles, and ever-changing goals or career aspirations. This is why dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid, are hotter than ever before.
Yet, with so many choices, photos, and profiles to sort through, wouldn’t it be nice to just meet someone quickly, from let’s say the convenience of your phone, in order to see if you’d like them? Better yet, maybe attend similar-themed events of special interest such as mutual love of a show about kids in the 80s solving nerdy mysteries before grabbing a drink at an event?
That is the beauty of Filteroff, a video-first online dating app where you can match with someone over video to talk about shared interests, make friends, and hopefully: build some chemistry. We interviewed founder Zach Schleien about Filteroff and tonight’s Stranger Things Event, which you can read more about below.
What Is Filteroff?
You Can Try Filteroff Right Now on the App Store. You can also click this link below before 8 pm EST today, if you’re interested in the Stranger Things Dating Event.
Hi, Zach thanks for being here. First, can you tell us a bit about yourself? Your background and how you created, Filteroff?
“So, growing up in Westchester NY, I was fascinated with building human connections. Online dating, this idea of meeting people outside your friend circle, was always super interesting to me. About 7-8 years ago (while online dating) I started asking dates if they’d be open to video chatting and noticed that the ones who agreed made all the difference in the world.
Fast forward, and after having already built a few start-ups, I finally launched Filteroff just before the pandemic. What I noticed was once the pandemic hit, it became evident how important a platform this was, given how lonely people were feeling. In April of 2020 that’s when we took off and had even gotten coverage from NYT and BBC. Then in October of last year, we were able to raise 2.5 million and went full-time.”
Tell us about Filteroff and what makes It distinct from other dating apps?
“Filteroff is like dating in person but virtually. It’s a really authentic dating experience where you’re actually dating people and not profiles. That’s what sets us apart. What makes us distinct is our virtual speed dating and community events.
How events work is that they’re theme-based events. It could be religious, or ethnic, or they could be fans of stranger things for example. What Filteroff does is it will schedule your dates so you can preview them beforehand. The photos are blurred intentionally, but you can learn about them beforehand their bios, and their little fun facts.
Filteroff will schedule up to 10 video speed dates. You hop into your date on the app on the scheduled date, and each match lasts around 3 minutes of conversation. There are ice breaker games and at the end of the time it’ll ask if you like them or not. You then go on your next date. In the end, you can see if there are any matches and you can message or video call them.”
On your page, it says Filteroff is the first video-focused dating app. Why the emphasis on video specifically?
“There’s lots of apps that incorporate video nowadays. What makes us unique we’re Video first. When people use our app they’re not just using it to swipe a hundred people, they’re using it to find their community. Whether it’s finding a dog-lover community to find other people who love dogs, or in this case, finding people that enjoy a TV show.
It’s really finding like-minded people that sets us apart. When you’re on other apps you are swiping, you don’t necessarily think: let me video with this person. This changes that for a more human experience.”
I was invited to do a Stranger Things-Themed speed dating event tonight. Can you tell us about Filteroff’s special speed Dating Events?
“So we do all sorts of ethnic events such as a Jewish date night, a divorced and widowed singles date night, and a black singles date night. Besides virtual, we also host in-person events in NYC focused on a theme. We had a South Asian date night where we had over 300 people looking ti mingle, and next month, we’re doing a tech lovers yacht party singles event on July 3rd. We’ve been hosting events every week in NYC. Though the app is available globally, our focus for our in-person dating events is just NYC for now.”
Follow-Up second question. Can you tell folks what the Stranger Things event will be like? If I match with Vecna I might die a little bit on the inside.
“Haha. It comes down to what you think is gonna happen in July and the conversations had while talking about your favorite characters. What it comes down to for any event is this: if you meet someone you really vibe with, there is a likelihood you’ll go on another video date, maybe even watch volume 2 together. That’s sort of our goal. To get people to meet up in person and more.”
Alright then, so for those using the app for the first time, how would you think people find success in matching with the right person on Filteroff?
“A lot of our users have never used dating apps before, or really, just hate other dating apps out there and use Filteroff because they genuinely want to meet people. One of the things we often hear is, “I’m really nervous to get on a video date.” It really comes down to if you’d rather go on a 3 minute video date versus going out to a bar for an hour to risk having a horrible experience.
Because anything you do that brings you outside of your comfort zone may feel uncomfortable, that’s when you know you’re doing something that may be beneficial to your life. You take the chance.
We’ve actually had people who’d got married off a Filteroff match. So whether you’re looking for something casual or something serious, what filter off brings is the ability to connect with humans in a quick and efficient way. So jump on, ask questions, it’s okay not to say the right thing because when it comes to dating, it’s really all about vibe and chemistry.”
Do you have any favorite events you’ve done in the past few years?
“When you work with communities its very special. We had a 420 event for cannabis lovers that was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch. We were actually able to showcase a new ‘Dank Dust’ marijuana-like beer for the first time in NYC and it was really cool bringing 270 singles together. For more recent events, we also offered a virtual video experience right before a meeting for the in-person one, and some folks on the app were able to attend with their online matches.”
Are there any special launches, occasions, or events you’re planning on this year?
“We have some awesome upcoming events on the app. We have this Love Boat yacht party on July 3rd with an afterparty on the Serafina Rooftop in NYC at 11. Then on July 14th, we have a singles-professionals open beer bar at Contra Lounge. On July 21st, we partnered with Stella Artois and are doing a Gatsby single masquerade party with an open Stella bar for the first hour. We partnered with a large NYC creator, Rebeka @ NYC For Free.”
Awesome. Finally, where can people try Filteroff for the first time?
“Filteroff.com or on your Android or Apple app store. It’s free to use and easy for people to start matching and meeting with humans and not profiles.
One other thing to share, if you’re a community, you can even create your own virtual speaking event within the Filteroff app. You can make it private, keep it in your community, and even sell tickets on the Filteroff platform. So if you run a discord community, Facebook group, or subreddit, you can host meetups about your interests.”
Discretion: Neither Netflix nor Stranger Things holds any personal relationship, affiliation, or ties with the Filteroff Application. This event is for a casual meet-up for Stranger Things fans and people seeking to date. This interview serves the sole purpose of talking about the Filteroff app only.