Lively App Review — The Video-Based Social Experience

Many times we get stuck on a specific idea of what online dating should be. However, the reality of the modern dating paradigm is that those who are willing to use new and creative social platforms stand an improved chance of finding compatible partners.

Lively is a social video app that launched in late 2016 and has grown rapidly in popularity. Its main use is to help its members meet new people. Although not formally a dating app, it definitely has dating applications. If this sounds interesting to you — if you are curious to see how you could leverage Lively for your dating goals, read our full review of Lively.

lively app review

Lively App Review Results
  • Popularity - 57
  • Value - 66
  • Features - 59
  • Quality of Members - 58
  • Safety - 62
  • Customer Satisfaction - 65

Final Word on Lively

We understand that Lively is not intended to be a traditional dating app. Reviewing it from the perspective of someone who would be using it as a dating tool, however, we still found it to be intriguing. Yes, it requires a little bit of time and patience. You will have to go through several matches that simply are not your cup of tea due to the lack of a filtering mechanism. Still, we can see how you might be able to meet some interesting prospects through this app.

Overall, we would rate Lively as GOOD, especially if you are tired of the traditional dating app model.

— Pros and Cons —


  • 100 percent free
  • Entirely video based
  • Blur function is a great tool for privacy


  • Available only for iPhone devices
  • Cannot filter matches by age, sex, or location
  • Cannot customize profile

— In-Depth Lively App Review — app

Lively describes itself as a “video-based social experience that allows users to connect instantly with one another through live video chat.” If you wonder what that means, think of it as a more dignified and polished version of Chatroulette.

Lively falls under the category of a “people discovery app.” That means that it is not formally an online dating site, but it’s organic features lend themselves well to meeting people for possible dates or hookups. It is for this reason that we felt it prudent to review Lively.

— Availability —

It is important to note that there is an other live video app that structures its name as “lively.” You should not confuse that app with the app. The former is an extension of the app and is intended for a more general audience — including teens.

lively icon

The Lively app that we are reviewing is intended solely for adults. It is only available as an app for iPhone devices. It can be downloaded from the App Store. As of August 2017, the Lively app has a customer rating of three stars. It should also be noted that it will only operate on iOS 9.0 or higher.

— Registration and Cost —

Lively is 100 percent free. There are no hidden attempts to upsell you to a premium version, nor are there any hidden fees.

There is only one way to register for an account on Lively and it requires you to use your Facebook credentials. The Lively app does not post anything on your Facebook account and its terms of service indicate that it keeps all of your information private. From your Facebook account, the app will import your first name, gender, location, and profile picture.

— How Lively Works —

The concept behind Lively is relatively simple. It is designed to bring people together entirely via video. When you log on to the Lively app you are automatically placed in video chat mode. You must then select a topic from a list provided by the app or create your own. You will then be connected to another member based on a mutual interest in that topic. This conversation can be as brief or as long as you want.

An interesting feature offered by Lively is its “blur” function. This function is turned on by default and allows your video feed to start off with a blurred effect. In other words, the other member will not be able to identify any specific features about your face, even though they can still tell that there is somebody there. As the conversation progresses, the blurring effect slowly fades away.

— During Our Tests —

We discovered that the amount of time it took to go from full blur to full clarity varied. It was as short as five minutes and as long as 15. There was no way to manually control this.

We found this to be a very useful feature. In our opinion, it allows you to safeguard your identity and not reveal yourself until you’re comfortable with the person that you are talking to. You are given the option to click on a toggle button to immediately remove the blur feature in the event that you want to reveal yourself earlier. You also have the option to leave the blur effect on as long as you want.

A video chat can be terminated at any moment by hitting the red “hang up” button. If during the course of the conversation you felt that there was a strong connection with the person, you can “friend” them by clicking on the green friend button.

The purpose of friending other people is to be able to communicate with them at any time of your choosing. Otherwise, if you like the person but did not friend them, you will not be able to get ahold of them again.

— How is This Useful for Dating? —

As we stated before, Lively does not promote itself directly as a dating up. However, it is easy to see how it can be used as a method for meeting new people not only for friendships but also for potential dating or hookups.

— Shortfalls —

One thing that we did find bothersome about Lively was the inability for members to modify their profile. There is no mechanism to change the profile picture or any of the biographical data that it pulls in from your Facebook account. Lively states that they do this as a method of authenticating users.

Another feature that is bothersome if you are looking to Lively as a potential venue for finding dating prospects, is the fact that you will be paired up with people regardless of age, sex, or location. There is no filtering mechanism to ensure that you are only matched with the type of person that you would like to speak to. Your only control is limited to the topic selection.