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White House Partners With Dating Apps To Offer New Vaccination Features

May 26, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck

President Biden’s big push to get 70% of adults at least one shot by July 4th is now being supported by some of America’s largest dating sites, like Hinge, Ok Cupid, and Tinder, who will offer features to highlight vaccination status, and in-app promotions to register for the vaccine.

“We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive, a vaccination,” said White House Senior COVID Advisor Andy Slavitt during a press event last Friday.

Dating apps will now offer badges showing vaccination status, access to free premium content like boosts, super likes, and super swipes for vaccinated people, in-app promotions and links to vaccines.gov, and filters so individuals can see others who have been vaccinated.

“I think that many dating app users will immensely appreciate having this information, and that for many, it will be one of several factors contributing to their willingness to meet up with a match in real life,” said Ariella Lenton-Brym, Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology Anxiety Research and Treatment at Lab Ryerson University.

According to research from OKCupid, people who are vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated receive 14% more matches than people who don’t plan to get vaccinated.

A recent survey by Tinder also shows that more than half of GenZ are only interested in going on dates with people who are vaccinated.

Tinder has seen significant increases in mentions of ‘vaccine’, up 800% since the start of the pandemic. Mentions hit an all-time high in April, the first month that all adults in the U.S. were eligible to receive a vaccine, with many members using their bio as a way to share their intention to get vaccinated.

On Tinder, members can now add stickers to their profile including “I’m Vaccinated” or “Vaccines Save Lives,” and can also access the “Vaccine Center” which is a suite of resources to educate and connect users with their nearest vaccination site.

“We’re excited to work with the White House to help 70% of American adults get vaccinated by July 4th. Nothing like fireworks to signal a new spark and a new start for those looking to meet new people in real life this summer,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Tinder in a written statement. 

OKCupid daters will also have vaccination badges, and a new matching system that lets users search by vaccination status. 

Hinge will encourage users to share their vaccination status on their profile and give vaccinated users a free “Rose,” which is premium content that indicates to other users that they’re especially excited to get to know them. 

“Having this information readily available may reduce the burden in having to navigate the sometimes complicated social task of asking another individual about their vaccination status,” said Lenton-Brym.

More than 60% of U.S. adults have gotten at least one vaccine shot, and after a year spent in quarantine these dating apps expect to see a continued surge in activity which started when the pandemic first hit. 

Match Group, the parent company which controls 60% of the dating app market, reported that activity on dating apps surged during the pandemic despite social distancing orders, with Tinder recording its highest number of swipes on a single day, 3 billion, on March 29, 2020.

From March to May 2020, OkCupid saw a 700% increase in dates, and Bumble video calls increased by 70%. 

“For dating app users who did initiate relationships during the pandemic, I would expect that those relationships became more serious more quickly, due to many individuals limiting contact to a small social circle, and increased necessity of honest communication early on in the relationship, like asking a partner if they are seeing anyone else,” said Lenton-Brym.

“We believe it is important to reach young people where they are in the effort to get them vaccinated… social distancing and dating were always a bit of a challenging combination,” said Slavitt.

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