Summer is fast approaching, and dating apps want to help lonely singles make it a summer of love by encouraging them to get vaccinated and share their status directly on their dating profiles.
Profile status — Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid are among a cohort of dating apps that have partnered with the White House on the initiative. Soon, users will be able to let potential dates know if they’re fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not yet vaccinated, or prefer not to say. In exchange, the apps are offering users premium features.
Hinge, for example, will give a free “Rose” to users who set their vaccination status, while Tinder will throw in a free Super Like. Both premium features let a user tell a potential match that they’re very interested, thus increasing the chances of matching.
Tinder is also adding some other tools to its app, including a vaccine location tool from Vaccine.gov, and links to authoritative information around the vaccine from organizations like WHO.
Vaccines are sexy, folks — The COVID pandemic didn’t change anyone’s desire to seek love, with video dates seeing widespread adoption. But according to Hinge’s research, nearly 80 percent of users discuss COVID safety measures with their matches because they still prefer to connect in person (though e-dates might stick around as a screening stage).
What’s more, Tinder actually says you’ll probably have a better shot at landing a date if you’re vaccinated (which is promising, from an evolutionary, survival-of-the-smartest perspective). More than half of its Gen Z users say they’re only interested in going on dates with people who are vaccinated.
A recent study found that younger Americans under 35 are least likely to say they’ll get vaccinated. Maybe this type of peer pressure will change things.
Weirdly enough, this isn’t the first time dating apps have been used towards more civic means. Last month, the Justice Department charged a Capitol rioter who was turned in by someone he matched with on Bumble after he bragged about his activities on January 6. It’s a weird timeline we’re living in where dating apps are doing more to protect society than is Big Tech.
Listen to Justin or Joe — “I believe true love and connection happens in person, in real life,” said Justin McLeod, CEO of Hinge. “So I am thrilled and honored that Hinge had the chance to work with the White House to increase vaccination awareness across the country so our community can start meeting up safely, once again.”
More than 60 percent of Americans are at least partially vaccinated. The White House hopes to get that number to 70 percent by the 4th of July. If horniness won’t do the trick, we’re screwed, and not in the fun way.