Dating apps and sites like Tinder and OkCupid aren’t just tracking users’ favorite hobbies and personal likes and dislikes anymore. As more and more cities begin to open up, and as the number of vaccinated individuals increases, many people will start feeling comfortable venturing out again to make up for the lost time — the dating dry spell of 2020. And now, thanks to a new initiative in partnership with the White House, popular dating sites will soon be offering incentives to users vaccinated against COVID-19.
Abby Johnston of the nonprofit newsroom The 19th has reported that the new initiative includes Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Hinge, Match, Plenty of Fish, Bumble and Badoo, as well as BLK and Chispa, which are designed specifically for Black and Latinx singles, respectively.
According to Johnston, some of the incentives and perks include “badges to show vaccination status, search filters based off of who has gotten the vaccine and free access to paid features — such as shortcuts that allow people to link up more easily with potential dates.”
OkCupid has reported that “users who are vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated get 14% more matches than those who do not.” Meanwhile, Tinder adds that “mentions of the word ‘vaccine’ [in user profiles] have been up 800% since the start of the pandemic, reaching an all-time high in April.”
“Users on Tinder will be able to indicate whether they support vaccines on their profile, and vaccinated users can access ‘super likes,’” Johnston reported. “On OkCupid, in addition to being able to add ‘I’m vaccinated’ stickers to profiles, users who have received the vaccine will be added to a new matching system that allows people to search based on vaccine status and receive a free ‘boost.’”
Other sites in the program are offering similar benefits, including access to free “spotlight” content and free “SuperSwipes.”
Public health experts are hoping the program can cause a spike in vaccinations — especially among younger individuals, LGBTQ individuals and people of color — similar to the other numerous vaccination promotions currently underway, from million-dollar checks to free beer and free servings of seafood.
“We’re excited to work with the White House to help 70% of American adults get vaccinated by July 4th,” Jim Lanzone, CEO of Tinder, said in a press release. “Nothing like fireworks to signal a new spark and a new start for those looking to meet new people IRL this summer.”