May 22 (The Verge) – A group of the USA’s biggest dating apps are encouraging users to get vaccinated, just in case the health benefits weren’t reason enough. New features will range from badges for users to show their vaccination status, free premium features for vaccinated users, and links to vaccination resources like the Vaccines.gov website.
The apps taking part in the scheme include Match Group’s Tinder, Hinge, Match, OKCupid, BLK, Chispa, and Plenty of Fish services, as well as Bumble and Badoo.
The aim is to encourage users to get vaccinated, with the implied promise of more matches and hence more dates. The announcement cites research from OKCupid suggesting that people who either are, or plan to be, vaccinated get 14 percent more matches. Some apps will even let users filter matches by vaccination status.
Specific features will vary by app. Tinder is giving out free premium features to vaccinated users, adding pro-vaccine profile stickers, and incorporating links to vaccination resources.
Bumble and Badoo will offer similar vaccine profile badges, and complimentary premium credits to vaccinated users. Hinge is also giving out normally paid-for features, and is encouraging users to share their vaccination status on their profiles.
What’s unclear at the moment is how the apps plan to verify that users who claim to be vaccinated have actually received a jab. Many of the apps, such as Tinder, already offer verification features, so theoretically they already have systems in place to verify similar information. We’ve reached out to the group for confirmation.
At the time of writing, the vaccine tracker from The New York Times reports that 48 percent of people in the US have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 38 percent are fully vaccinated.
President Biden has set a target of getting 70 percent of adults in the country their first shot by July 4th.