What makes you swipe right on someone? That they’re hot? Funny? Vaccinated? Dating apps from Tinder and Hinge to Chispa and BLK have announced that they will begin incorporating vaccination status and unlock premium features to vaccinated people in an attempt to encourage more vaccinations.
The move comes as President Joe Biden has set a goal for 70 percent of American adults to have at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. At present, the New York Times reports 48 percent of the population has received at least one shot. In Los Angeles County, about 61 percent of the population aged 16 and over has received at least one shot, according to the Department of Public Health.
But the pandemic has already changed our online dating habits. Vaccinated or not, Hinge reported that 52 percent of users said they are likely to continue using video dating even after masking and social distancing measures have ended. According to Tinder, 40 percent of Gen Z specifically said they’ll continue video dating even after the pandemic.
Getting vaccinated does have its dating benefits, though. OKCupid notes that being vaccinated (or planning to) leads to 14 percent more matches than people who don’t intend to. Which makes sense, because caring for yourself and others is sexy.
“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,” Justin McLeod, founder and CEO of Hinge, said. The company will provide vaccinated users a free rose—a special feature reserved for premium users that signifies interest.
Bumble and Badoo will also unlock premium features for vaccinated users including free credits for “Spotlight” and “Superswipe” functions on both apps. Tinder, the world’s largest non-gaming app, will provide vaccinated users a similar complementary credit for “Superlikes,” while also launching a Vaccine Center that provides its user base with educational resources on the vaccines as well as help in finding local vaccination sites.
After the pandemic ends, will we still ask potential partners about their behaviors during the crisis as a way to gauge compatibility? Maybe. But let’s just get to the end of the pandemic first.
Ready to get vaccinated and boost your online dating game? Visit L.A. County Public Health’s website to find out how to get a shot.
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