Dating app users can now share their vaccine status and get perks in the process

·5-min read
Photo credit: Uwe Krejci - Getty Images
Photo credit: Uwe Krejci - Getty Images

It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has changed dating a lot, with drinks in the pub replaced by walks in the park and cosying up exchanged for social distancing. If you mentioned 'household bubbles' with a date before 2020, they might well have assumed you had a bottle of Prosecco at home ready to pop open, but as the pandemic worsened, that phrase came up in conversations about the circumstances of safely meeting up indoors.

A new challenge that's emerged for people to navigate is the need for discussions with their dates about pandemic-related issues, like where they're comfortable meeting, whether they're vulnerable to the virus or harbouring anxiety about the spread of COVID-19.

As the vaccine rollout is steadily moving forward, an important conversation for daters is whether they've had their jab or not, and some of the biggest dating apps around have joined forces with the Department of Health and Social Care to make that chat easier from the get-go.

Leading dating apps and websites including Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime and Muzmatch have teamed up with the government to encourage their users to get COVID-19 vaccinations through new features. People will be able to show their support for the vaccine on their dating profiles and receive in-app bonuses when they say they are vaccinated.

Throughout June on Hinge, users will have the option to let potential dates know if they're fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not yet vaccinated, or prefer not to say. Users who participate will receive a free Rose — a premium like that lets someone know you're especially excited to get to know them and that doubles your chances of going on a date.

On OkCupid, daters will be able to add a new 'I’m Vaccinated' badge to their profiles to show potential matches that they’ve had at least one dose. Everyone who adds the badge to their profile will receive a free Boost (showing their profile to more users), and will also be featured in the Vaccinated Stack (a category that can be browsed by other users), which will be released later in June. Those who do not yet have the vaccine will be given resources and information on where to find one when available.

Photo credit: Hinge
Photo credit: Hinge

The scheme is entirely voluntary and not connected to any medical records or the NHS app, which means it is based on trust and honesty from users.

According to stats, transparency around vaccine views and status is important for daters as they get out and about again this summer. A recent YouGov poll found 31% of adults would prefer to date someone who was vaccinated and a further 28% would not date someone unless they had received the jab. The majority (79%) of Hinge users said it’s important to agree on pandemic safety habits with a match while more than half of users reported that they plan to go on more in-person dates once they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Find out more about the changes according to the various apps taking part:

  • Tinder: members will be able to add a variety of stickers to their profile including “I’m Vaccinated” or “Vaccines Save Lives,” with Tinder giving those who support the campaign a free “Super Like” to help them stand out among potential matches. Tinder will also launch a “Vaccine Center” with a suite of resources to educate and connect members with their nearest vaccination site.

  • Match & Ourtime: members will be able to add a new badge to their profile to display their vaccine status, with those who participate in the campaign receiving a free “Boost” to help them stand out on the app. Match’s AI-enabled Dating Coach, Lara, will also encourage Match users to get their vaccination badge.

  • OkCupid: users will be able to add an “I’m Vaccinated” profile badge and be featured within OkCupid’s “Vaccinated” stack, its new matching system that lets users search by select categories on the app. Those who participate will also receive a free “Boost.”

  • Hinge: users who participate in their vaccination campaign will get a free “Rose,” which indicates to other users that they’re excited to get to know them.

  • Plenty of Fish: members will be able to add an “I Got My Shot” badge to their profiles. Those who participate will receive 20 Live! credits to use on the Plenty of Fish Live streaming feature.

  • Bumble will enable people in the UK to add a “vaccinated” badge to their profiles. For those who apply the badge, Bumble will offer complimentary credits for premium features such as Spotlights and Superswipes. People on Bumble will also be able to share COVID-19 preferences, letting them easily communicate how they are comfortable dating: outdoors or indoors, how they feel about crowded spaces, and their expectations about masks and social-distancing.

  • Badoo: in-app promotions will enable people in the UK to add a “vaccinated” badge to their profiles. In addition, Badoo will offer vaccinated people complimentary credits for premium features such as Spotlights and Superswipes. Badoo will also leverage their social media channels to amplify the need to get vaccinated.

  • Muzmatch: content featuring medics answering users’ most pressing questions about the vaccine will run across social media channels.

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