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WASHINGTON – Don't just swipe right. Soon you can super swipe to promote vaccinations.
Dating apps are making it easier for singles to find others who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, the Biden administration announced Friday in what may be the first time the White House promoted digital matchmaking.
The administration says new features — including badges and other premium features — launching over the next several weeks by Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, Bumble, BLK and other dating sites will help President Joe Biden reach his goal of getting at least one shot in the arm of 70% of adults by July 4. More than 60% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot, according to the government.
"We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive: a vaccination," said Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on COVID-19 response.
Vaccine badges, boosts and 'Superswipes'
Beginning on May 24, daters can add an “I’m Vaccinated” profile badge and be featured within OkCupid’s “Vaccinated Stacks,” a new matching system that lets users search by vaccination status. Vaccinated people will also receive a free “Boost” to move their profile to the front of a dater’s stack.
People who are vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated receive 14% more matches on OKCupid than people who don’t plan to get vaccinated, according to research from the company.
On Tinder, vaccinated users get elevated to premium content such as a "Super Like" option to help them stand out among potential matches. Members can also add "I'm Vaccinated" or "Vaccines Save Lives" stickers to their profile.
For the unvaccinated, Tinder will offer information, including where to get vaccinated, through a new “Vaccine Center.”
Along with vaccinated badges, Bumble and Badoo will give vaccinated users credits for premium features such as Spotlight and Superswipes across both apps.
Searchers on BLK, the largest dating app made for Black singles, will get a free "Boost" to be one of the first profiles seen by potential matches when they add a "Vaxified" badge to their profile starting June 1.
The "Vacundao" profile badge on Chispa, the largest dating app for Latino singles in English and Spanish, will likewise boost a user's profile.
Hinge, Match and Plenty of Fish are also offering incentives that promote the vaccinated to other users or give them credits for premium content.
Biden administration reached out to Tinder
The White House initiated the idea, reaching out first to Tinder, which had run a similar program encouraging users to register and vote.
The site was already thinking about what it could do to support vaccinations, according to the administration.
Tinder’s immediate buy-in quickly grew to include the other participants.
Slavitt said the sites "saw a need in their audience base."
"Social distancing and dating were always a bit of a challenging combination," he said.
White House spokesman Kevin Munoz's picture is included in a mock-up distributed to show how the "I'm vaccinated" badges work.
That prompted Munoz to tweet this query from his mom: “What do you do for the White House?"
“What do you do for the White House” - my mom https://t.co/e6NPqys30r
— Kevin Munoz (@KMunoz46) May 21, 2021
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tinder, Match, Bumble dating apps boost your COVID-19 vaccine status