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May 24, 2021updated 25 May 2021 12:49pm

Digital love behemoth Match in Covid vaccine Tinder hookup with White House

By Eric Johansson

The White House and Tinder have teamed up to use the power of love to make Covid vaccine more popular among Generation Z. The Biden administration has also made similar arrangements with other dating sites like Bumble, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, BLK, Chispa, Plenty of Fish and Badoo.

The dating apps involved in the scheme will roll out features to, as the White House acting administrator Andy Slavitt put it, “help people meet people who have that universally attractive quality: They’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19.”

“These dating apps will now allow vaccinated people to display badges which show their vaccination status, filter specifically to see only people who are vaccinated, and offer premium content – details of which I cannot get into, but apparently, they include things like boosts and super swipes,” Slavitt said. “The apps will also help people locate places to get vaccinated.”

And it seems that these badges will be welcomed: OkCupid has found that people who display their vaccination status are 14% more likely to get a match. Tinder has also seen mentions of “vaccine” grow by 800% since the start of the pandemic.

“We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive: a vaccination,” said Slavitt.

It’s hardly a secret as to why The White House has teamed up with Tinder and the others: these apps list over 50 million US residents among their users. Promoting coronavirus vaccinations on the dating apps could convince a lot of holdouts to get the jab.

“We’re excited to work with the White House to help 70% of American adults get vaccinated by July 4th,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Tinder. “Nothing like fireworks to signal a new spark and a new start for those looking to meet new people IRL this summer.”

The news comes after a year that some predicted would be a heavy blow for the online dating industry. However, the sector beat expectations and has been riding high on a wave of new users over the past year as the coronavirus encouraged more people to take their dating efforts online in much the same way as others turned to esports.

As the Match Group unveiled its latest quarterly results, the digital love behemoth said that vaccine success and the easing of Covid restrictions around the world will translate into a boon for the industry.

The Match Group, owner of dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, for instance, grew its total revenue by 23% year-over-year in the first quarter this year. The news came after the Match Group agreed to acquire Hyperconnec, a South Korea-based social platform company that provides video and AI-powered products for $1.73bn earlier this year, as noted by GlobalData’s intelligence centre. The transaction is expected to close this quarter, pending customary regulatory approvals.

The Tinder owner is now betting hard on sunshine, Covid retreat and higher vaccine numbers driving an even greater love growth in the summer. Tinder’s own Summer of Love Survey suggests that 70% of singles are ready to mingle when the weather gets hot.

The White House also flagged plans for future announcements to convince Generation Z to get the nab.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting a number of outside initiatives to provide incentives for people to get vaccinated,” Slavic said. “We believe that it’s particularly important to reach young people where they are in the effort to get them vaccinated.”