The White House has correctly estimated that if Americans don’t want to perform a selfless act for their fellow citizens, then they might get off their butts for seeeeexxxxx. The Biden administration today announced that it’s teamed up with nine dating apps to add “vaccinated” badges and visibility boosts to user profiles, in its bid to get 70% of Americans at least half vaccinated by July 4th. The profile additions will launch over the next several weeks.
We’re on the honour system; the White House fact sheet announces that typically users respond to a yes/no prompt. As of now, the White House reports that participating apps include Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, BLK, Chispa, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, and Badoo.
On BLK, users will get a “Vaxified” badge. More conservatively, on Tinder, you’ll have the option to add “Getting Vaxed” or “Vaccines Save Lives.” All offer some kind of visibility boost, and Hinge awards self-declared vaccinated users a free “rose,” sort of like a super-like feature they can give to prospective dates, reserved for premium users.
It’s not a foolproof strategy, but it at least raises awareness that vaccination makes you a more desirable mate. In a press release, OkCupid reported that users planning to get vaccinated or who are already vaccinated got 14% more matches and 15% more likes. They also said that Millennials and Zoomers are more likely than Gen X to turn down a date with someone who’s vaccine-averse.
In a White House press briefing today, CDC Director Dr. Walensky reported that more than 60% of Americans 18 and older have received at least one dose. Incentives like this, and allowing vaccinated people to remove masks in public, will hopefully tap into the 15% on-the-fence group, reported as of April.
When asked about the app idea by a reporter, White House Senior Advisor for the COVID Response Team Andy Slavitt pointed out that, “in all seriousness,” dating apps reach a lot of people. Boomshakalaaa.