Vax stickers are the new photos of puppies on dating apps
Tinder now provides vaccine stickers that users can add to their profile. Photo: Courtesy of Tinder
Finding love is a difficult business during a pandemic. But as the world slowly opens up and people cautiously engage in dating, advertising of her vaccination status is becoming more common on apps.
In June, the Hinge dating app rolled out a feature that allows users to indicate their vaccination status on their profiles, whether they are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not yet vaccinated, or prefer not to say so. Globally, Hinge says users whose profiles show they are vaccinated receive 30% more matches.
“While much of the world has come to a standstill, dating hasn’t. In fact, at Hinge, we’ve seen a lot of people put even more effort into their love life during the pandemic, ”a spokesperson for Hinge told VICE, adding that they had issued prompts to facilitate dates. potentially embarrassing video for games that want to go out. a COVID-safe virtual space.
Virtual meetings are just one aspect of the general reluctance on the pandemic dating scene.
San Francisco-based dating app Coffee Meets Bagel told VICE that in an August survey of more than 2,000 users in Singapore, 40% of those polled said they had become more cautious and selective with face-to-face meetings; 59 percent said they are now taking longer to meet someone.
The app is also one of the first to recognize the importance of addressing COVID concerns among daters, having launched a vaccine status feature in March “to help daters make safer decisions during the pandemic ”, co-founder and meeting manager of Coffee Meets Bagel. Officer Dawoon Kang told VICE.
With this feature, users’ vaccination status will appear on their profiles along with other personal information such as height and profession.
Meanwhile, Bumble has come up with an ‘I’m vaccinated’ badge that users can add to their profiles, as well as an in-app COVID preference center where users can indicate their preferred date format – virtual, socially distanced or socially distanced with a mask.
During the pandemic, it’s important for users to feel comfortable and safe on a date, Bumble Asia-Pacific Director Lucille McCart said in a statement provided to VICE.
“With our new ‘vaccinated’ badge and other features, you can easily communicate your dating preferences on Bumble,” she said.
Over the past few months, the biggest dating apps have stepped up their vaccine promotion efforts. In late August, Tinder rolled out a feature to display vaccination profile stickers for users in Singapore. Stickers include “Vaccine”, “Vaxing Soon”, “Immunity Together” and “Vaccines Save Lives”. The app also has a Vaccine Center page where users can access local vaccine information.
“The Vaccine Center is intended to provide a way for our members to advocate and share their immunization support through interactive stickers on their profile,” Papri Dev, Asia Pacific Communications Manager, Tinder told VICE.
When the time is right for online matches to meet, people’s vaccination statuses can also affect dating routes in places with differentiated policies for vaxxed and non-vaxxed. Since August, those in Singapore can only dine in restaurants if they are fully vaccinated. Couples who are not fully vaccinated should opt for outdoor picnic dates or a meal at a hawking center.
There is also the immediate health concern for those interested in privacy without COVID.
Starting in September, Grindr would allow users to indicate their vaccination status and filter other users according to their vaccination status, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Melvyn, who prefers to stick to his first name because he’s not gay, is a 35-year-old Grindr user in Singapore who primarily uses apps for hookups. It supports the ability to display your vaccination status on the app, comparing functionality to Grindr’s existing HIV indicator which allows users to indicate their HIV status and date of last test on their profiles.
“Singapore had a full app called SafeEntry,” he said, referring to the phone app that is part of a national digital registration system for handling COVID-19. “The Grindr feature has much the same purpose: it lets you know it’s safe … to get in.” ”
Meanwhile, some users see dating app vaccination badges as a way to filter their matches based on their personal values.
Bernice Ng, a 25-year-old Tinder and Bumble user, said she added a vaccination sticker to her profile as soon as she saw the feature and enjoyed seeing the same stickers on the profiles of others.
Dating apps noted that vaccination statuses shown on user profiles are self-reported and not independently verified by platforms, but for Ng her advantage is knowing which users share similar values with her, citing anti -vaccines as a group that she is. not interested in interacting with.
“So the sticker alleviates this problem a bit by signaling that they don’t belong to that group,” Ng said.
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