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The Bumble app.


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There’s a lot to consider before going on a first date with someone you’ve met online. Does the person seem nice? Funny? Will they understand my Rick and Morty references? Approve of my collection of weird socks? Now, as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease, the bar has inched up a little more. 

30% of roughly 1,000 Americans surveyed by dating app Bumble in May said they wouldn’t go on a date or have sex with someone who hadn’t received the COVID-19 vaccine. So if you’ve skipped the shot so far, it could cost you a first date.

Bumble, which also offers ways to meet friends and professionally network on its app, was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014. When Bumble Inc. went public in February of this year, Herd became the youngest self-made woman billionaire, according to Forbes. Bumble’s main point of difference? When two daters swipe right on Bumble, women are required to message first.

Along with other large US dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, BLK, Chispa, Plenty of Fish, and Badoo, Bumble is implementing new features to encourage people to get vaccinated. A “Vaccinated” Badge, for example, launching this summer, will allow Bumble’s US and UK users to indicate that they have received the vaccine on their profile. 

Bumble will also offer complimentary credits for premium features to those who enable the “Vaccinated” Badge, such as the “Spotlight,” which advances daters’ profiles to the top of the stack, and “SuperSwipe,” which lets romance seekers signal to a potential match that they stand out.

Bumble’s research suggests the pandemic has dramatically altered social and sexual interactions. 

In the survey, commissioned by Bumble and carried out online in May by research company Censuswide, 91% of respondents said they believed there was no longer a stigma attached to meeting someone online or through a dating app since the pandemic began. In another survey, conducted by Research Without Barriers in 2021, 62% of respondents said that it was important for them to talk about key social issues on a first date, such as gender equality, politics, race or the environment. 75% of respondents said they would only date someone if a majority of their political and social views align. No one, unfortunately, said anything about socks.