It's become pretty apparent that Instagram has moved away from just selfies and bikini shots, and become another way we ingest news, and share our views on the world. So it wasn’t surprising, as I was absentmindedly swiping last week, to see the first trickle of COVID-19 vaccine flexes making its way onto shared profile snaps from dating apps. And why wouldn't they?
Just like you'd share your personality traits - pet-lover, want kids, vegan, whatever - knowing whether someone is or isn't in to getting a vaccine can be a huge deciding factor when it comes to dating. And that's something that the team behind women-first dating app Bumble have realised, too.
From this week through to the end of the year, Bumble will enable people in Australia and New Zealand to add a "vaccinated" badge to their profile. The choice comes, reportedly, from the finding that there has been 45% increase in users asking potential dates if they have had the vaccine.
"We know that in the current climate the ‘Covid conversation’ is increasingly top of mind for single people in Australia. The Bumble community is changing their behaviour in light of the recent lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne - more and more people are asking their matches if they have had the vaccine or if they have Covid symptoms, many are waiting longer to have sex for the first time, and many are slowing down the dating process and talking for longer before considering meeting a match IRL,” Lucille McCart, Bumble’s APAC Communications Director, told Women's Health.
"This tells us that while people still have the desire to connect and find love, there are more considerations around health and safety in dating. We hope that the introduction of the vaccinated badge will allow people to easily communicate with each other their vaccine status - which in turn makes it easier for them to start a conversation around their dating preferences and what they are comfortable with right now."
Bumble already offers a COVID Preferences Center within the app which allows the Bumble community across the globe to indicate what kind of dates they feel comfortable going on - whether virtual, socially distanced, or socially distanced with a mask. The addition of the vaccination badge feature will sit as part of that.