Tinder has jumped into the 2016 election fun by launching a new "Swipe the Vote" feature for anyone using the dating app in the US. The feature is meant to help users figure out which candidate they are compatible with, making the voting process easier in the upcoming presidential election.
"This year, we're excited to partner with Rock the Vote and invite our users to weigh in on the issues that are heating up the debate and encourage them to register to vote ahead of the election. After all, millennials should play a big role in deciding who our next president is," the company said in a statement on 23 March.
The dating app was first alerted to the role it could play in the elections when some Bernie Sanders supporters began to use it to openly to campaign for their candidate, BuzzFeed News reported. Users campaigning for Sanders were eventually banned, but it gave the company the idea for the new initiative.
"The credit for this goes to our users," Tinder CEO Sean Rad told BuzzFeed News. "There were a lot of unique ways people were using the app to campaign and advocate."
US Tinder users will now have "Swipe the Vote" video cards pop up when they are swiping for dating matches. The company's statement explained that users can swipe right on stances they agree on and left on those they do not. Users are also able to learn more about the issues presented by tapping on the card before swiping.
After swiping through 10 issues, users will be matched with the candidate who best matches their preferences. "We'll show you how you compare with other candidates, too! Tap on candidates to learn more about the specific issues you agree and disagree on," the company said.
According to BuzzFeed News, Tinder will collect data related to the new feature but will not send any of it to advertisers, political or not. Rad said instead the company may publish the results. Once users are matched with a candidate, the app directs them to register to vote with Rock the Vote.
"We should all at least be aware of the candidates and their views, and hopefully that will help people get out there and vote," Rad said. "This isn't a strategy, but I think you will see different ways where we're going to use Tinder to spark new kinds of relationships."