Tinder is giving out 1,000 free COVID-19 test kits to encourage its members to go for physical meet-ups with their matches on the app. According to a press release, the dating platform will be mailing two test kits to 500 members based in US, so they can make sure both their match and themselves are COVID-19 negative. Starting tomorrow, Tinder members can claim a code for their free mail-in test from the Tinder app.
This initiative comes as Tinder observed that more than 40% of its members under the age of 30 had not met a match in person since October 2020. However, it foresees more members wanting to meet up with their matches now, with the term "go on a date" hitting an "all-time high" in its members' bios last month. Nicole Parlapiano, VP of marketing for North America at Tinder, added that the dating app saw one of its busiest days of the entire pandemic with 3.4 billion swipes.
“The pandemic has created no shortage of dating obstacles, but we think our members are pretty optimistic about getting back out there," she added.
Armed with this insight, Tinder hopes the initiative will allows members to take their dating game to the next level, by enabling safe physical meet-ups through checking their COVID status before venturing out. Tinder collaborated with Everlywell, a company that produces at-home lab tests, for this campaign.
Last year when the pandemic first broke and social restrictions were implemented, dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Singapore-based Paktor all saw a surge of downloads and app engagement. Tinder specifically saw its in-app conversation length increased by 10% to 30% in Southeast Asia and Europe markets, as compared to February. Globally, Tinder said it also saw daily messages increase by 10% to 15% in the United States, and an increase of up to 25% in daily conversation in Italy and Spain.
This is not Tinder's first attempt to cater to its users' needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic first hit, Tinder allowed all users to have free access to its Passport feature, which allows members to "transport themselves digitally to any location in the world". This makes it easy for users to swipe, match and chat with other members in any location of the world. The Passport feature was a paid feature for users under Tinder’s premium subscription plans Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold.
Additionally, to clamp down on misinformation revolving the pandemic, Tinder launched a display card in its app to ensure all members were reminded of safety precautions and directed to credible updates by WHO by linking to WHO directly from the app. These updates were also refreshed depending on how the situation evolves, Tinder said then.
Closer to home, earlier this year, Tinder Thailand has unveiled a new ad repositioning its brand image, in attempt to change consumer perception and attract new users. According to a press release, Tinder has, for years, been established as a dating app with a stereotype for finding one-night stands and friends with benefits. This particular reputation posed a challenge for recruiting new users in Thailand, where research showed that Gen Z is the most likely group to quit the app within one week for not wanting to participate in hookup culture. On the other hand, however, other Gen Z users who stayed also showed the highest interest in using the app for non-dating or non-sexual purposes.
Armed with this insight, Tinder worked with creative agency Wunderman Thompson Thailand to reposition its social app as a platform where users can find like-minded platonic friends. The ad, which runs for one and a half minutes, revolves around the idea of “Friends with (Other) Benefits”, or in Thai “Puen Sampan” which twists the word for “sex” into a brand new word for “friendship”. The aim of the ad is to reach out to Gen Z users, and get them to give Tinder another chance.
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