Austin-based Bumble reactivates 'Voter' badge ahead of Texas midterm
Whether your style is dating other passionate voters or convincing unregistered citizens to sign up with your charm and good looks, Bumble just set a target for you. To make sure the midterm elections are getting as much attention as possible, Bumble is adding a “Voter” Badge for users who commit to vote in the upcoming race.
“We hope this will lead to interesting, impassioned, and civil conversations,” says a press release by Bumble celebrating National Voter Registration Day in partnership with I Am A Voter. The company adds that it’s supporting an existing user behavior. “We found that last year, those on Bumble within the United States selected Filters such as ‘Dating Intentions,’ ‘Politics,’ ‘Religion,’ and ‘Family Plans’ most widely on the app to prioritize finding a partner with shared values and intentions.”
Voters already have a year-round way to show their vigor on their Bumble profile, in the “interests” section, which also adds badges ranging from activism to hobbies and favorite things. In this case, the existing “Voting Rights” Badge implies a viewpoint in current discussions about voting practices — great for those who are really informed, but some users who are excited to vote may not feel equipped to discuss those systems in detail. The registration badge keeps it simple; either you are registered to vote, or you are not. Users will see a "profile" while swiping that will allow them to add the badge.
This badge is not new to the Bumble user interface. In 2016, the dating app rolled out a feature to declare support (and apathy) for one party or another via a temporary sticker, followed by an “I am a voter” Badge in 2018 that went mostly unpublicized, although OkCupid got a little more attention with its own nearly identical feature in 2020, perhaps because of the more hotly contested race.
Some activist groups have used dating apps for similar purposes even without the handy feature, sending members out with messages on their profile inviting other users to match for information or encouragement. On a more self-preserving level, it’s not uncommon to come across an earnest profile encouraging potential matches to swipe left (eliminate themselves from consideration) if they voted for a particular candidate. With the use of a Badge, users can filter preferences through the system, saving a lot of time reading potentially annoying declarations or matching with someone who didn't think to bring it up.
Similar news almost always creates some level of moral panic in news stories, urging young daters to look past their political biases. But political values affect everything from how to raise kids to how to make them — or not. Joan from accounting is probably willing to expound on her differing political views, if you’d rather come home and debate something simpler, like whose favorite show goes on tonight.