1. Starting today, Tinder is getting political.
Tinder is launching a new “Swipe the Vote” feature on Wednesday for everyone using the app in the United States, to help people figure out which candidate to vote for in the upcoming presidential election. “Swipe to Vote” works a lot like regular Tinder, except instead of helping you hook up with a romantic liaison, you end up with, say, Donald Trump.
It’s the app’s first official foray into politics. Tinder built the tool after some overzealous Bernie Sanders fans began using it for a different tactic: openly campaigning for their candidate. That got people banned, but it also indicated that there was a place for politics on a dating site. So, like any good tech company, it adapted to its users’ behavior.
“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.”
2. It’s Tinder, but for ~the issues~.
The app runs through 10 different issues, using its familiar swipe-right-for-yes, swipe-left-for-no mechanic. And instead of selfies and attractive poses, you’re presented with options like “Keep same-sex marriage legal?” and “Drill for oil and gas in the U.S.?”
“It’s about connecting you with people, even including a presidential candidate,” said Rad. “There’s so much noise out there it’s hard to find which candidate matches your own views.”
Here’s the complete list of issues for which people can swipe yes or no:
- Increase funding for education?
- Keep same-sex marriage legal?
- Protect a woman’s right to choose?
- Drill for oil and gas in the U.S.?
- Increase the minimum wage?
- Abolish the death penalty?
- Repeal “Obamacare”?
- Legalize marijuana?
- Decrease military spending?
- Stricter laws for online privacy?
3. If you tap the issue, Tinder runs you through some bullet points for context.
Tinder worked with the independent political nonprofit Rock the Vote to determine which issues were key differentiators between candidates.
The result is basically the same as tapping to see more pictures of someone you think is hot, but for learning more about how you feel about the future of the country.
4. Then, when you’ve run through the 10 issues, Tinder tells you who it thinks you most agree with.
This screenshot was provided by Tinder as an example. Rad, however, says he did match most closely with Bernie Sanders, at 72%. His second place candidate was John Kasich, with a 50% match.
Tinder will collect and anonymize the data, but Rad told BuzzFeed News it’s not going to any advertisers, political or otherwise. Instead, he says Tinder may publish the results, “if that makes sense.”
5. And finally, Tinder will help you register to 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,” said Rad. He also hinted at more things to come for swipe-to-decide.
“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.”
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