Bumble adds ‘voter’ to user profiles

Dating app Bumble has added the phrase “I am a voter” to user profiles through Oct. 21, part of a larger effort to encourage young people to cast their ballots in the upcoming election.

“[Users] can add the ‘I am a voter’ badge as part of their basic information (as easy as adding height, their zodiac sign, or exercise and drinking habits), to let matches know they are committed to casting a ballot, and to inspire their peers to do the same,” said Meredith Gillies, Canada brand marketing manager. The badges are for the dating app as well as the newer BFF (friendship) app and Bizz (networking) app.

Bumble is best known for its progressive, female-first approach, where women make the first move in any new connection. It has also adopted a zero tolerance approach toward hate, aggression and bullying. In April, Bumble sold coffee in Toronto and Ottawa, but asked men to pay $1 while women got their coffee for $0.87 as a statement about the wage gap.

“Bumble is a mission-driven company and we believe in empowering our users across all areas of life, including making the first move to vote in elections,” said Gillies.

Research conducted by Ekos for Bumble found that 74% of Canadians 18-34 know someone who doesn’t vote, and 9% said they respect non-voters less. Just 8% said they want to keep politics out of a relationship, and 58% said they engage in political conversations with friends even if they have different beliefs.

“And as many as 20% would not date someone who did not vote,” said Gillies in an email to The Message. “Since we have a large Millennial and Gen Z user base, we felt it was important to empower our users to get to the polls on Oct. 21.”

Bumble has added in-app explanations of the voter campaign, and will make a $1 donation (up to $10,000) to Apathy is Boring for every member to add the “I am a voter” badge to their profile.

Apathy is Boring is a Canadian non-partisan group dedicated to encouraging young people to learn more about democracy. Bumble also ran activations in Toronto and Vancouver on Oct. 5, with street teams asking more than 1,100 people about the election issues that mattered to them.

David Brown