In the age of Tinder and Bumble, dating apps can get a bad rap for being shallow and unauthentic. But OkCupid is out to give online dating a little more substance — including tapping into the values and causes that are most important to would-be partners. For now, the online dating giant is allowing profiles to show their support for a specific cause: Planned Parenthood.
If they so choose, users can now pledge their support for Planned Parenthood on their profile and have an #IStandWithPP badge displayed for potential suitors to see. The badge also affects the OkCupid algorithm to factor out other profiles that don't feel the same way.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) September 14, 2017
In the blog post explaining why they chose to partner with Planned Parenthood, OkCupid reminded readers "The Planned Parenthood organization provides affordable healthcare to nearly 5 million men, women and children every year, not only in the US but also in developing countries around the world." After the incredible response OkCupid also said they will also be matching donations to Planned Parenthood up to $50,000.
Some are already quick to judge the app for allowing people to filter out matches based on a political issue. For example, Breitbart titled their coverage of the piece "OK Cupid Partners with Planned Parenthood to Filter Out Pro-Life Users". What's important to note here is that it's totally optional to even vote on the issue on OkCupid. There are a lot of people who don't consider politics a major part of their lives, and they can simply opt out of the whole thing.
— OkCupid (@okcupid) September 13, 2017
On the flip side, it seems like many people really care about politics and consider it important to their identity. The badge helps those people find others who also care about this specific issue, but doesn't necessarily hurt those who don't. Plus, the company found that most of their millennial users do support Planned Parenthood, so they made their decision based on the community's opinion.
Melissa Hobley, CMO of OkCupid, further explained their decision to publicly support Planned Parenthood. and said that it was driven mostly by their community's interest in the issue.
“OkCupid’s partnership with Planned Parenthood is really exciting because it enables us to help people connect on the issues that matter to them. In this current climate, this matters more than ever when it comes to finding ‘your person,’” said Hobley. “We know that Planned Parenthood is driving conversations, support and education that millions care about. When we looked at the data, we saw that our community on OkCupid was talking about Planned Parenthood, so we decided to make it easy to find the folks who cared about the same thing.”
Regardless of your opinion on Planned Parenthood, OkCupid serves as an example of how to elevate online dating to be more than just surface interactions. They're allowing people who really care about this particular issue find others who share the same sentiment. They may not be soulmates or anything, but this is a step in the right direction towards making online dating a more dynamic tool for finding someone based on more than just five deceptive photos and their distance from your location. We look forward to seeing if OkCupid and other start making causes a more active part of user's dating profiles.
[Photo Credit: Flickr]