Oct 4, 2021 - Politics

Texas-based dating apps get politcal

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas-based dating apps are responding to the state's new abortion law with in-app features and "relief funds" for those affected.

Why it matters: Everything is political, especially romance. The moves illustrate the wide-ranging fallout of the law, which is likely to drive election turnout and future legislation.

The big picture: OKCupid, owned by Dallas-based Match Group, recently launched a "pro-choice" badge users can display on their profiles.

  • Every time a user adds the badge, the company will donate a dollar to Planned Parenthood.
  • OKCupid also allows users to sort potential matches by views on racial equality, climate change and vaccination status.

Match and Austin-based Bumble have also pledged funding to help those affected by the abortion law.

  • In a company-wide email, Match CEO Shar Dubey said she was "shocked" by the law, calling it "regressive."

What they're saying: "Dating apps aren't disconnected from the real world," OKCupid's chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley tells Axios. "What you're into and what you believe is hot and sexy to a lot of people. Bringing that substance improves your chance of finding someone who's right for you."

By the numbers:

  • In Texas, 87% of men and 95% of women using OKCupid identify as pro-choice, according to the company.
  • Nationwide, the number of people on the app calling themselves pro-choice is up 18% over the last year.
  • Mentions of "Planned Parenthood supporter" in Texas profiles have more than doubled in the same time.

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