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Tinder Now Swiping Away for Organ Donation Awareness

leonkaye headshotWords by Leon Kaye
Data & Technology
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Depending on one’s point of view, the popular dating app Tinder has either made meeting people easier or has completely demolished the dating scene — perhaps for most of us, it's just another way dating continues to be “horrific and weird.” Love it, hate it or mock it, (and then continue to swipe when you should be working or paying attention to your friends or family at the dinner table). Tinder is most likely here to stay.

Even though it generates almost no revenue, this West Hollywood, California-based startup, part of IAC (along with Match.com), is worth anywhere from the tens of millions to billions of dollars, depending on who you ask.

But this oft-maligned while oft-downloaded app will raise awareness about an important life-and-death issue across the pond over the next couple weeks. In the United Kingdom, Tinder is partnering with the National Health Service (NHS) to raise awareness about organ donations.

Tinder users from the ages of 18 to 35, an important demographic for the NHS as it seeks organ donors, are the target of this campaign. Users who happen to swipe right while accessing Tinder will receive a message urging them to sign up as a donor. A link will take them to the NHS’ Organ Donor Register with the aim to increase the possibility that future organ transplant recipients will have shorter wait times for a chance for a new life. According to the NHS, there are currently 7,000 U.K. nationals on the country’s organ transplant waiting list; 6,000 patients have died while waiting for an organ transplant over the past decade.

The NHS is complementing this effort with a #TimeToSign social media campaign, and has enlisted the support of a few celebs: 2012 Olympian Jade Jones, the first Brit to win a gold medal in taekwondo; actress Gemma Oaten, cast on the long-running British soap opera "Emmerdale"; and Jamie Laing, who starts on the reality series "Made in Chelsea." All three of them have Tinder profiles that will appear on the app with the NHS’ “The Wait” logo.

A similar campaign could sure benefit patients on this side of the Atlantic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 120,000 people were on a waiting list for an organ transplant in 2013. While it is true that patients can be listed on multiple organ registries, approximately 29,500 patients received an organ transplant last year. While 120 million Americans are currently registered as potential organ donors, thanks in a large part to registering them when they receive or renew a driver’s license, an expanded list would certainly help. If Tinder can “empower” users to make new connections, then it may just have some more social value as well.

Image credit: NHS

Leon Kaye headshotLeon Kaye

Leon Kaye, Executive Editor, has written for Triple Pundit since 2010. He is also the Director of Social Media and Engagement for 3BL Media, and the Editor in Chief of CR Magazine. His previous work can be found at The GuardianSustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. Kaye is based in Fresno, CA, from where he happily explores California’s stellar Central Coast and the national parks in the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye