Swipe Right with a Difference: A candidate on Tinder

Connecting with voters is getting harder and harder. News paper circulation is declining, people are not watching the news as much as they did, they are watching either streamed or downloaded content. This means that there are less places for them to be exposed to political news. This is why social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is being used. Through sharing and retweeting, it is possible to get a political message in front of people who may not be seeing political messages anywhere else. Add in the element of it being shared by friends and it is more likely to get attention.


However there are a couple of social networks/aps that aren’t really being used. But one candidate has taken the brave step onto Tinder


Tinder is not normally associated with political discussion and campaigning, but Jacinda has broken the mold .


Tinder has been in the news a bit lately, it is how the young New Zealander who died on the Gold Coast apparently met the owner of the apartment. I haven’t used Tinder, but I know what the aim of it is. But for those who don’t know, a quick Tinder 101:

Tinder is a dating/meeting people app that uses your Facebook information, mutual friends, likes in common and photos to create a profile in which people can then swipe left to say no or right to say yes, if both people say yes they match and can then chat and romance can flourish.

If you want a bit more information about it, check out Elle Hunt‘s stories on the Wireless here and here.


I first learned about this when Dan News tweeted this screen grab:


I had to check with Jacinda that this was actually an account that she controlled and wasn’t a parody. She did confirm that. It is a novel approach to pushing the #AskJacinda hashtag. I have blogged about #AskJacinda before, where I commented on the fact that she was linking it in with more traditional media formats. This seems to be just another way to generate exposure for the hashtag.


Apparently so far most of the response has been pretty positive, which is good. I suspect a number of people who come across it are a little taken aback by a political candidate using the platform. But as Jacinda says “I just wanted to find new ways or reaching people and making sure they can get their questions on the election answered”.


There is obviously some risk in using this platform for political campaigning, but in some ways I think our MPs and candidates are too risk adverse. It is also a matter of how you approach a new platform. Learning the rules of the road so to speak, and sticking to them always helps. Jacinda does have the added bonus of being the trail blazer, so can be forgiven some slip ups, but there doesn’t appear to have been any.


It is good to see candidates, particularly high profile candidates, taking some risk and doing new and unusual things. But the ones that pay off are the calculated risks, that have been well thought out. Will being on Tinder generate any, political, returns for Jacinda? Hard to tell, but by the sounds of it she has been getting a number of questions from it, that she may not have other wise got. So there is obviously some users on Tinder responding in a positive way.


And to answer the question I am sure all of you are asking, so far there have been no asking her for what Tinder is intended for.