On Monday, rumors swirled on social media that Marco Rubio’s campaign had begun running ads on Tinder, the mobile dating app popular with millennials and famous for its simplicity of allowing users to find potential admirers within their proximity, view their photos, and swipe right if they are interested (or left, should they wish to continue exploring).
On Twitter, screenshots circulated of what looked like an apparent Marco Rubio profile on Tinder – but instead of seeking dates, the candidate sought support from voters on Super Tuesday. The profile reads “It’s me, Marco… I’m here to remind you that the most important date is your state’s primary on this coming Tuesday, a historic opportunity to reject extremism and fake hair ;) Please vote for me, Marco, just a guy trying to change the world.”
However, a Rubio spokesperson confirmed to MSNBC.com that the profile page was not set up by the the Florida senator’s campaign, and they did not know who did. It appears to be the work of someone unaffiliated with the campaign – perhaps a prankster out for a good laugh.
Many of this year’s campaigns have been experimenting with new forms of social media and mobile advertising to reach out to millennial voters. Several candidates have experimented with ads on Snapchat, the mobile social app popular for allowing young people to share videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat says 63 percent of its 100 million active daily users are between the ages of 18 and 34, a crucial demographic that many candidates want to communicate with.
Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat have increasingly evolved beyond social networking and now serve as a platform to consume and share news and political information. But Tinder has remained a place where the candidates have yet to venture, likely because its primary purpose is still for dating, making it an unlikely place for a political candidate to plaster with ads.