If you’ve ever been on a date with someone you met on an app, you’ve probably had a well-intentioned friend or family member ask you, “Are you sure it’s safe?” And although you might have truthfully answered, “More people now meet their partner on dating apps than in any other way, Mum,” safety has remained a concern for app users and their overprotective loved ones since the early days of online dating.
On Thursday, Tinder announced a new batch of safety measures, including an integration with personal safety app Noonlight, Photo Verification, an in-app Safety Centre, and additional measures to combat offensive messages. Over the coming months, these features will also be rolled out across Match Group’s other dating platforms: OkCupid, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and Match.com.
Let’s talk details. First, there’s the Noonlight partnership. This feature will let Tinder users note the person, time, and location of their date, and allows them to easily alert emergency services if they feel unsafe.
Next, there’s the photo verification feature. Seemingly designed to weed out catfish, this allows members to self-authenticate their photos by taking a real-time selfie. That pic is then compared to their Tinder profile photos with human-assisted AI technology. Verified profiles will get blue checkmarks so potential matches know they are who they say they are (or at least, they look like what they say they look like).
Another new feature called “Does This Bother You?” will detect potentially offensive messages in the chats. Powered by machine learning, DTBY will ask members “Does This Bother You?” in response to suspicious messages. If the user says “yes,” they can then report the message. A related feature, “Undo,” will ask users if they really want to send that potentially offensive message — and undo that message if the user agrees to take it back.
Finally, the Safety Centre will include tools and resources for these new features. Right now, they're all being rolled out in select markets, so if you don’t have it yet, don’t stress.
Time will tell how these tools will play out IRL — some have already raised concerns about data security — but Tinder is proud of their work. “Every day, millions of our members trust us to introduce them to new people, and we’re dedicated to building innovative safety features powered by best-in-class technology that meet the needs of today’s daters,” Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, said in a press release. “I’m proud to share these updates, which represent an important step in driving our safety work forward at an unmatched scale.”