Mobile dating app Tinder is getting set to launch new safety features in an update that will include requiring users to verify their identity via a selfie, as well as a new panic button feature and a way to flag potentially offensive messages.
The identity verification feature will ask users to take a real-time selfie that will then be sent to Tinder’s community team to match against their profile photo. If the photos line up, the user will then be verified via a blue check mark — similar to what apps like Twitter use to verify users — giving potential dating matches the peace of mind that they aren’t being catfished.
Tinder also hasn’t commented on if the verification check marks will have an expiry date. Because people are free to change their looks and their profile pictures, it may be the case that a new verification selfie will be required every so often, or at least every time a profile photo is updated. It’s also possible that the blue check marks will simply expire after a set period and profiles will need to be re-verified once they do.
At first, the photo verification will be done by humans, but Tinder says the goal is to pass the task off to artificial intelligence software, though no timeline for this has been set as of yet.
The other new feature to come to Tinder through the update is a way to block or flag offensive messages, and it will slowly roll out to “select markets”. The app says that this will eventually lead to an ‘undo’ option, that will allow users to unsend a potentially offensive message.
Finally, the partnership with Noonlight will give U.S.-based users free access to that app, including access to a new ‘safety center’, which will contain resources and tools about online dating. Noonlight also provides on-call emergency service assistance, and syncs automatically with various apps and devices.
Users can choose to display a badge on their Tinder profile as a way of saying they are protected by Noonlight, and can tell both Tinder and Noonlight with whom they are going on a date, and a button on the app can be held down to summon emergency services should they be required.
Upon activating this feature, users will be texted, and then called. If they wish to cancel the alert, the app will ask for a PIN, and if no action is taken emergency services will be alerted.