Personal safety is starting to get the attention it deserves from connection-driven companies.
First, there was Uber’s integration of an in-app 911 text feature to increase passenger safety amid reports of sexual assaults. Now, dating app Tinder joins in by adding three new features to its app:
A safety service that connects users to personal emergency services;
Photo Verification, which will compare a posed photo taken in real-time to profile photos, which can help verify a match's authenticity and increase trust in member profiles; and
An in-app Safety Center.
“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,” said Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, announcing the new features. “I’m proud to share these updates, which represent an important step in driving our safety work forward at an unmatched scale.”
Tinder uses the Noonlight platform for its app, which allows users to trigger an alarm by clicking a button; users can connect other smart devices to automatically trigger alarms for them. Until now, most of Noonlight’s partners have been universities like Washington University in St. Louis and Southern Methodist University.
In Tinder’s situation, the app’s members will also be able to share details about upcoming dates -- including who, where, and when they are meeting. It’s sort of a “bodyguard [and] quick backup for daters” when a user is meeting someone for the first time, claims Brittany LeComte, Co-founder and CCO of Noonlight. “It’s a first-of-its-kind added security measure to help protect Tinder members even when they’ve taken their interactions off the app into real life.”
If at any time a Tinder user feels they’re in a dangerous situation, a quick press of the Noonlight app will quietly contact Noonlight dispatchers who, in turn, will send a text to confirm the situation. If that text goes unanswered, Noonlight will send a code and call them. If the user doesn’t answer the phone at all, Noonlight will dispatch emergency services.
The Photo Verification feature allows users to make sure that who they’re meeting is who they say they are. The feature utilizes artificial intelligence to give Tinder users access to a series of real-time posed selfies, which are compared to existing profile photos of the person they’re meeting.
The feature is still in the incubation phase, according to Tinder’s Safety Center. The team says it will treat it like an on-going update of Tinder’s overall safety features.