On Jan. 28, Tinder implemented an array of new safety features to its mobile app, including a panic button designed to aid those whose dates take an uncomfortable or dangerous turn. This safety suite, created to ensure the wellbeing of and enhance a sense of trust with Tinder’s userbase, was announced on Jan. 23 in a press release.
In the development of the new update, Tinder partnered with Noonlight, a safety application focused on providing immediate emergency response without requiring individuals to dial for 911. Users simply hold down a button until they find safety or release it to alert local law enforcement of their current location. This feature makes the app essential for situations in which a user is unable to call or text for assistance and must make their pleas discrete in order to ensure their safety. Noonlight’s innovative technology will now be integrated into the Tinder app.
Upon matching with someone, Tinder users are now able to schedule subsequent dates in the new Timeline feature. By simply entering in details of the arranged meeting, such as its date, time and location, the app will then proceed to act as a “silent bodyguard,” allowing users to secretly alert nearby emergency services should their dates become dangerous or unsettling. In addition, users who choose to participate in the Tinder x Noonlight Timeline feature will receive a badge added to their profile, acting in a similar fashion to that of a security sign on a front lawn.
Dating violence has remained a public safety issue for centuries – it did not originate with the formation of popular online dating apps, such as Tinder. However, because these apps mobilize dating in particularly revolutionary ways, shortening the time between interacting online and meeting in person, they can enable such dating crimes to occur. As a result, these issues have become far more prevalent in today’s time.
Tinder’s implementation of what is essentially a mobile panic button places some power back into the user’s hands while simultaneously easing them of a certain degree of stress associated with meeting strangers.
In addition to a panic button, Tinder’s safety suite also includes AI-powered Photo Verification, which compares captured, real-time selfies with images uploaded to an individual’s profile in an attempt ensure match authenticity and eliminate instances of catfishing; an in-app safety center featuring a variety of help hotlines; as well as the Does This Bother You? protocol, which will identify potentially offensive messages and grant the receiver the option to report the sender.
In a statement from Tinder’s online blog, Elie Seidman, the company’s CEO, said in regards to the update, “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. I’m proud to share these updates, which represent an important step in driving our safety work forward at an unmatched scale.”