Tinder tightens its security with catfishing tests and silent bodyguard

The worlds biggest dating app just got a lot safer. In partnership with Noonlight, will this host of new safety features make Tinder nightmares a thing of the past?

Tinder photo verification
Tinder photo verification will display a blue tick next to verified users. Image: Tinder

Tinder nightmares

We have all heard a Tinder horror story. People who don’t turn out to be anything like their profile picture, fake profiles and offensive messages.

With 50 million users, Tinder is without a doubt the biggest dating app in the world. However, this opens up a huge potential for abuse. The app is used in 190 countries, is available in 40 languages and processes one billion swipes per day.

Given the sheer volume of traffic, Tinder needed to have a serious rethink when it came to user safety. And, it would seem, they have done just that!

Tinder Noonlight integration
Tinder now offers an on-demand integration with Noonlight. Image: Tinder

Noonlight integration

Noonlight originally launched their app in 2013. This has now grown into a ‘connected safety platform’. The app integrates with technology including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest and Wear OS.

The Noonlight proprietary API allows for safety precautions to be put in place, and for users to access emergency services throughout the US. If a Noonlight user feels they are in danger, they can call for help without calling 911 even if they can’t talk or text.

Now Tinder has announced an on-demand integration with Noonlight for their members in the States. Users can share details of planned meetings on their Timeline. This includes who they are meeting, where and when. The integration allows emergency services to be triggered if they ever feel in need of assistance.

Brittany LeComte, Co-Founder and CCO at Noonlight says:

“Noonlight acts as a silent bodyguard in situations when you’re alone or meeting someone for the first time. Now, through our integration with Tinder, it can serve as a quick backup for daters, helping to deter bad behavior and helping members meet matches with more confidence. 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”

Noonlight emergency response
Noonlight triggers emergency responses for users in danger. Image: Noonlight

Safety features

As well as Noonlight, Tinder are introducing photo verification to stamp down on fake profiles. The feature means that member can authenticate their image by taking real-time posed selfies.

AI then matches these to confirm that the profile picture is authentic. Verified profiles will show a blue tick. We aren’t yet sure when or where this function will be released. Tinder says they are “currently testing it in selected markets” and that it will be rolled out in 2020.

In addition, Tinder is introducing a revised Safety Center. This is an area of the app launching in the US, UK, France and Germany “soon”. It will then be rolled out in other markets throughout this year.

The Safety Center is an extension to Tinder’s Stay Safe on Tinder guide. The feature offers resources and tool developed with the Match Group Advisory Council. It will include personalised content for each user.

Online dating has become the norm, and with new competitors like The League, it is about time that Tinder shifted its reputation for murky encounters. We have seen a lot of focus lately on the responsibility of online services to protect their users, such as Airbnb.

What makes me a bit disappointed is that these changes always seem to come as a reaction to nightmare situations which previous users have been exposed to. Wouldn’t it be nice to see user safety being addressed right from the beginning…?

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