The popular hookup app Tinder is launching a new series of safety features including a panic button that will allow users to contact emergency services in case a sexual encounter becomes dangerous.
Tinder announced the changes Friday, saying that the new functionality is designed to make users feel safer using the service. The company boasts nearly 5.7 million users worldwide.
“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, in an announcement.
Among the new features is the ability for users to contact emergency services via Tinder’s new partnership with Noonlight, a smartphone service that allows consumers “to easily and discreetly” trigger emergency services at the touch of the screen.
The Noonlight service will also allow Tinder users to share details about upcoming dates via Noonlight’s Timeline feature, including whom they are meeting, where, and when.
Tinder said it is also rolling out a new “photo verification” feature, which is intended to crack down on users posting fake photos on their profiles. The feature allows members to “self-authenticate” through a series of real-time selfies, which are compared to existing profile photos. Verified accounts will receive a blue check mark.
Another new feature will detect whether a user has received an offensive message. When a Tinder member answers “yes” to a “Does This Bother You?” prompt, they will have the option to report the message sender for his or her behavior.
Not all users around the world will be able to access Tinder’s new safety features.
The Noonlight features are expected to be available to U.S. users only. The “photo verification” feature is currently in testing mode in select markets and will become more widely available throughout 2020, Tinder said.
Tinder’s parent company Match Group recently came under fire following reports that said some of its services don’t perform criminal background checks on their users, allowing convicted rapists and other registered sex offenders to roam freely.
Other brands in the Match Group portfolio include OKCupid and Match.com.
The Dallas-based Match Group said in a separate announcement Friday that it will integrate Noonlight features into its other brands “in the coming months.”