Tinder is adding a number of safety features to its app including a panic button for when things go awry.
The dating behemoth – whose parent company Match Group also owns PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and Hinge – aims to roll out the features in the US from January 28 and internationally later in the year.
According to the BBC, Match Group said it had invested in Noonlight, a safety app that tracks people's locations and sends that information to emergency services when an alarm on the app is triggered.
Prior to meeting someone, app users will be able to save information about the person and when the date is taking place.
Triggering the panic button will alert a certified dispatcher with Noonlight, who will then notify authorities like local police. Once a Tinder user opts into Noonlight, they have the option to add a badge to their profile.
Hopping in an Uber or Lyft? Check out these tips, like connecting your Noonlight account, to stay safe on your next ride. https://t.co/F9di5LVSSN— Noonlight (@NoonlightSafety) April 2, 2019
As well as this, the app's new photo verification feature will help users avoid "catfishing" when someone uses a fake identity online.
Match Group has been criticised of late for contributing little to the safety of its users, often in the wake of reports of sexual assaults and other crimes that result from connections made through the apps.
The new move shows how some online platforms are investing more in the physical safety of users, while also highlighting the privacy trade-offs that often entails.
“You should run a dating business as if you are a mom,” Match Group Chief Executive Mandy Ginsberg told the Wall Street Journal.
“I think a lot about safety, especially on our platforms, and what we can do to curtail bad behaviour. There are a lot of things we tell users to do. But if we can provide tools on top of that, we should do that as well.”
Main image @jastookes