NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Matchmaking app Tinder will roll out new features later this month with the goal to help users stay safe.
One minute you’re swiping right on a dating app, the next you’re meeting for drinks — but what happens if that date goes south and you find yourself in a bad situation?
“Listen to your gut,” relationship expert Andrea Syrtash said. “Your safety is too important, so definitely text a family member or friend where you are, find a way to stay in public and to exit the situation.”
One dating app is taking steps to make that easier. Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, is partnering with the safety platform Noonlight to incorporate several new security features.
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You can let the app know who you’re meeting up with, when and where by adding it to your timeline.
“Just knowing that it’s there if I ever need it, it could be really easy to just look down at my phone and alert someone without making it obvious and alarming,” dating app user Liana Nobile said.
One of the features, starting Tuesday, helps users avoid catfishing — where people try to use a fake identity — by verifying photos to ensure users actually look like their pictures.
“I think that’s a good thing as well but I feel like that’s a lot. That’s kind of scary, the whole facial recognition thing,” dating app user Eric Hart said.
Users will also see a panic button in the app’s new “Safety Center.” If a user hits that button, emergency services will receive details, as well as accurate location data.
“Again, you’re meeting people online who are strangers, and any opportunity to protect yourself a little during that process is great,” Syrtash said.
Match Group says this launch makes it the first dating company to integrate these types of safety features.
It comes as recent data shows Tinder is the most popular dating app in the country with more than 7.5 million users.
Match Group plans to roll out similar safety features to its other dating services — OKCupid, Hinge and Match.com — in the coming months.