Online dating has become the new normal, but that doesn't mean it's always safe. To make you feel more comfortable, Tinder is rolling out ID verification for its users around the world. The feature is what it sounds like: Tinder users can use government or other official ID to show that they're definitely who they say they are on the app.
Tinder says the feature, which first launched in Japan back in 2019, will be rolled out across the world in the "coming quarters" and that it will "begin" as voluntary, except in countries where such a feature is mandated by law. Tinder already uses a photo verification feature, in which new users strike a series of poses to the selfie camera so the app's algorithm can see that you're the person you present yourself as in your profile's photos.
Online dating is the most prominent way new partners meet, according to Stamford. The university's research found that 39% of new couples meet through online dating platforms. Yet scams and danger aren't uncommon. One-in-five young women experienced sexual harassment via online platforms, according to PEW Research, while the FTC said over $300 million was lost through online dating scams in 2020.
ID verification is the latest of many safety features introduced by Tinder. Others include Bio Guidance, which advises users about content that may be inappropriate for their profile bios (like including their phone number), Traveler Alert, which allows LGBQT+ users to hide their profile when they travel to unfriendly communities, and the Are You Sure? pop-up, which alerts users to potentially offensive content in a message they're about to send.
"We know that in many parts of the world and within traditionally marginalised communities, people might have compelling reasons that they can't or don't want to share their real-world identity with an online platform," said Tracey Breeden, VP of Safety and Social Advocacy at Match Group, which owns Tinder. "Creating a truly equitable solution for ID Verification is a challenging, but critical safety project and we are looking to our communities as well as experts to help inform our approach."