Nothing quite kills the mood while you're swiping around on Tinder like seeing your boss' name and photo pop up. Now, daters can hide from the people they don't want to see while searching for matches, be they co-workers, exes or family members.
Block profile is one of four new or updated safety features coming to Tinder, the company said Tuesday. Aside from avoiding cousins, daters who pay for premium features can also use an incognito mode, which shows their profile only to people they've liked.
"We see ourselves as the host of a party," said Rory Kozoll, Tinder's vice president of product and integrity. "As a host of that party, it's our job to make sure that we trust the people coming in the door."
Dating apps have undergone increased scrutiny around how much responsibility they bear in keeping daters safe in-app as well as in the real world. A 2019 report from ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations brought attention to the potential hazards of meeting strangers online without adequate safeguards in place. Over the years, Match Group, which owns Tinder and other apps, has taken steps like establishing partnerships with groups like anti-sexual violence organization RAINN and rolling out features geared toward safety. Bumble, for example, also has a paid incognito mode and uses AI to screen out inappropriate photos.
For Tinder, hosting responsibilities also include what happens as the guests, or daters, start interacting. Tinder's built a shortcut to reporting potentially offensive messages -- daters can press a message and go directly to Tinder's reporting system. The app is also updating its "Are You Sure" and "Does This Bother You" feature, which prompts users to either rethink the messages they're sending or report questionable ones they've received.
To get the word out, Tinder is also launching its Green Flags campaign in partnership with the anti-domestic violence and sexual assault foundation No More aimed at educating daters not just on the features, but on general safety habits, like video chatting with someone before meeting to get a vibe check. The campaign encompasses a guide to healthy dating.
"Just setting ground rules is really valuable," Kozoll said.