Tinder is taking further action to ensure its users safety, trialling a new ID and photo verification feature in Australia and New Zealand from today.
The tool, which focuses on date of birth and likeness, will “serve as an additional step to help users confirm the authenticity of profiles”, Tinder Australia announced in a statement.
“Over the past years, Tinder has been focusing on user safety with the development of 20 safety features and updates,” it said.
“We are constantly looking for ways to invest in innovative features that will enhance the user experience while raising the bar on safety within our industry.”
Available to Aussies and Kiwis, the “enhanced process” requires a video selfie and a valid driver’s licence or passport, and will check to see whether the face in the video selfie matches both the photo on the ID and those on the person’s profile.
Potential matches will be able to see if a user has completed both ID and photo verification, through the display of a blue checkmark on their profile. If only photo verification is completed, they’ll receive a blue camera icon badge; if only ID verification is completed, a blue ID icon badge will appear.
Tinder plans to “take the learnings from this pilot as we explore expanding this feature out to other regions in the future”.
The move has been endorsed by both Tinder Australia’s local non-government partner, peak body for specialist women’s domestic and family violence services WESNET, and Teach Us Consent CEO Chanel Contos.
“We welcome this test and hope the pilot of ID + Photo Verification process will help verify that potential matches are real as well as deter those thinking about misusing the dating app,” WESNET CEO Karen Bentley said in a statement.
Ms Contos agreed, saying in a statement she “look(s) forward to seeing the results of this pilot”.
“I hope it will deter people who intend to use the app for harm, and allow users to feel safer to meet people and explore connections.”
Off the back of the launch of her debut novel, Consent Laid Bare, Ms Contos recently partnered with the dating app to help educate users on healthy practices.
School of Swipe is an in-app crash course on all things modern dating, created by Tinder in partnership with the 25-year-old and young men’s respectful relationships coach Max Radcliffe.
It includes an enhanced safety guide and a Don’t Be An Ick syllabus that offers expert advice on how to handle rejection and bad behaviours.
Mr Radcliffe said he worked with his clients to understand why they might have an intense emotional reaction to rejection. He said for many people, it resulted from a lack of emotional fulfilment outside of their romantic experiences.
“People get really obsessed with it, they hinge a lot of their happiness on whether they get a match, whether someone talks to them or not,” he said.
“But if that’s the whole source of your happiness, that can actually trigger some really bad reactions, especially in men.”