In an attempt to deter catfishing, or that awkward moment when you show up for a date and the other person looks nothing like their photos, Tinder is introducing a new Photo Verification feature. The tool will compare a series of real-time posed selfies to existing profile photos. If the photos match and pass a human-assisted AI review, the user will get a blue checkmark on their profile.
That icon should indicate that the person you're talking to looks at least vaguely like their profile photos. While Tinder has verified profiles in the past, unless you were a major celebrity or well-known brand, getting the seal of approval required emailing email@example.com and making a case for your authenticity, like perhaps you felt that you were somebody online. The new system will make it easier for the average person to become verified and hopefully prevent more users from being duped.
Tinder is testing the feature in select markets and will make it more widely available throughout 2020. There are still a few questions, like how often users will have to renew the verification and if the system can keep up with haircuts, weight changes and aging. For now, humans will review the verifications, but Tinder's goal is to fully offload the task to AI, The Verge says.
The feature is one of a few recent changes Tinder made to improve safety on the app. It's also integrating with Noonlight, which will allow users to enter info about when and where they're meeting someone and will easily connect them with local emergency services if they need help. Tinder is also working on a Safety Center, which will include advice on topics like how to stay safe and handle harassment, and in select markets, when Tinder suspects an offensive message has been sent, it will ask the user "Does This Bother You?" If the user says it does, they'll be able to report the sender.