January 23, 2020 – In Breaking News – The Wall Street Journal
Tinder wants to allow users to send out an alarm when bad dates turn really ugly.
The popular dating app plans to start offering users an option to hit a panic button, receive check-ins to make sure they feel safe, and even summon authorities to their location.
To offer the service, Tinder parent company Match Group Inc. MTCH -0.62% is taking a stake and board seat in an app called Noonlight that tracks the location of users and notifies authorities in the event of safety concerns.
(The popular dating app adds a panic button for users to signal for help while on a date. Courtesy of Good Morning America and YouTube. Posted on Jan 23, 2020.)
Tinder plans to debut the feature free for U.S. users at the end of January, and Match Group plans to roll it out to its other dating apps in coming months.
Match Group didn’t disclose the size of the investment.
The company has been criticized at times for not doing more to screen out bad actors, often in the wake of reports of sexual assaults and other crimes that result from connections made through the apps.
Tinder’s move shows how some online platforms are investing more in the physical safety of users, while also highlighting the privacy trade-offs that often entails.
“You should run a dating business as if you are a mom,” said Match Group Chief Executive Mandy Ginsberg, who has a 21-year-old daughter.
“I think a lot about safety, especially on our platforms, and what we can do to curtail bad behavior. There are a lot of things we tell users to do.”
“But if we can provide tools on top of that, we should do that as well.”
(Testing Panic-Button Style App Noonlight’s Response Time Compared To 911, courtesy of CBS Philly and YouTube. Posted on Nov 26, 2019)
Uber Technologies Inc., Airbnb Inc., and Care.com Inc. are among the online platforms that have struggled with safety issues and in recent months announced extra measures to address them.
The investment in Noonlight marks the first step Tinder is taking to monitor the real-time safety of its users after they connect on the platform and meet for coffee or drinks.
Previously Tinder’s safety efforts focused on monitoring how users communicated with one another, employing moderators and machine learning to detect abusive language and photos.
Continue reading… Coming Soon to Tinder Dates: Panic Buttons and Safety Check-Ins
(Learn More. Mandy Ginsberg sits down with Fortune to talk about online dating, her personal dating experiences, and shattering the glass ceiling. Courtesy of Fortune Magazine and YouTube. Posted on Jun 27, 2018.)
To Learn More about Noonlight, go to https://www.noonlight.com/.
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