Tinder Makes Major Change That Could Change How People Use Dating App

Tinder is reportedly adding ID Verification to its platform very soon, which could change the way the app is used fundamentally. According to a report by Gizmodo, the familiar feature will be present on Tinder for voluntary use very soon. Some critics say it should be a requirement to use the app at all.

ID Verification is a way for social media apps to confirm a user's stated identity with a government-issued form of identification, such as a driver's license or passport. The feature has been used by other apps, especially ones that facilitate in-person meet-ups. Tinder has reportedly been testing voluntary ID Verification Japan since 2019 and is now rolling it out globally.

"We hope all our members worldwide will see the benefits of interacting with people who have gone through our ID verification process," said Tinder's "Head of Trust and Safety Product" Rory Kozoll in a press release. "We look forward to a day when as many people as possible are verified on Tinder."

That doesn't sound like mandatory ID Verification is coming to Tinder any time soon, although depending on how widely it is adopted, it could still become so ubiquitous that most users would do it. That could seriously cut back on scam artists, phishing and other forms of abuse on Tinder. On the other hand, the loss of anonymity might make the app less appealing to some users, especially those trying to keep the details of their love lives discrete.

Tinder said that it is still using a "test-and-learn" perspective on ID Verification, and is only using the feature in ways that contribute to "equitable, inclusive and privacy-friendly" outcomes. Commenters on social media generally seem to be split on the issue so far.

Other dating apps have adopted ID Verification already with varying results. The feature is reportedly required to sign up on Bumble, Zoosk and Wild. In some cases, this makes the difference between a "dating app" and a "hookup app."

For Tinder, the emphasis is apparently on safety. The app saw a marked increase in complaints about scams and threatening encounters over the last year and a half, and has taken other steps to maximize safety for all users. At the same time, requiring ID Verification could be legitimately dangerous for members of the LGBTQ+ community facing hate crimes, in some cases.

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Tinder officials say that this is why the feature remains optional for now. VP of Safety and Social Advocacy Tracey Breeden said: "We know that in many parts of the world and within traditionally marginalized communities, people might have compelling reasons that they can't or don't want to share their real-world identity with an online platform."