Match dating app lets you alert friends when your date goes bad

(Image credit: Match Group)

After Tinder added safety features to its mobile dating service last month, another top dating app owned by Match Group is following suit. Match said today (Feb. 18) that it's adding safety features of its own, which will be available immediately.

The new Date Check-In feature highlights Match's new Safety Center, which the dating service plans to augment with other features throughout 2020. In the case of Date Check-In, you're able to let people know you're on a date and to send them an SOS if you're feeling unsafe during your date.

Here's how the new feature works: you opt-in by selecting the Date Check-in icon that appears in the upper right corner of any Match conversation. That lets you add up to three friends or relatives as safety contact who will need to confirm their invitation. Once that happens, they'll be able to receive your date info — when it is, where it is and who you're going out with.

Match feels you'll want to provide that information to trusted contacts, not because your friends are nosy but because they can provided needed backup if a date goes south. When you go out on a date, the Check-In feature sends you a text message to make sure that everything's going all right. If you're feeling unsafe, you can type "YES," and your contacts will get an alert. Match is also urging users who feel unsafe on a date to contact 911.

If this sounds familiar, Tinder — which is owned by the same parent company as Match — added a similar safety feature last month. In the case of Tinder, the safety features tie into a separate Noonlight app that also provides a panic button for alerting people when you feel unsafe.

Dating apps like the ones owned by Match are under increasing scrutiny to provide features that keep their customers safe when they meet people through the app. And app makers have incentives to add such features to their offerings beyond the fact that it's the right thing to do. After all, the more comfortable people feel, the more likely they are to continue using your app.

When Tinder got its safety features in January, Match Group promised that similar features would arrive on its other dating properties. Besides Tinder and Match, the Match Group operates Hinge, eHarmony, OKCupid and Plenty of Fish.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.