Bumble Will Soon Verify Users’ Identity With Selfies

  • Wednesday, November 02 2016 @ 10:29 am
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Bumble has been making big moves this year. First, in an effort to even the playing field, the app announced that male users must respond to women’s messages within 24 hours or they lose the match. CEO Whitney Wolfe also announced plans to take Bumble beyond dating into the world of business networking.

The company’s latest update is designed to prevent its users from falling prey to catfishers. How they intend to do it is the fun part.

Bumble’s new plan to outsmart scammers is a photo feature that prompts users to verify their accounts by submitting selfies. Yes, it’s 2016 and selfies are here to save us all.

Wolfe told New York magazine that she believes the new profile verification measure will “encourage online accountability” and help Bumble shake allegations that it pads its user numbers with fake profiles.

The feature will roll out soon, starting with people whose profile photos have been previously flagged. Those users will be required to complete the verification process within seven days. All new users will also be asked to verify themselves before they can start swiping. Verification will be optional for existing users.

Bumble Selfie Verification Process
Bumble Selfie Verification Process

Getting verified takes only a quick snap of your smartphone camera shutter. Bumble users will be prompted to submit photos in a specific pose. The app has a library of over 100 posing possibilities, like “holding up a peace sign and closing one eye.” Your job is to mimic the gesture shown to you by the app and submit it for review.

Once the selfie is submitted, a third-party moderation team will check it against the account’s profile photo to confirm that everything matches. The moderators are a 24-hour team of 4,000 people with a response time of around 40 seconds. The entire process typically takes less than one minute.

If privacy is a concern, Wolfe assures users there’s nothing to worry about. “The whole process is completely private between you and the moderator,” Wolfe told New York. “Your photo will never be posted publicly and won’t be stored.”

When the mod team gives a profile a thumbs up, it receives a special badge denoting the user’s verification status that tells other users it’s safe to swipe right. If, on the other hand, the profile is deemed a fake, the perpetrator will be given one chance to correct the issue. Failure to do so will result in being banned from the platform.

Wolfe told Mashable the feature was partially inspired by some of the app's high-profile users, whose accounts are often incorrectly flagged as fake by other users. But public figure or not, the update stands to make Bumble a better place. Wolfe says early tests indicate verified users have better results on the app.