Tinder mobile app on background of Tinder profiles.
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Tinder's new blocking tool allows users to share their contact list with the app and select people to avoid.
  • The effort is the latest in a series of features designed to prevent harassment and improve the user experience.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Tinder is adding a blocking feature to help users avoid seeing their exes, relatives, and coworkers.

The dating app's new "Block Contacts" option allows swipers to share their contact list with Tinder and select individuals they would like to prevent seeing on their screens. According to Tinder, the contacts will not be notified they were blocked and using the feature will not impact existing matches or messages.

The new tool comes as dating app use skyrockets in places like the US, with vaccination rates on the rise. Tinder predicts 2021 will be a "summer of love" in the northern hemisphere, as users flock to the app in search of in-real-life dates.

However, with more people using the dating app, the higher the chances of an uncomfortable confrontation. Enter the blocking tool.

In order to block someone on the app, users must grant Tinder permission to access their contacts before selecting specific people to avoid seeing while the service. Though Tinder said it will "only keep the contacts information for the people you have blocked," users can also opt to manually input individuals to block without providing the company with access to their full contact list in an effort to protect privacy.

"Each time you use the feature, we'll pull your list of contacts from your device so that you can pick who you'd like to block," the company wrote on its website. "When you leave the feature, we'll only keep the contacts information for the people you have blocked (name, email and/or phone number)."

While Tinder said it will do its "best to prevent you from seeing each other," it can't guarantee to prevent a digital confrontation with an unsavoury figure from your past. In order to successfully block the person, they must have signed up for the dating app using the contact information you provide.

The blocking tool is the latest among recent efforts to improve user experience and prevent harassment on the app.

Last month, the company rolled out an artificial intelligence feature which scans messages to detect for harmful or offensive language. Using a list of trigger words and phrases pulled from user reports, the app pushes an "are you sure?" message to the sender that acts as a "real-time warning to think twice about their opening line," according to Tinder.

"The early results from these features show us that intervention done the right way can be really meaningful in changing behavior and building a community where everyone feels like they can be themselves," Tracey Breeden, head of safety and social advocacy at Match Group, said in a press statement.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.