Meta is testing a new age verification system on its Facebook Dating platform to determine if you’re over 18, but only if you live in the United States.
Age Verification On Facebook Dating (opens in new tab) seems to be taking cues from both Tinder and Bumble’s own systems. Meta offers users two different ways to verify their age: via a video selfie or by uploading a photo of their ID, which is very similar to how Facebook confirms account identities (opens in new tab).
For the selfies, the platform gets some help from digital identity company Yoti. According to Meta, video selfies work by giving users a series of instructions in the Facebook app that tell them to strike certain poses as their smartphone camera records them.
That video is then sent to Yoti, where the company scans your face and estimates your age. If it determines that your face is over 18 years old, your profile is now verified. Meta claims that neither company will store video selfies as they are all deleted immediately after your age is determined. And the AI won’t learn people’s faces or recognize identities.
If the name “Yoti” sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same company that uses Meta Instagram’s age verification system to protect minors. Video selfies are used in a similar way, where users strike certain poses, after which the system takes about 20 minutes to verify their age. But unlike Facebook, Yoti seems to hold data from Instagram (within 30 days of upload) rather than immediately deleting it.
The announcement also claims that Yoti trained its AI by showing it “individuals from different age ranges, genders and skin tones.” Facial recognition technology has had a shady past with accuracy and recognizing dark-skinned people. In addition, many are concerned about tracking their faces. On the face of it, Meta addresses those concerns, which is good, but no one can blame you if you’re still worried.
We asked Meta if and when the facial recognition test will move to other global regions. Facebook Dating is available in over 50 other countries including Argentina, Singapore and the UK to name a few. This story will be updated at a later date.
At this point, you’re probably telling yourself you didn’t know Facebook has a dating service. By all accounts, Facebook Dating is not a very popular service, at least not in the US due to stiff competition of gargantuan proportions.
Meta has never provided verifiable evidence of how many people use Facebook Dating. The closest we could find is one 2021 report from The Verge (opens in new tab) stating that 278,000 single people in New York City use Facebook Dating. To put that in perspective, Bumble claimed three million users in New York back in 2018 (opens in new tab). We wonder what will happen first: Facebook Dating shuts down or age verification launches.
Make sure you check out Best Product’s list of the best dating apps for 2022 if you are looking for a platform with many more, verifiable choices.