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Zoosk photo verificationDating site profile photos are a problem. Either people don’t post them, or the ones they do don’t accurately depict how they currently look.

I’ve worked with photo verification patent-holders and used scores of dating sites that have offered verified photos for over a decade. Lot’s of hype and promises, that’s about it.

It’s funny how FriendFinder Networks has offered so many cutting-edge services for over a decade like photo verification, and yet only a few other sites have had offered what’s been common offering at FFN forever.

With their impending IPO, Zoosk has decided to focus on offering people a Verified Photo option.

Zoosk, like all dating sites, went for quantity over quality during their intensive growth period. Millions of inaccurate photos and spam profiles that are now just being addressed because of their IPO.

Where was this concern over the authenticity of their members’ photos years ago? The need was clearly there and the technology existed, but Zoosk needed to fill their database with profiles and their coffers with cash before they worried too much about quality.

I’m not just picking on Zoosk, the entire industry doesn’t appear to understand the concept of authenticity, or safety for that matter. Or if it does, it sure has a funny way of (not) showing it. No background checks, no ID verification, limited photo/profile authenticity, heck, with the “success” of Tinder, matching algorithms are going away as well. These days, dating sites really don’t do much besides display profiles and messaging. Progress!

Zoosk is rolling out photo verification, but in a few different ways from what singles are used to. Instead of the usual request to upload a photo of your drivers license…

Zoosk members will have the choice to use Photo Verification to confirm that their primary profile photo looks like them. Members who choose to verify their photo will be prompted by the system to record and submit a video “selfie” that will capture the individual’s face from a variety of angles. If the moderators approve the member’s photo, he or she will be notified and a Photo Verified badge will be added to their profile. The video “selfie” will remain private.

Neat idea using video like that,  expect single-digit adoption rates for a while. It’s an interesting step towards video profiles though. They have their camera open shooting a video, why not a 2-minute video profile? Yeah yeah, people don’t like video…yet.

Even Match is getting into the facial recognition game, but it’s gonna cost you $5,000.

See also, Identity Protection & Image Protection Service via Face Guardian.

More at Zoosk and WIRED.