Tinder, the popular dating app, has updated its options to allow users to choose transgender or gender-nonconforming identities.
The move, part of a push against persistent harassment against transgender people on the service, was hailed by community advocates as an important example for other social media platforms.
Executives became aware of the harassment problem seven months ago, according to Sean Rad, the chief executive of Tinder. He said the abuse took two main forms: transgender users being verbally attacked by people they matched with, and transgender users being reported as abusive themselves by people “on the merits of who they were and not necessarily what they were saying or doing.”
Those abuse reports meant that transgender people were often blocked from the service by the site’s algorithm. “If you’re reported a certain number of times, you’re in the penalty box,” he said.
The move to let transgender users identify themselves as such is meant to let them “interact with people who are more accepting of who they are,” Mr. Rad said.
The company has taken other steps, too, including training its staff in how to deal with reports of harassment of transgender people.
The company previously allowed users to pick from one of two genders — either man or woman — but will now let them choose from almost 40 options, including Transgender Woman, Transgender Man, Transmasculine, Two-Spirit, Neutrois, Non-Binary and Other. If none of those fit, users can write in their own.
The update, which was released on Tuesday, was designed in consultation with transgender community leaders and other prominent transgender people, including the activists Andrea James and Nick Adams and several entertainers connected to the award-winning Amazon show “Transparent,” like the actress Trace Lysette, the musician Our Lady J and Zackary Drucker, a producer on the show.
“Gender categories are expanding,” said Ms. Drucker, who called the update a reflection of changing social attitudes toward transgender people. “We are a part of the world, and we date.”