Facebook Dating launches in the US today with a Secret Crush feature that lets you identify Facebook and Instagram users you’d like to date. You’ll be notified if there’s a match; if not, your crush will receive a cryptic ‘someone has a crush on you’ notification.
More than a year after that Facebook was working on an online dating app, Facebook Dating is now live in the US for users age 18 and older.
Users who opt into the service can now create a Facebook Dating profile separate from their main Facebook profile. Available as a separate tab within the Facebook mobile app, the dating service serves up potential matches based on profile info as well as Facebook interests and preferences.
Facebook says the app will match you only with friends of friends or users completely outside your circle, unless you and a respective friend both add each other to your Secret Crush lists.
Secret Crush lets users select up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers they already know. If there’s a mutual crush, Facebook Dating matches the users. But even if the crush is only one-sided, the other Facebook user will get a cryptic notification that “someone has a crush on you.” Sounds like an absolutely spectacular way to ruin friendships by sending users down a rabbit hole wondering who it is.
Secret Crush is opt-in; you can also turn off matching with friends of friends, and block specific Facebook friends or Instagram followers from seeing your Facebook Dating profile.
Facebook Dating is also emblematic of Zuckerberg’s broader push to knit Facebook, Instagram, and the company’s other apps more closely together. Not only can you integrate Instagram posts directly into Facebook Dating profiles, but Facebook said (Opens in a new window) users will soon be able to share Facebook and Instagram Stories as well, which will show up atop the dating tab.
Facebook’s rivals on both the social media and now dating app fronts are doing the same; Snap announced in April (Opens in a new window) that Snapchat Stories will be integrated with Tinder.
As for how the app works, Facebook allows for one-tap profile creation by suggesting Facebook photos and profile information to add if you don’t want to create a dating profile from scratch. You can add up to nine photos and icebreaker questions along with optional profile details like https://www.datingranking.net/es/citas-para-discapacitados/ height, job, religion, education, and children.
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The matching process itself isn’t swipe-based; when presented with matches, you can tap to like their profile or send them a message directly in a conversation thread. Facebook likens the experience more to Hinge than apps like Tinder or Bumble. You can turn matches down by choosing “Not Interested,” but there’s a feature called “Second Look” to give spurned profiles another shot.
The app also has fields for gender identity and who you’re interested in, which Facebook said won’t be shared with matches. If you opt into Facebook Dating, you’re trusting the social media company with sensitive personal and romantic information. Facebook has pledged that dating activity and data will stay in Facebook Dating, but users need to make a conscious choice to give the company access to that part of their lives. What happens to that data from there, like any other data you put online, is never certain.
Facebook Dating does have one very useful built-in security feature: a shield icon within a match conversation to open the Messenger app and share the details of a date-and your live location-with a friend or family member. You can never be too careful.
Facebook Dating is also available in 19 other countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. It will launch in Europe in early 2020.
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