As promised at the F8 Developer Conference back in May, Facebook Dating officially launched this week in the US, causing Match Group (which owns Match.com, Tinder and OKCupid) shares to fall considerably upon the announcement.
With the concept initially announced in 2018, it’s a matchmaking tool within Facebook that allows users to create separate dating profiles that won’t be shown to anyone who hasn’t enabled Facebook Dating. With the swathes of data Facebook has on its 2.4 billion users, it theoretically can provide better matches than other major dating apps, without requiring users to answer large questionnaires upfront.
Similar to Hinge, you can set your profile up by answering preset questions such as, “What does the perfect day look like?”
New features include the ability (coming soon) for users to connect Instagram and Facebook Stories to their Dating profiles.
How does Facebook Dating work?
Given the fact a lot of competitor dating apps already integrate with Facebook to show how many mutual friends you have with potential matches, and an easy way to import your photos, it seems only logical that Facebook would create their own version.
Facebook Dating lives within the existing Facebook app, but you need to set up a separate profile to use it. The only information carried over by default is your name and age. Users will be presented with potential matches based on location and indicated preferences, and you can opt to match with people who attend the same Facebook events or are part of the same Facebook Groups.
Will Facebook Dating show my existing Facebook friends as matches?
This option is switched off by default when you start using the service, but can be switched on.
Another feature that made headlines when it was announced at F8 is Secret Crush, which allows you to privately mark Facebook friends or Instagram followers as ‘crushes’, with the object of your affection only finding out if they add you as a secret crush, too.
“If you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you’re interested in (to add Instagram followers you must connect your Instagram account to Facebook Dating.) If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list too, it’s a match! If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list – then no one will know that you’ve entered their name.”
Where is Facebook Dating available?
In addition to the US, Facebook Dating is currently 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.
When will Facebook Dating launch in the UK / Europe?
It will launch in Europe by early 2020.
What privacy considerations has Facebook taken into account?
Not surprisingly, Facebook is keen to prove that privacy is the first of its concerns, so has published a blog post detailing all the privacy concerns on its Newsroom blog.
Privacy is particularly important when it comes to dating, so we consulted with experts in privacy and consumer protection and embedded privacy protections into the core of Facebook Dating.Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Public Policy
At present, the platform is ad-free, but no doubt the monetisation will come soon, and advertisers will have yet another creative ad placement to think about for their marketing campaigns.
Will you be trying Facebook Dating? How do you feel about the product? Let us know in the comments!