On Facebook, it was always about friends. It is, however, now also about passion. Facebook Dating, the company’s answer to Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, and other dating apps, has gone live in the United States. The new feature incorporates Facebook’s networking technology and data to help you find matches that are a good fit for you.
It’s only normal for a dating site to be recommended by a company that knows you so well, such as Facebook. But, given all of Facebook’s issues, including an ongoing antitrust investigation, do we really want it to play a larger role in our lives?
A separate app within your app
Facebook Dating is a Facebook app feature. To use the extension, users must be 18 or older, and they must opt-in and activate their Dating profile – kids on Facebook won’t just come across a new dating app that allows them to meet suitors in town.
When you allow it, it asks for your gender, who you’re interested in, a bunch of terms and conditions, and other privacy settings. You have the option of changing your preferences for dating location, distance from you, age, and height. You may also tell your date about your religious beliefs and whether or not you want them to have children.
It may come as a surprise to learn that the Dating app differs from the standard Facebook app. It goes to great lengths to differentiate them: It necessitates creating a whole new profile with all of the details you want to be displayed.
It hides your Facebook friends from your Dating profile and helps you to remove friends of friends from potential matches to avoid awkward encounters.
You may also prevent certain people from viewing your Facebook Dating profile in the future.
How’s it different?
Facebook Dating, like Tinder, helps you to scroll through a never-ending list of people searching for dates. Instead of swiping, you press on crosses and hearts. It also has a “second glance” feature that allows you to replay matches you’ve already passed on.
As one would expect, dating makes extensive use of its big brother’s massive database of data and features. The app will suggest other users based on events you’ve attended, stuff you’ve liked, and groups you’ve followed on your main account.
Secret Crush is a unique feature that allows you to build a list of people based on your Facebook friends and Instagram followers. If they ever enter Dating, they will be told if someone has a “crush” on them. If you add yourself to their “crush” list, you will be matched right away, as if to expedite the dating process. Apart from this one occasion, Facebook promises not to reveal your crushes – you can have up to nine if you’re picky!
Facebook is determined to make the matching process as fast as possible. Despite the fact that you are not “matched,” the app allows you to communicate with other users by commenting on their profile pictures. This could quickly become vexing.
It has, however, boldly restricted how easily users can use its chat rooms. Chats only allow for text and GIFs. There are no links, photos, purchases, or videos that can be shared on Facebook Dating. These restrictions are a stern response to the porn-bot spam, unwanted videos, and other scams that have fueled the popularity of dating apps. This is a daring move that has the potential to make dating apps a safer place. It has a reputation for facilitating predatory activity and fostering a hook-up culture.
Should we trust Facebook? tl;dr – NO
What do we do first? On the surface, Facebook Dating appears to place a premium on user control and privacy. Unlike Tinder and other apps, Facebook Dating does not allow you to take screenshots (though there is nothing stopping you from grabbing a friend’s phone and taking a screenshot of your screen). When it comes to dating, you will be asked whether you are comfortable matching with “friends of friends.”
Then you start scratching under the surface and find that it is not fully transparent.
The way these suggestions are made by algorithms is creating quite a buzz in the world of targeted advertising and other forms of AI recommendations. What information does Facebook Dating use, for example, to match you with Dennis from Texas?
We should expect Facebook Dating to be just as good at recommending friends as Facebook has been at recommending friends. Although you can allow matching with profiles from mutual friends, former schools, and societies, Facebook says this information will still be considered when making recommendations.
The difference is that if you make this information public, your opponents will be unaware of it. These particulars are only used to feed the matching algorithm.
Despite its lack of transparency, this company is still heavily “red-flagged.” Facebook has a bad track record when it comes to protecting users’ information and privacy.
Facebook recently admitted to exposing 419 million phone numbers in an unprotected free online database. In June 2018, a bug on Instagram made 14 million users’ private posts public. Is it really necessary to bring up Cambridge Analytica?
Facebook has a major privacy issue. Facebook Dating has the potential to collect personal information about us on an unprecedented scale.
One’s love desires, emotions, vulnerabilities, fetishes, and errors are all reflected on the problematic site. Can we really trust Facebook with our personal details if they can’t keep our phone numbers safe?
See also: Facebook Dating Is Now Active In Canada
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