DATING FACEBOOK – For years, Facebook has been the go-to spot for anyone from college students to divorcees to find love interests. Now, Facebook users in the United States can use the social network as an official dating service, complete with specialized profiles and a matchmaking algorithm. Facebook Dating, which started rolling out in other countries last year and is now available in the United States, provides users aged 18 and up with a suite of features aimed at assisting them in finding successful relationships. While many of them would be familiar to anyone who has used other dating apps, a few make unique use of Facebook’s most valuable asset—its massive archive of data on you and your mates.
Facebook Dating is integrated into the current Facebook app, but it requires a separate profile to use. Your name and age are the only pieces of details that are retained. The service will fit you based on your position, indicated preferences, and other factors. Additionally, you should search for people who attend similar Facebook events or are members of similar Facebook groups. One thing it will not show is your current Facebook friends—that feature is disabled by default.
Additionally, Facebook is using Dating’s US launch to introduce some new privacy and security features to the app. And, of course, it’s Instagram integration. Which is unsurprising given how the business has been integrating its platforms in different ways throughout the year.
On the majority of dating apps, “people are compelled to make a choice based on this one profile that never changes and is incredibly curated,” according to Charmaine Hung, a Facebook Dating product manager. The social network aspires to have a more diverse and genuine experience. Users will be able to feature their permanent Instagram posts in their Dating profiles starting today. Facebook says that by the end of the year, it will also enable users to post Instagram or Facebook Stories. They will not be Dating-specific Stories, but will be the ones you already share with your friends or followers; they will also be deleted after 24 hours. The social networking site is not the first to think of the concept.
Instagram will also be integrated into Secret Crush, a pre-existing Facebook Dating feature that allows users to express interest in up to nine Facebook friends—as long as they indicate they have a crush on the same person. Now, your Instagram followers can be Secret Crushes as well—sorry, no celebrities or influencers without first following you! You’ll get an email message if anyone adds you to their Secret Crush list. If you then choose the same person to add to your list, Facebook will connect you and show your names. Nothing occurs if the emotions are one-sided.
Unique Safety Features
Historically, dating apps such as Hinge have marketed themselves on their ability to connect you with friends of friends—people with whom you already share social links. You can also do the same with Facebook Dating: you may opt out of matching with friends of friends in advance, which could be a welcome choice for someone looking to date outside their network. Additionally, the function can benefit LGTBQ+ individuals who are not out in their communities. Additionally, you should hide your Facebook Dating profile from anyone, even though you want them to have access to your Facebook or Instagram accounts.
The most exciting new aspect of Facebook Dating is that it builds on a well-established safety practice for online dating. Many people—particularly women—tell a friend or family member where they’re going and when they plan to return before meeting anyone in person for the first time. Individuals have recently begun sharing their location using tools such as Apple’s Find My Friends. Facebook will allow you to automatically open Messenger from Dating and inform a friend about the person you’re going on a date with, as well as the time and location of your meeting. That person will receive a notification reminder and access to your live location fifteen minutes before your date. However, unlike Find My Friends, your location is only shared for an hour at a time, at least for the time being.
“We are certainly experimenting with the timing,” Hung admits. “We wanted to ensure that people were not inadvertently sharing their live position for a longer period of time than intended.”
The Basics of Facebook Dating
On mobile, Facebook Dating will be accessible through a tab inside Facebook’s main menu. When you create your profile for the first time, Facebook will ask for your gender and the gender(s) of the people you’re interested in. The choices include “cis woman,” “trans woman,” “cis male,” “trans man,” and “non-binary guy,” according to a preview posted by Facebook. Your gender identity will not be disclosed to prospective matches. You may indicate that you are interested in “all,” “women,” “men,” “trans women,” or “trans men.” Additionally, you can enter information about your height, religion, job title, place of employment, school attended, and whether you have children.
You can complete your profile with up to nine images and Facebook-provided icebreaker questions, such as “How does the perfect day look?” For the time being, you cannot build your own. If you’ve completed your profile, Facebook will begin matching you with possible dates based on “your likes, interests, and other activities on Facebook.” According to the organization, this involves factors such as your hometown, the Facebook groups you’re a member of, and the school you claim to have attended. Additionally, you can only match with people who live within about 100 miles of you. Although dating does not require you to constantly share your position with Facebook, you do need to enable location services in order for Facebook to verify that you are where you say you are—whether that is once when you return home or when you update it when you transfer or fly.
Will Facebook Dating Find Love in the US?
Though Facebook is entering a competitive online dating market in the United States, the business does have some advantages. It is already a unique player, as many of its rivals use its API to power their own applications. The company says it has no plans to restrict data access to apps such as Bumble and Tinder, which rely on Facebook to provide information to users such as whether a match has mutual friends.
Additionally, Facebook Dating makes use of other aspects of the social network that apps like Tinder are unable to reach. You can “unlock” any Facebook event or community to which you were invited and begin matching with other attendees to discover future dates on the guest list or membership roll. All activities and organizations are fair game, including the concert you attended five years ago. That is not offered by any other dating service.
Facebook Dating has the potential to be a huge boon for the social network. It will provide Facebook with a wealth of new data on how people communicate, which may prove profitable for the company’s advertisement business in the future. However, the company notes that it currently has no plans to monetize Dating. The service is ad-free, and advertisers cannot use it to target you.
Even if dating does not warn advertisements, it can be beneficial in other respects. Facebook’s core app’s growth has slowed, and many people in their twenties have recently deleted it. The group is already more likely to be single, and they may become more likely to use Facebook if the social networking site adds an official dating service. That is particularly true now that Dating is integrated with Instagram, an already common platform among younger generations. And regardless of your age, reviewing your new matches, honing your dating profile, and seeing if your crush likes you back are all potentially powerful engagement boosters.
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