How Facebook Dating Is Different From Other Dating Apps – Prior to dating applications like Tinder, dates were usually the product of at least some common experience. Facebook wants to go back in time.
One of the most prevalent complaints about dating in the age of Tinder is that individuals frequently wind up on dates with individuals they know nothing about. Being on the apps frequently means dating in a sort of context vacuum, as I wrote last year in a column on how Tinder and similar applications have revolutionized dating in just half a decade:
FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS, CLASSMATES, AND/OR RELATIVES DO NOT SHOW UP TO COMPLETE THE PICTURE OF WHO A PERSON IS UNTIL LATE IN THE RELATIONSHIP TIMELINE—IT IS UNLIKELY THAT SOMEONE WOULD INTRODUCE A BLIND DATE TO FRIENDS RIGHT AWAY. THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH TWO PEOPLE MET ORGANICALLY COULD PROVIDE AT LEAST SOME MEASURE OF COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THEM IN THE “OLD MODEL” OF DATING, ON THE OTHER HAND, COULD PROVIDE AT LEAST SOME MEASURE OF COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THEM IN THE “NEW MODEL” OF DATING.
People still enjoy Tinder, Bumble, and other such apps, or at the very least accept them as the modern way to find dates or companions, according to all accounts. Tinder’s global user base was believed to be about 50 million last year. However, when sifting through every possible date in your region based on little more than a photo and a few words of bio becomes the standard, individuals might grow burned out and yearn for the days of offline dating.
Facebook, a massive online repository for information about almost 3 billion people’s hobbies, social circles, family connections, work and education histories, and relationship histories—in other words, a massive online repository for people’s context—seems to have taken notice of these complaints. Facebook Dating, Facebook’s matchmaking service, opened in the United States on Thursday after debuting in 19 other countries earlier this year. It is expressly attempting to reintroduce some of the more human aspects of online dating with features that imitate how people used to meet-cute before the Tinder era.
It’s purposeful if those seem eerily like online versions of old-school ways people used to discover dates and partners—by joining groups and organizations, meeting through friends, attending to events, and even informing a mutual friend about a crush and having them investigate and report back—because they are. Developers intended to solve a few of specific concerns they noticed with how current dating apps have reformed, and possibly gamified, dating, according to a Facebook spokeswoman.
Facebook commissioned a poll of 3,000 Americans over the age of 18 earlier this summer. It was discovered that 40% of persons who were currently online dating thought that the applications and sites provided didn’t suit their demands. It also discovered that, over looks and financial prospects, comparable interests were the most important attribute most people were seeking for in a companion (which could explain why apps like Bumble, which prominently showcases photographs and job titles but requires users to click through to a profile for further information, weren’t exactly cutting it for a large portion of those polled).
Like a result, according to the Facebook official, the developers chose not to add a quick “swipe” option to Facebook Dating; instead of being able to approve or reject possible date candidates in real time after only looking at a single photo, as Tinder does, users must first browse someone’s whole profile before opting in or out on a prospective match. According to the source, the need for greater involvement with possible matches is a significant part of why the firm opted to integrate Instagram and Facebook stories into Facebook Dating at some point next year, to display what possible matches are up to right now and counteract the “static” character of dating profiles as we know them.
Madeleine Fugère, a psychology professor at Eastern Connecticut State University who specializes in romantic relationships and sexual attraction, is one of the critics of Facebook Dating’s promise of finding meaningful matches through common interests and activities. Although people believe that shared interests are more likely to lead to attraction, according to Fugère, they aren’t a good predictor. “Loving someone is very much dependent on that in-person ‘clicking,’ which is really difficult to foresee ahead of time,” she explained.
To some, a more curated and personalized approach that matches people based on their common interests isn’t a better experience than the completely uncurated, here’s everyone who’s available to you experience that other apps provide. Ross, a 24-year-old Californian (who asked that I just use his first name because he didn’t want to discuss his dating life in public), utilized Facebook Dating while in the Philippines this summer and discovered the natural end point of the benefits of an algorithm that matches individuals based on shared interests and connections: He paired with an ex-girlfriend he’d previously unfriended as soon as he got on.
“I believe Facebook connected me with her because we had mutual [friends], had a domicile, and liked the same pages,” he explained. He claims he didn’t contact her. “And had a laugh,” he said, ignoring her profile.
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