How Facebook Dating Is Different From Other Dating Apps

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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.

Facebook Dating promises to connect singles who opt into the service by algorithmically matching them based on geography and shared “interests, events, and groups”; users have the option of “unlocking” certain Facebook groups they’re a part of and certain Facebook events they’ve RSVPed to via the Facebook mobile app (it’s not available on the Facebook desktop site). It also allows users to import biographical information from their Facebook page into their Facebook Dating profile, such as name, age, location, work title, and images.Users can also opt in or out of matching with their Facebook friends’ Facebook friends through the app’s privacy settings. Unless specifically requested, the program does not connect people with their own Facebook friends: According to Facebook’s Newsroom blog, the “Secret Crush” function allows users to identify up to nine of their Facebook friends as persons they have a crush on, and “no one will know that you’ve input their name” unless your name also appears on their Secret Crush list. In that instance, both parties are notified through Facebook Dating. (Facebook doesn’t say what happens if two, three, or even all nine of a person’s crushes signal that the secret crush is reciprocated.)

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.

Fugère also questioned if Facebook Dating would be successful among its target demographic—single people in their twenties and thirties. While Facebook is attempting to replicate the experience of meeting someone in person electronically, it is unclear whether users will want so much information shared online with someone they have yet to meet: According to recent Pew study, young people are quitting Facebook, especially since the disclosure that Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling organization, acquired the private Facebook data of millions of Americans before of the 2016 election. Facebook Dating, for example, is one of a few recent projects that appear to be aimed towards reminding people of Facebook’s advantages as a tool for forming and maintaining relationships. For example, a recent ad campaign reminded viewers of Facebook’s origins—as a platform that connected people through shared connections and hobbies and facilitated the sharing of pleasant or hilarious moments, rather than a surprisingly pervasive database storing a large amount of the world’s personal data.While Facebook Dating is a more curated, more personalized option to other dating apps, it’s still rather robotic and random when compared to, say, simply talking to people who seem attractive or interesting out in the real world. For example, Camille Virginia, author of The Offline Dating Method, understands the appeal of Facebook’s “Secret Crush” function, which, according to a Facebook official, was created in response to a poll indicating that 53% of online daters had a crush on someone they already knew in real life but were too afraid to ask out. But, as Virginia pointed out, if you enjoy the thrill of telling a helpful dating robot that you’re into someone and then wondering if that person has also told the dating robot that they’re into you, you’ll enjoy the thrill of “finally chatting up that cute guy you’ve seen at the dog park recently—or asking that intriguing woman in line behind you at Starbucks which drink she recoils from.”

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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