Facebook Dating has finally gone live for users in select countries. The long due dating feature was waiting to see the light of day ever since Facebook announced their plans to foray into the match-making business at the company's F8 annual developer conference last year. Facebook is now rolling out Facebook Dating in the US. Furthermore, Facebook Dating is also available in 19 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. Facebook Dating will be available in Europe by early next year.
Facebook Dating is an opt-in only feature. Eligible users have to create a dating profile, which will separate from their main profile. Facebook also put a minimum age restriction of 18 years. Interestingly, Facebook did not make it into a separate app. All you have to do is keep your Facebook app up-to-date. Once you create your Facebook Dating profile, Facebook will suggest you profiles of other users who have also opted in (based on your interests and preferences, of course).
"Facebook Dating isn’t about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out. If you are interested in someone, you can comment directly on their profile or tap on the Like button to let them know. If you aren’t interested, you can pass on them. Facebook Dating allows you to match with friends of friends and/or people not in your friend circle," said Nathan Sharp, Product Manager of Facebook Dating.
"Facebook Dating won’t match you with friends, unless you choose to use Secret Crush and you both add each other to your list. All of your Dating activity will stay in Facebook Dating. It won’t be shared to the rest of Facebook," he added.
Some of the features include the integration of stories into dating. Facebook allows users to share their Facebook and Instagram stories with their dating profile. Another major highlight of Facebook Dating has to be 'Secret Crush'. When enabled, you can match with people you are already friends with on Facebook and Instagram. People can also add Instagram posts to their Facebook Dating profile. Last but not least, people can also opt into Events and Groups to discover like-minded people with common interests.
Facebook is in the middle of a lot of things right now. From its plans for digital currency and e-commerce to 'privacy vision' and never-ending privacy woes, Facebook has too much on its plate already. Hence, the question is being raised: 'After years of privacy missteps by the social network, will people trust it with their love lives?' And guess what? Facebook Dating comes at a time when the popularity of online dating is on the rise. It will be interesting to see whether Facebook manages to compete with Tinder or not, as far as online dating is concerned.