Facebook Dating is now available in the US, its 20th market. It is slated to roll out in Europe by early 2020. The service is aimed to help people “start meaningful relationships” through common interests, events, and groups, Facebook said.
Facebook announced its dating feature first in May 2018 at the F8 Conference. Later, in September, it rolled it out in Colombia - the first market.
"It takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is,” it explained.
The Dating feature will appear as a separate tab in the Facebook app. Users will be able to integrate their Instagram posts into their dating profiles as well as add followers to “Secret Crush” lists. By the end of the year, they will also be able to add Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories to their Facebook Dating profiles.
The social media giant, which has faced enormous scrutiny globally for compromising user privacy, claims that Dating is a “safe, inclusive and opt-in" service.
Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Public Policy at Facebook, explained:
"Not everyone on Facebook is interested in dating, which is why we made Facebook Dating a separate, opt-in experience. That means we won’t create a Facebook Dating profile for your account unless you specifically choose to create one. And you can delete your Dating profile at any time."
Users, who create dating profiles - separate from their main profiles - will be able to report and block other users. Facebook Dating won’t ever match users with their friends, unless both are listed on each others' “Secret Crush” lists.
Nathan Sharp, Product Manager, Facebook Dating, stated,
"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."
It takes on Tinder, Match, OKCupid, Hinge, Bumble, and others in the hot-and-happening online dating market valued at over $12 billion. Unlike most apps, however, Facebook Dating is free and ad-free. It is more about "conversations".
Users can opt into Events and Groups to discover people with similar interests. "You can choose to see other people who are using Facebook Dating that fit your preferences," Facebook explained.
Users can also share details of their upcoming date and/or the live location with friends they trust via Messenger. Facebook reckons this makes the dating feature "safer".
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