Things That Matter

Facebook Dating App Will Reveal Your Secret Admirers Among Your Friend’s List And Are We Ready For This?

Facebook isn’t exactly the most loved social media platform right now. In fact, trust has become a serious issue for the tech giant. So, today when Facebook announced that it’s dating service was coming to the US, many were left thinking…really?!

But apparently, Facebook has finally decided to enter the dating game and the Internet has some thoughts.

Yes, it’s true. Facebook has entered the world of digital dating and they want to be your matchmaker.

The second-least-sexy social media app (after LinkedIn) has officially entered the business of love. Facebook Dating, which has existed in other countries since last year, launched in the US today in the hope that Facebook can compete with existing dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and OKCupid.

“It takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is,” Facebook’s blog post says.

Users of Instagram will also be able to integrate their posts directly into their “Facebook Dating” profile and give people the ability to add Instagram followers to “Secret Crush” lists. Eventually, the site will offer the ability for users to add Facebook and Instagram Stories to a dating profile.

Facebook’s blog post said the dating feature was designed to be “safe, inclusive and opt-in.” Users are able to report and block other users, and users are not allowed to send photos, links, payments or videos in messages. Users can also share details of an upcoming date or a live location with someone they trust on Facebook Messenger if they wish.

Already, the dating service isn’t generating the most positive buzz.

Facebook says it matches people based on what they like. But there’s obviously more to the story.

Facebook Dating will also gather even more information from Facebook users, information that will presumably be more intimate, up to date, and relevant to what people actually like and think. That’s essentially the sales pitch of Facebook Dating: Facebook has more data on you, so they’ll pair you up with a better match. “Facebook Dating makes it easier to find love through what you like — helping you start meaningful relationships through things you have in common, like interests, events and groups,” reads the first line of the press release.

Ok…but how is Facebook Dating going to work?

To use Facebook’s own words, it’s complicated. Though many have noted the aesthetic similarities between its interface — which is available to users 18 and older within the regular Facebook mobile app (in a separate tab) — and that of the dating app Hinge, the fact that Facebook is already a part of people’s lives whether they’re looking to date or not makes things a bit unusual.

Facebook is attempting to clear most of those hurdles by making Dating as separate as possible from its regular app. First and foremost, users must opt in to the service, then create an entirely distinct profile. Notably, Facebook Dating does not show users their Facebook friends, and also gives people the ability to remove friends of friends from their potential matches. You can also block specific people on Facebook from seeing your dating profile. Users can, however, message one another without matching first.

Perhaps the most shocking part of it all is…”Secret Crush.”

Yes, there’s a tool literally called ‘Secret Crush” and if there’s any one thing I’m most nervous about, it’s this.

Secret Crush is where you can add up to nine (!) Facebook friends or Instagram followers to a list, and if they secretly crush you back, you’ll both get notified. (The tool only works if both people have set up Facebook Dating profiles; Timothée Chalamet will not get notified if you add his Instagram account to your Secret Crush list, and even then you can only do that if Timothée Chalamet is following you.)

The app isn’t exactly new – it was already available in 19 other countries before landing in the US.

With today’s launch, Facebook Dating is now available in 20 countries. In addition to the United States, it’s now live in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. 

The product will come to Europe early next year, Facebook said.

Not too surprising, many people aren’t exactly ready to trust Facebook with their love life.

Announcing the feature, Facebook pledged that it would keep users’ dating profile info separate from other Facebook activity. But many remain skeptical.

Seth Carter, 32, an engineer from Terre Haute, Indiana, said he had used dating apps ranging from Match to Bumble, Tinder and Christian Mingle prior to his current relationship. 

“Facebook is here to make money and I get that,” he told the Associated Press. But he worries that Facebook’s stated commitment to privacy would ultimately buckle under pressure to make money off the service. “That likely means they’re going to sell my dating preferences, which means even more intrusions into my life.” 

Facebook says it won’t be doing any of that. But users like Carter can hardly be blamed for their apprehension.

Reactions on Twitter have been nothing short of amazing.

This guy makes a great point. Given the companies pending anti-trust lawsuits and $4 billion fine and all the lost confidence from Facebook’s users, simply using something attached to Facebook is questionable. Then you have the whole world of dating which can be toxic and dangerous and unpleasant all on its own.

All of this begs the question, will people actually use Facebook Dating?

Despite its lateness to the game, Facebook Dating will tap into a wildly lucrative market. Analysts estimate the market could be worth $12 billion by 2020, and Match Group, which owns nearly all of the most popular dating apps besides Bumble, pulled in $1.7 billion in revenue last year. And perhaps Facebook Dating will court the kinds of users who are turned off by other dating apps, be it due to age or preconceived notions about their hookup-oriented nature.

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

Culture

Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

MixMedia / Getty Images

For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

Things That Matter

Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images

A pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Jan. 6 following months of President Donald Trump and his allies attacking the 2020 elections. Selena Gomez, like most Americans horrified by the attack, spoke out on social media about what happened. She made it clear that part of this falls on tech companies and social media companies.

Selena Gomez called out social media and tech companies for enabling hateful rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have used social media to spread misinformation since he was elected in 2016. Americans have watched as President Trump used Twitter to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories. There have been so many debunked claims that President Trump and his allies have spread with no consequence.

Recently, Twitter started to flag some of President Trump’s tweets as disputed or misleading. It was the first time a social media platform did something that checked President Trump and his rhetoric.

People quickly came to Gomez’s side to uplift her statement.

President Trump has a long history of hateful and dangerous rhetoric on social media. He has misled her supporters with false statements and has incited violence. The president has defended white supremacists on multiple occasions and even retweeted a video of a man shouting white power.

Social media platforms are finally muzzling President Trump with bans and suspensions.

Twitter has put the president on a temporary suspension after he incited the crowd that breached Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg enhanced the original 24-hour ban to a indefinite ban that will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, people think it is a little too late for these actions.

“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms,” Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. “As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol was avoidable, but it’s clear who incited this violence.

Congress has officially certified President-elect Biden’s win. What should have been a quick process to certify an election turned into a horrifying scene. It is a day that will always define President Trump’s legacy.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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