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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