Facebook Dating was introduced with little fanfare last week in the U.S. The new dating app received a lot of coverage and is part of the current Facebook app, but it was uncertain if users would react favorably to a dating app from a social network that many have fled. Many of these people, of course, are still on Facebook’s own Instagram, but the social network itself is largely seen as tragically uncool and mainly populated by Boomers. Following the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Facebook has created the picture of an organization not to be trusted with your personal information. The brand is not powerful, in other words.
I was curious about Facebook Dating, as a single individual who used dating apps such as Hinge and Bumble, admittedly because I felt it would have a short shelf life. I chose Dating (which allowed me to download the Facebook app again; I had deleted it a long time ago because my phone battery was depleted) and then I looked around the app. It was a place of ghosts. There is a “Secret Crush” segment where you can add anyone as a crush and if they also mention you as a crush, you can match them. The bigger issue, though, is that I don’t want to date someone who is already one of my friends on Facebook. Facebook Dating also recommends individuals you don’t know for you, but in New York City that features is not yet open to me.
Facebook Dating is a static app right now without a lot to do. Dating is expected to pair you with someone outside of your friend circle in the future based on common preferences and even data such as what activities you are going to do. Again, though, the business would need to persuade people to trust its app and opt-in. In one year, or even in six months, can Facebook Dating exist? That’s yet to be decided, but if you’re curious about Facebook’s foray into the online dating world as well, here’s all you need to tell.
How to get started on Facebook Dating
Facebook Dating is not a separate app, as I mentioned earlier, but it is integrated into the main Facebook app. You need to update the new version of the Facebook app to get access to it. It’s accessible from the icon in the lower right-hand corner of the hamburger menu; press that, then scroll down. With a heart logo, you’ll see “Dating” right under Activities.
Facebook asks you to fill out a profile once you sign in, similar to the Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble profiles. This profile is different from your usual profile on Facebook. You can pick who you want to date (all choices are women, trans women, men, trans men, and non-binary people), age range, chosen height, religious beliefs, and whether you have or want kids. In most dating applications, these choices are all pretty common.
You can add pictures to your dating profile from your current Facebook profile. You “describe yourself in three sentences, three words, or three emojis,” Facebook also suggests.
In the United States, and 19 other nations, including Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and the Philippines, Facebook Dating is currently open. It will be released next year in Europe. You must be at least 18 years old for Facebook Dating to be included.
How to see people who like you and message you on Facebook Dating
In Facebook Dating, at the top of the home screen, there are “liked you” and “conversations” tabs. Here, you can see the people you enjoyed and the interactions you had with your matches.
The interactions that you have are different from Facebook Messenger on Facebook Dating. The Secret Crush feature, which is kind of a relief, can also only fit your current Facebook mates.
How to use Facebook Dating’s ‘Secret Crush’ feature
Hidden Crush sounds like a 2004 feature (remember Pokes?), but Facebook obviously hopes users will be drawn to it. To use, on the Dating Home screen, pick Hidden Crush, then add current Facebook friends to your crush list. The app notifies all sides of a match if they also choose you as a crush. When you pick someone as a crush, they are told that someone has a crush on them, whether they have already chosen to date. At a time, you can add up to nine crushes and delete individuals as you wish. A feature such as Hidden Crush is certainly not new to the online dating community. When people like you, apps like Bumble remind you and display blurred-out avatars to try to entice you to find out who’s behind the blurs.
Facebook Dating aims to incorporate the option to add Instagram followers to the Hidden Crush list as well, a step that could be semi-successful because Instagram is already something of an unofficial dating app itself. Yet, in order to use this feature, if Instagram users need to download the Facebook app, that might discourage a lot of them.
By the end of the year, Facebook plans to add the ability to connect your dating profile to Instagram and Facebook Stories.
Facebook Dating and privacy
People may be reluctant to send more data to Facebook for good reason. Facebook is not actually profiting from its dating service, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) points out, although that could change in the future. It’s hard to imagine the business giving up the opportunity to add its years of user data with the latest data it gathers about its dating,” the organization says, “Facebook might merge your dating profile details with the rest of your account data.
So, while Facebook does not sell your dating details to third-party businesses as of today, you should be aware of the possibility of that move.
When building a profile on Facebook Dating, the app lets you adhere to its terms of service. Your dating profile in Dating is available to everyone,” says the app.” “On your dating profile, your first name, age, and photos are always available.”
Your Facebook Dating profile is different from your standard Facebook profile, so the other will not be affected if you make changes to one. The app also notes that “anyone who joins Dating can see your dating profile, except your current Facebook friends and anyone you have blocked.”
If you delete your Facebook account, your Facebook dating profile will also be deleted in turn.
Is Facebook Dating worth it?
It’s difficult to say if it’s worth downloading Facebook just to build a dating profile because Facebook just rolled out Dating to the U.S. Tinder debuted in 2012, and in recent years, several apps have followed that imitate its user interface and profile. Facebook is coming to the party really late. It also sounds like Facebook’s futile effort to attract younger users over to its app. Single individuals know at this stage which apps they want and how to use them. In 2019, it’s doubtful everybody will be migrating to Facebook Dating, but we’re going to have to wait and see. Next, people really ought to join in.