If you’re sick of continuously swiping, there’s a new player on the online dating scene called Facebook Dating. The feature has been available in 19 countries including Canada, Brazil, and Thailand, but starting today, U.S. users can now look for dates on the social media platform in the hopes of becoming “Facebook official.”
Facebook users that are at least 18 can create a separate Dating profile from their regular Facebook profile within the existing Facebook mobile app. You can integrate photos from your Instagram profile in your Dating profile as well.
Unlike other dating apps like Tinder or Bumble, where you swipe to find a “match,” Facebook Dating suggests people based on your interests and preferences. To let someone know you’re interested, you can either comment on their profile or use the “Like” button. You can also choose to match with people who attend or attended the same Facebook events, or are part of the same Facebook groups as you.
There’s even a “Secret Crush” feature where you can let someone among your Facebook friends or Instagram followers know that you’re interested. However, if you find it awkward seeing people you know pop up on your dating apps (“Should I swipe right out of courtesy?”), Facebook allows you to opt in or opt out of suggesting people within your network.
“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. It takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is,” said Nathan Sharp, product manager of Facebook Dating, in announcing the feature.
To set it apart from other dating apps, Facebook Dating will allow you to integrate your Instagram stories into your profile to “help you show, rather than tell, who you are.” Facebook said this feature would be available by the end of the year.
Another feature Facebook hopes will differentiate its offering from others is the ability to let people share details of their date — like their date’s name, the time, and the location — with whomever they choose. Users can share this information with someone they trust via Facebook Messenger for added security when meeting someone for the first time.
Dating apps like Bumble and Tinder rely on data from people’s Facebook profiles, such as if a potential match has any friends in common with you. According to Wired, Facebook will not cut off these apps’ access to this information.
The dating app world is definitely about to become even more crowded with the addition of Facebook Dating. There’s Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, Grindr, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, and countless more, so be prepared for even more app-switching.
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