Facebook is rolling out its first-ever DATING service in the US today that will give users the chance to court their ‘Secret Crush’
- Facebook Dating, the platform’s new service, is being rolled out in the US today
- The app will let Facebook users explore relationships with other users
- Users can set their profile to include friends of friends and people not in-network
- A feature called ‘Secret Crush’ will connect direct Facebook friends
- Facebook users can create a profile and like and comment on other members’
- The service will connect Instagram followers and connect Instagram pictures
Facebook is taking a swipe at Tinder with a new dating service that is being rolled out today.
The newly released service, called Facebook Dating, will harness the power of the platform’s user data, including what you like, what events you go to, and what groups you’re a part of, to connect you to both Facebook and Instagram users who have opted in.
Unlike other major dating apps like Tinder, however, Facebook won’t require users to mutually ‘match’ before being able to connect, and instead will let participants browse profiles via a familiar card-style cue and interact with the ones that interest them.
Facebook says users can interact with profiles in two ways: by liking a profile to let someone know that they’re interested or by commentating directly on a picture.
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Facebook is jumping into the dating game with its new Facebook Dating service that will allow users to connect with people in and outside of their friend network.
If users aren’t particularly taken by the profile suggestion, they can pass by clicking an ‘X’ button and moving on through the cue.
To avoid the inevitable awkward situation of suggesting two platonic friends, or worse, Facebook said users will be able to select the type of people recommended to them, including ‘friends of friends and/or people not in your friend circle.’
That doesn’t mean one’s Facebook friends are off limits, however. A feature called ‘secret crush’ allows dating hopefuls to add up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers to a list.
If both of the users add each other to the list, it will allow notify each.
‘If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list too, it’s a match! If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list — then no one will know that you’ve entered their name,’ said the platform.
Facebook says users can add Instagram pictures to their profiles directly, and will allow users to upload both Facebook and Instagram stories to their Dating profiles by the end of the year.
Facebook Dating may appeal to users who have soured on other, less personal, dating apps and are looking for a more curated experience.
Secret Crush (pictured above) gives users the option to connect with their direct friends. If both users mutually add one another to the list, they will be notified.
How exactly the platform will balance that personalization with user privacy, however, remains an open question.
Facebook and other major tech companies like Google have come under increasing scrutiny for their lapses in users privacy, which have drawn the ire of regulators.
WHERE WILL FACEBOOK DATING BE AVAILABLE?
In addition to the US, Facebook Dating is currently available in 19 other countries:
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
It will be in Europe by early 2020.
Though the company says it will allow users a great deal of control over which Facebook users see their information — including the ability to hide specific about gender identity and block certain people from seeing your profile — it makes no reference to how it will use the data generated by the service for its own purposes.
Instead, the company opts to make somewhat boilerplate statements on user privacy like:
‘We’re committed to protecting people’s privacy within Facebook Dating so that we can create a place where people feel comfortable looking for a date and starting meaningful relationships.’
As the company looks to assuage users of any potential privacy breaches, however, Facebook has continued to show rather shocking gaps in its security standards.
A recent report from TechCrunch revealed that Facebook exposed the phone numbers of 419 million users by leaving their numbers in an online database without a password.
That lapse exposed 133 million US accounts, more than 50 million in Vietnam, and 18 million in Britain.
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