Facebook launched its in-app dating service Thursday in the United States, the 20th country where the feature has premiered.
Facebook Dating exists within the Facebook app in its own tab. The potential matches that come up in Facebook Dating are not your existing Facebook friends, but instead other Facebook users who have also opted into the service.
Facebook Dating is designed to compete with popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, and the design of Facebook’s service will be familiar to those who have used rival services. Although Facebook Dating skirts the standard swiping motion for a more scrollable feed-like look, the appearance of potential matches and the actions you take to express interest aren’t new.
Like Hinge, users can express interest to a potential match by either liking their profile or commenting on a photo or other aspect of their profile. You can also see the profiles of people who have expressed interest in you first.
Additionally, users can choose whether they want to see potential matches that they have mutual friends with by toggling on or off a feature in Facebook Dating.
An advantage over other dating apps
Facebook has the distinct advantage over other dating apps of having close access to your profile, something that other dating apps regularly draw from or ask you to sign in with to verify your identity. Facebook Dating allows you to filter your potential matches by people who are part of certain Facebook Groups or who have attended certain events on Facebook in the past or future. So, if you want to make sure your Facebook Dating matches are fellow dog lovers, you can do that by filtering your matches by people who are among the 600,000 members of Dogspotting Society.
“We want people to remember that they’re dealing with people, not cards,” Facebook product lead Nathan Sharp told Business Insider.
Facebook Dating is also entirely free, unlike other dating apps for which you have to pay for premium features and additional chances at potential matches.
“If you’re looking for love, we don’t want to keep the best features behind a paywall,” Sharp said.
One of the most interesting features of Facebook Dating, added at the end of April, is called Secret Crush. The feature allows you to secretly choose nine existing Facebook friends you have a romantic interest in, and will notify you if one of your Secret Crush selections also puts you in that list. However, Facebook announced Thursday it was adding the ability to list Instagram followers on Secret Crush as well.
That and two other Instagram-centric Facebook Dating features, also announced Thursday, show Facebook’s continued efforts to unify its brands under one company. Facebook Dating users will also be able to add their Instagram posts to their profiles. By the end of the year, Facebook says Facebook Dating users will be able to post Stories on their profile that they first posted on either Facebook or Instagram’s Stories features.
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