Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, and has probably helped create millions of relationships worldwide. But why stay there? In September last year, the dedicated dating platform Facebook Dating was launched in a couple of selected markets, and after a postponed European launch the service is now ready for a number of more countries. Yep, now even lovesick Swedes can create their own dating profile on Facebook.
The service, which is starting to roll out today, is strictly opt-in. This means that you must activate the function for your profile yourself – which then gets a dating-focused “profile in the profile” that is not visible to non-dating. Nothing you do in the love hunt is thus visible on your regular profile and your Facebook contacts do not appear as suggested matches.
Facebook Dating is mobile-based and built around a couple of core functions. One of them is Stories, ie the small video clips you probably recognize from both Facebook and Instagram. These can now also be shared in your dating profile so that people can get to know you a little better.
Events and groups is another way to find like-minded people who are open to meetings. By linking your dating profile to these, you can, for example, get suggestions on other Facebook Dating profiles that plan to visit the same event. In a similar way, you can also see which members of your favorite cat group are looking for a relationship.
Secret Crush is a feature that allows you to mark up to nine existing Facebook contacts as love interests. Of course, they will not be informed of your action, but if they were to activate Dating themselves, they will receive a notice that someone is interested in them. Only when the one you desire marks you which interestingly creates a match and you can start writing in the separate Dating chat.
It is also possible to start video call in Facebook Dating, but only when both are on the notes. This is done in the text chat, where for security reasons it is not possible to send pictures, links, videos or money.
During a pre-launch presentation, Facebook, for obvious reasons, put a lot of pressure on the security and integrity aspect of the new service. Among other things, Dating is linked to your personal Facebook account, which should prevent fake profiles. Users only need to share their location information the first time they activate Facebook Dating and generally have quite a lot of freedom to choose what information about them should be visible to the outside world on the new platform.
Facebook also wants to profile itself as a dating service for the serious. “No quick swipes here” was announced, although the function with matching (likes in this case) nevertheless works in a similar way. Rather, the emphasis is on common interests, groups, and extended circles of friends to help the user find a partner.
Facebook Dating is free to use. The service should also not be used to tailor ads to the user and companies can not target marketing based on dating profiles. Rather, the service can be seen as a new type of argument for why you should hang out more on Facebook. We will evaluate Facebook Dating for some time to come and promise to return with some kind of review.
That’s how you get started
Facebook Dating is available for iOS and Android starting today. You may need to update your Facebook app to get started. When this is done, you will find the new dating function directly in the app’s settings menu by tapping on the hamburger icon at the top right. Then just follow the instructions to publish your new profile and start dating.