On May 1, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook, the biggest social media network, will be launching a new dating feature. Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive officer of Facebook unveiled these plans while making a speechat Facebook’s annual F8 developers’ conference that was held in San Jose, California. While Introducing this new feature, Mark Zuckerberg noted that out of three marriages in the US, one starts online. And since at least 200 million users of the site identify themselves as being single, creating a Facebook dating feature could possible help some people meet their lifelong partners.
He emphasized that the aim of this new app was to help people find and create meaningful relationships and hopefully long-term partners and not just hookups.
While there are already plenty of dating apps available online like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Match and OkCupid, Facebook boasts advantages many of them do not have. For instance, Facebook has 2.2 billion daily active users, and it is will also be offering the dating service for free. The effects of Facebook’s new dating feature have already been seen with other dating apps like Match reporting stock drops after the announcement. However, seeing that Facebook is still reeling from privacy scandal, the competitors say they do not feel threatened by the new dating feature. Still, Facebook is still betting that majority of its users still trust the network with their information. So far, they have the numbers to back up that bet.
What is Facebook Dating?
People have been using Facebook to meet people for the longest time now. This new dating feature will only work to make the experience better. Under this new feature, users will be able to create a new and separate dating profile that is not visible to their network of friends. The potential matches recommended will be based on dating preferences, mutual acquaintances and any other points in common. This feature will be available to all Facebook users free of charge.
According to Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, the new dating feature will be “opt-in” and “safe”. He went ahead to show how a user’s hypothetical profile will look like. He stated that the dating profile will be distinct from the individual’s regular profile and that it would also be accessed in a different section of the site. The site will use only the first name and will only be visible to those using the service.
How will this new dating feature on Facebook work?
For you to access this feature, you will need to register a Facebook account. Hence, those who do not already have one, but still need the app will be required to create a Facebook app.
•Once you are logged in, Opt-in to create a profile by clicking on the heart icon, to enter the Dating Home.
•Once you have accessed Dating home, set up your unique dating profile with just your first name and any other information you may deem necessary. This profile will not be visible to your Facebook friends. It will also not show up in the News Feed section.
•Now, browse events near you and any groups that meet your interest. Once you find an event you would like to attend, unlock the physical world event.
•This will allow your dating profile to be shared with other people interested in going to the same event. You will also be able to see who is attending and browse through their profile including photos and some basic information about them. You will show people based on mutual friends and interests among other data Facebook has on you.
•If you someone catches your interests, you can initiate a private conversation with them. Once they reply to your message, you will be able to start a conversation in a special inbox.
As a safety precaution, Facebook says that the conversation will be in text mode only. All dating conversations will remain detached from Whatsapp and Facebook Messager. This application aims to mirror how people actually meet and date, where people meet at events and institutions they are connected to.
How will Facebook Dating be different from the normal Facebook profile and other dating sites?
A user’s standard Facebook profile and the Dating profile will coexist without their Facebook friends knowing that they have signed up for dating. According to Zuckerberg, this new feature is built around privacy and security to help the millions of singles on Facebook to find lasting and meaningful relationships. This feature will be open to all Facebook users regardless of their relationship status. Hence, even if you have listed yourself as married, in a relationship or single, you can still access this feature.
With regard to other dating apps, Facebook Dating looks similar to other mobile-friendly dating apps like Bumble and Tinder with pictures taking up most of the space. However, the most distinct feature about this app is that unlike other dating apps, Facebook dating will be more community focused, with major integrations from the events and groups you are a part of on the platform.
Mark Zuckerberg reported that “Clear History” is one of the features that will be opened in an attempt to emphasize data privacy even for the dating feature. This feature will allow users to view all apps and websites that send data to Facebook when being used. Users will have the option to delete this data from their account. This feature is a lot like clear history that is already available in web browsers that allows users to erase their footpath across the web. Users will also be able to turn off Facebook ability to hoard any more of their data in the future.
The announcement was made amidst vows to make privacy protection its top priority following the recent Cambridge Analytics Scandal.As part of the safety feature, Facebook dating will not allow users to send links, videos GIFs or photos.
Facebook Dating Launch Date
Those already excited about this new feature will have to wait for a little Longer, as this feature will be officially launched later this year. The details on the Facebook dating feature are still unclear, with Cox saying that they will announce more information, including the date of release ad rollout information on the features of the app later in the year, after the testing phase. Since Facebook has more data on you than any other platform, it is highly likely to deliver more relevant matches.