Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new dating features for the platform at the company’s annual F8 developer conference. The ‘Dating’ feature will be built inside the Facebook app and help people build “meaningful relationships”. It will have an inbox separate from Messenger and WhatsApp and will match people who are not a user’s Facebook friends. In fact, a user’s ‘Dating profile’ on this Facebook feature will only use the person’s first name. The Dating Profile can be completely hidden from their friends on Facebook.
Facebook ‘Dating’ is being seen as a serious threat to popular dating platforms like Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, etc given the sheer scale and size of the social media network. As already noted, the design of Facebook’s new feature looks very similar to that of Tinder with large photos taking up a majority of space followed by a short profile. Notably, several dating apps already give users an option to log in with their Facebook profile and bring in information from the social networking site such as photos, where they live, etc.
So how will Facebook match people with this new Dating Feature?
Facebook will take advantage of algorithm to suggest potential matches based on things such as dating preferences, mutual friends as well as things matches have in common. Do note that the service will not show a user’s existing Facebook friends as potential matches. Facebook users will also be able to find matches via shared Groups and Events. Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox explained in a presentation video the “unlocking” feature. Essentially, by unlocking an event, users can see people who are going to the same event and have activated the ‘Dating’ profile feature.
How will ‘Dating’ be different from a user’s current Facebook profile
A user’s Facebook profile and ‘Dating’ profile can co-exist with their Facebook friends knowing they have signed up for dating. Zuckerberg insists that the feature is build around privacy and security, and it will help the 200 million users who have listed on the platform as ‘Single’ to find meaningful relationships. ‘Dating’ will be open to all users. This means, users will be able to access ‘Dating’ feature irrespective of whether they have listed themselves as ‘Married’, ‘Single’, ‘In a relationship’, etc.
As a part of safety feature, Facebook will only allow users to send text messages via the ‘Dating’ Inbox. This means, the Inbox will not support links, videos, GIFs, etc. The Inbox on ‘Dating’ will be private, text-only and not connected to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Those already excited about the feature will have to wait a little longer as Facebook will begin testing ‘Dating’ later this year.