Social media giant Facebook has released its dating service in the US, which promises to offer users “a more authentic look at who someone is” before their first date.
- Facebook Dating does not allow users to send photos or weblinks to potential matches and lets people share their location to trusted friends while on a date
- The service will not match users with people they are already Facebook friends with, unless they opt to use the ‘Secret Crush’ function
- A spokeswoman said the service is likely to come to Australia, but could not say when that would be
Users over the age of 18 will have the choice to opt into the service and create a dating profile separate to their main Facebook profile.
The service will then present a user with suggested matches, which Facebook Dating product manager Nathan Sharp said will be based on “your preferences, interests and other things you do on Facebook”.
The service was already available to users in 19 other countries, such as Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Facebook plans to roll datingranking.net/fr/rencontres-desactivees/ out the service in Europe next year, but it is unclear what the company has planned for Australia.
“It is likely that it will roll out here, however, no roadmap or timeline has been set as yet,” she said.
Facebook promises dating service will be ad-free
Despite the company’s assertions that it has “embedded privacy protections into the core of Facebook Dating”, some users are wary of the service.
Seth Carter, 32, an engineer from Indiana, US, tried a host of dating apps ranging from Match to Bumble, Tinder and Christian Mingle before his current relationship.
But he worries that Facebook’s stated commitment to privacy would ultimately buckle under pressure to make money off the service.
The service quickly became a trending topic on Twitter following Thursday’s announcement, with many voicing their cynicism over the venture.
But the company insists it will not use information gleaned from dating profiles for advertising and says there won’t be ads on Facebook Dating.
The company earns money from advertisements and offers tools to advertisers to target potential customers, earning nearly $17 billion from ad sales in the quarter ended June 30.
No unexpected pics
The platform will not allow users to send photos, payments or website links in messages to their matches, which could help cut down on unsolicited photos.
As a safety measure, people using Facebook Dating can share details of their upcoming date and their live location with someone they trust through the Facebook Messenger feature.
Users will be able to choose how they present themselves in their dating profile, meaning they can leave out information such as their hometown or occupation.
The idea is to match users with friends of friends, however, the service allows for matching outside their Facebook friendship circle.
‘Secret Crush’ option for friends you fancy
Users will not be matched with people they are already “friends” with on the platform unless they’re added to their in the Secret Crush list.
“If you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you’re interested in,” Mr Sharp said.
“If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them.
“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.”
When he announced the feature last year, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook Dating is “not just for hook-ups” but to build “meaningful, long-term relationships”.