Many people all over the world “weaponize” their Facebook profiles and inbox to find dates on the world’s biggest social media platform. The Mark Zuckerberg’s $762.23 billion company is likely to become more valuable as it introduces very innovative features to help users find dates.
American social media giant Facebook is known for its insatiable thirst for growth, as the conglomerate has over the years acquired multiple instant messaging platforms and networking services. Now, it appears to be furthering its foray into other territories following the announcement that its relatively new dating function is set to make its European debut.
Called Facebook Dating, it is expected to rival the likes of Tinder, OkCupid, Clover and Bumble. It is not a separate app from the Facebook app itself, but a built-in feature that allows users to find secret admirers among their Facebook friends. This is how it works: users “secretly” select up to nine friends they would like to date. If one of those users also happen to include them among their own list of nine friends they would potentially date, a match is immediately recorded and both users will be revealed to each other. Since its initial, limited launch in 2018, the feature has recorded 1.5 billion matches in 20 countries.
According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, during the initial launch, over 200 million people on Facebook list themselves as “single” and the purpose of the function is to help them connect with other singles in order to establish meaningful connections.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships—not just for hookups,” Zuckerberg said.
“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning. Your friends aren’t going to see your profile, and you’re only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends.”
“People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better,” Facebook explained in a statement during the launch. ”People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile – and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends.
“They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events. However, what people do within the dating feature will not be shown to their friends. We’ll share more information when this begins testing later this year.”
In a bid to keep the dating experience safe and exciting during the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook announced back in April that it was launching a video call feature which allows users to go on dates virtually. It would join other dating apps like Hinge, Match, Bumble and eHarmony who already embraced the video-calling feature.
Facebook Dating is now set to be available in 32 European countries including Spain, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Latvia, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and many others. The function was made available in the United States in September 2019. It is also available in Brazil, Canada, Bolivia, Vietnam, Guyana, Malaysia, Ecuador, Singapore and the Philippines. Plans to unveil the feature in African countries like Nigeria are yet to be announced.