What Is Facebook Dating?
With Facebook’s bottomless trove of data on its users, it makes sense to put that to good use to help them find love. That’s the plan for Facebook’s newest, and arguably most adventurous feature to date.
Right now there are roughly 200 million users listed on Facebook as single, so it makes absolute sense to launch such a feature.
Facebook Dating is a brand-new platform that allows single users to view other singles. This is done either by algorithmic suggestion or based on things like events and joined groups. The aim is to help you find a meaningful relationship and to be the go-to place for things a little more serious.
Facebook dating was announced at Facebook’s F8 conference in May, causing a flurry of intrigue and questions. Some of which, I will help answer right now.
It differs from other current online dating applications and will set itself apart as unique in a world growing continuously saturated by online dating.
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When Will Facebook Dating Launch?
As of very recently, Facebook Dating was strictly in beta testing amongst Facebook employees before hitting the public. That all changed on September 20 when Facebook Dating launched in Colombia.
So that leads to the question, when will it be available in your country? No one really knows as of yet, but if testing runs smoothly in Colombia, you can expect Facebook dating in your country soon.
Update: As of May 2023, Facebook Dating is now available in 50+ countries including the US and UK.
Facebook Dating is collecting its first-ever public users, but unfortunately, those Colombian users aren’t able to match with others yet.
The reason being is Facebook needs enough users signed up before it puts its matching machine to work. This could, unfortunately, take a few months, but the good news is that any kinks should be ironed out before Facebook Dating hits the rest of the world.
How Does Facebook Dating Work?
To explain exactly how Facebook Dating works, let me run through the steps of getting started on the feature. A few prefaces before we get into that:
- It will only be available to users 18+ in the U.S. or the adult equivalent in their country
- For now, the feature is mobile only
- Users won’t match with friends, only friends of friends or strangers
- Only others who have opted into Facebook Dating can view you
- No pictures will be able to be sent between matches
- It will be an add-on feature, similar to ‘marketplace,’ not its own app
- It will be separate from the regular Facebook profile and only show first name and age, eliminating any chance of stalking
Okay, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Setting Up Facebook Dating
When Facebook Dating is available in your country, you will see a notice near the top of your newsfeed inviting you to join. Once you opt-in and verify your city using your phone’s location services, you will be prompted to add on details like a bio, workplace, education, religion, and height.
As stated by one of Facebook’s mobile code researchers, Jane Manchun, it is here that you can also select your own personal preferences for each of the above. So if you have a thing for tall people, fear no more trying to screen the right people on Tinder.
Some preference on Facebook Dating:Children: Has Kids, No KidsGender: Man, Woman, Trans Man, Trans Woman, Non BinaryPrivacy: All, No Mutual Friends, Mutual Friends Only (lol)Religion: Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Spiritual— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) July 7, 2018
Next, you can select up to 12 photos either from your existing albums on Facebook, or you can upload your own.
You can also select your identified gender as well as your preference(s). As shown in the picture below, Facebook Dating is allowing for a lot more options than other current dating apps.
These options are Man, Woman, Trans-Woman, Trans-Man or Non-binary. Obviously, Facebook Dating is aiming to create an all-inclusive culture, which can only lift its number of users.
Next, Facebook Dating will urge you to answer up to 20 questions to help your potential matches paint a better picture of who you are. These questions include ‘What does your perfect day look like?’ and ‘Dogs or cats? Something else?’
How To Put Facebook Dating Into Action
Once your Facebook Dating profile has been set up, you will now be able to view other profiles. Facebook Dating works by suggesting to you people its algorithm feels you might like. With so much data on its users, the suggested singles may be really personalized and not so random.
The other way to view other singles is through ‘unlocking’ groups and events you are involved in or attending. You may then browse through other singles that you already have something in common with. This is fairly similar to one of Tinder’s recent features, Places, which launched a few months ago.
A very unique feature included within Facebook Dating is the fact that opening messages are sent based on an aspect within the user’s profile.
If you were wanting to spark a conversation you would need to select something from the person’s profile to start the conversation on, whether an answer to a question, or a picture. This will encourage people to fill their profiles out with consideration and will eliminate non-personalized pickup lines.
After you select that you are interested in someone, their profile will disappear and you will only be able to view them again if and when they show interest in you as well. So no more hopelessly staring at your match’s profile and waiting for a reply.
Let’s say that you showed interest in a potential match, your profile would appear in their ‘Interested’ tab. If they did reply, your profile would then be moved over into the ‘Conversations’ tab where the two of you will be able to chat back and forth.
As of now, it’s unknown how Facebook Dating intends to use its user data to its advantage. It may be as simple as suggesting to you people who have similar interests, or it might even create a criterion of your “type” based on past relationships. The options are limitless.
How Is Facebook Dating Different From Tinder?
Besides some of the obvious differences in features we have just gone through, there are a few resounding differences between the two dating platforms. A difference that Facebook is putting in a lot of effort to emphasize, is that Facebook Dating is tailored to a more relationship-focused demographic.
That’s not to say Tinder users aren’t looking for relationships, as outlined in a recent article ‘What Are Women Really Looking For On Tinder’ but it looks like Facebook Dating has taken measures to create less of a hookup culture. This is obvious by the fact that there is no endless swiping, but more of a carefully considered approach to showing interest in others.
Facebook Dating’s product manager has gone as far as saying that it doesn’t consider Tinder a competitor, but is more focused on beating completion such as eHarmony, Hinge, and OKCupid.
The other big difference is that as of yet, Facebook has no plans to monetize the feature. What that means is that there are no plans for paid subscriptions or add-on features. On top of that, Facebook swears to no ads being shown on the platform, keeping it strictly for finding meaningful connections.
So what do you think about Facebook Dating? Are you going to give it a try? If you’re using Tinder as well as wanting to try this upcoming feature out, check out my free list of 50 funny bios for you to copy.