Facebook has always maintained that its goal is to help people connect with one another. And now, with the launch of its Dating app, Facebook claims that it will help you find the love of your life.
Facebook officially launched its much-awaited Facebook Dating service in the US on Thursday. And a lot of users are still confused as on how exactly this app works. In this article, we will be looking at exactly that.
User Profile and Dating
Users will have the option to add info to their dating profile from their Facebook profile. Facebook, however, claims that this service will operate independently of the main platform. The company has faced a lot of criticism over the past few years due to unethical practices involving user data.
Initially, the profiles will only contain the user’s first name. But then, they can add more information such as height, nationality, schools, gender, etc. Users can also add their dating preferences. Facebook has tried to make this app as inclusive as possible, which completely makes sense given the magnitude of its user base. Users will have the option to select between cis woman, trans woman, cis man, trans man or nonbinary as gender. In dating preferences, they can choose between everyone, all women, trans women, all men and trans men.
Users can also feature up to 9 photos on their profiles and add a few ice breaker questions to help start up the conversation with someone they are matched to.
In its core, Facebook Dating is no different from the plethora of dating apps available in the market today (the likes of Tinder or Hinge). You have the option to like someone and if they like you back, you will be connected and you can start a conversation. Unlike swiping left or right on Tinder, users of Facebook Dating will have to tap on a heart button to like someone or on a “X” button to pass.
One unique feature offered by Facebook Dating however could be a potential game changer. It is called “Secret Crush”.
Users will have the option to add up to 9 friends/followers from their Facebook or Instagram onto a list of their secret crushes. When you add someone on to this list, they will receive a notification. But your identity will be kept a secret. If they in turn also add you to their list of secret crushes, you will be notified and then paired. Facebook claims that this service will help people form relationships with people they know but are too scared to approach or ask out.
The Dating Industry
Online dating is currently a $3 billion dollar industry and it’s leaders include the likes of Tinder, OKCupid and Bumble. But Facebook entering the scene could bring dramatic changes to the industry. In the US, seven in every ten adults have a Facebook account. That amounts to a user base of a whopping 221 million people. Tinder, in contrast, has a measly user base of 3.8 million people. And although Facebook isn’t particularly popular among teenagers in the US, this won’t matter much to the Dating App. Facebook dating is only available to users aged 18 years or older.
This drama has already been reflected on the market. On the day Facebook announced its dating service, the stock price for Match Group (MTCH) fell 15%. Match Group is the parent company that owns Tinder and OKCupid. This Thursday, with the launch of Facebook Dating in the US, prices for MTCH fell 6%.
Facebook Dating was first launched in 2018, in 19 different countries, viz. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. But users in the US and Europe have always been Facebook’s target market. Facebook Dating rolled out in the US this week, and is expected to launch in Europe in early 2020.