By Zoe Bradbury
Facebook are about to launch their own dating app.
So pursuing a crush on Facebook will no longer rely on waiting for them to accept a friend request. Facebook will launch its own dating app platform as part of the site, and it’s designed to “build long-term relationships- not just hook-ups,” says CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg says the inspiration behind the new feature came after couples who had met on Facebook have repeatedly thanked him over the years.
“One in three U.S. marriages now start online,” he said.
The social media network first announced it would begin developing its foray into the world of dating apps in May 2018, but it only began rolling out trials in late November this year in Colombia, Canada and Thailand. It is expected to hit other countries soon.
There’s no need to download a separate app either, as the dating feature will be integrated into the regular Facebook platform, similar to other Facebook programs such as Marketplace.
Here’s a look at how Facebook Dating will work.
Only users who are over 18 and opt in can access the feature, and it is hidden from current friends, meaning no one can see who is on it, so privacy is not an issue.
In building a dating profile, users can upload up to 12 photos of themselves and specify their gender, sexual orientation and location, while also including information such as a bio, education, workplace, religion, height and whether they have children.
They can also answer questions about their personality, such as “what does your perfect day look like?” or “what song makes you sing along out loud?”
Facebook’s Dating product manager Nathan Sharp says these types of questions users to consider the person behind the profile, a “system that emphasises consideration over impulse.”
Unlike other dating apps, there’s no swiping involved.
By clicking “interested” or “pass”, the user is then connected to the person that matches with them.
These matches are selected via a Facebook algorithm that considers common likes, mutual friends and events nearby that both people would be likely to – or already have – attended.
They are then required to send a message that is related to their photos or questions, which creators say is designed to remove the cheesy pick-up lines and instead begin to build meaningful relationships beyond the person’s profile picture.
Another unique feature is the “second look” option, that allows users to reconsider someone they may have previously passed on.
Photos and links can also not be sent via the platform, reducing the likelihood of inappropriate pictures and spam. If users want to communicate further, they must exchange details to connect elsewhere, either online or in person.
With more than 200 million people listing their relationship status as single, and with all the information Facebook gathers about people’s interests and activities, it seems Facebook may become the next online-dating powerhouse.
Stay tuned for when the program is launched in Australia.