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Move Over Tinder, Facebook’s Dating App Wants To Help You Make A ‘Love Connection’

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Facebook has maintained its formidable status as a disruptive behemoth on the Internet since its inception. But who knew that the social media giant would one day play matchmaker? That’s right, Facebook wants single people to find love online, and the company has created an app to meet Mr. or Ms. Right. Not to worry, Facebook has promised the app won’t outright match anyone with their friends, and whatever chatting goes on between potential dates will be strictly confidential. If you are all about playing the field, think again. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s intention for this dating service is to establish “real long-term relationships – not just hookups.”

Finding The One

Navigating the challenges of dating can be stressful enough offline, and online dating has had its share of stigma, and risks of unsolicited nudes. People may worry about bullying, harassment, or getting catfished online, so what to do? Enter Facebook to the rescue. The world’s most popular social media platform already boasts over 2 billion active users and 200 million of those users are single. Anyone who has used dating apps like Tinder or Bumble are familiar with being required to link their Facebook profile, so the world of online dating isn’t entirely unfamiliar territory. Before Facebook announced its plans for a dating app, the platform has naturally led to couples meeting, getting married, and eventually having kids.

Not everyone was overly thrilled about the idea of Facebook coming out with a dating app. Hannah McGoldrick, who goes by byHannaMcG on Twitter had this to say, “Facebook is creating a dating app.  Because, you know, nothing screams romance like a potential partner seeing all of your awkward high school photos.” Zuckerberg has made sure to design the app so that the dating profile would be separate from a user’s Facebook profile. Also, privacy settings can be adjusted, dispelling any fears about what information gets out, or that Facebook friends will automatically see your dating profile.

Features Worth Checking Out

So, what exactly makes Facebook different when it comes to its dating app? A lot. Instead of swiping through photos, Facebook tries to make online dating a richer experience and less superficial. When filling out a dating profile, users can choose up to nine pictures and answer up to 20 questions to find their better half. Users interested in online dating have to opt-in, and details like your gender and verified location have to be entered manually. Based on common shared interests, mutual friends, and the power of an algorithm, Facebook will show you potential dates within a reasonable distance. Daters can select whether they want to match with someone based on height, religion, or in a specific age range.

For added assurance, neither friends nor blocked users will ping as a potential date. Before striking up a conversation with someone, daters will have to respond to a photo or question first. Nathan Sharp, a product manager at Facebook, stated, “We’re trying to connect people that are open to getting to know each other in the future.” Security and intention are priorities with Facebook’s dating features, as users will not be able to send links or payment on the separate messenger. Anyone who wants to connect to someone based on being a part of the same groups, or because they are attending the same event have to “opt-in” to being discovered. When things get more serious, you’ll have to exchange phone numbers or find another chat platform.

Online Dating Game

After taking the world by storm in Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, Singapore, and other countries, Facebook is making a move to bring its online dating app to US users. In addition to the standard dating options, users can look forward to choosing the “Secret Crush” feature to select nine friends they’d consider a dating match.

In response to Facebook’s release of its dating app, competitors like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge are on their toes and scrambling to keep up. Facebook users in the US will have to wait with bated breath until they get their chance at romance on the social media platform.

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