Facebook's new dating service doesn't plan to take out Tinder but is ready to get serious about creating virtual love connections.
The new feature debuted yesterday in Colombia after the F8 announcement in May. Facebook users in the South American country can opt-in to the service and create a profile detailing location, basic bio, and more.
Facebook finds your matches by asking questions about your favorite songs and what a perfect day might look like. You can add pictures from the Facebook account or Instagram profile. Only friends-of-friends or strangers with no mutual friends can be paired to you.
Like Tinder, if you see someone you like you can chat them up in a direct message inbox (separate from your Facebook Messenger inbox), comment on a photo, or answer one of their questions. Likewise, if someone interacts with you and you don't think it's a match, simply tap "not interested."
The feature looks to be a bit like the dating apps Tinder and Hinge. Facebook cuts out the swiping feature and adds a few more stipulations to its service.
You can only find matches within 60 miles (or 100 km), and the service offers a bit more privacy in case you're not keen on oversharing with strangers. Messaging through the service would only allow text and emojis to discourage unsolicited photos. Instead of an endless stream of possible matches, Facebook limits your possible matches to 100 people per day.
"We wanted to make a product that encouraged people to remember that there are people behind the profiles and the cards that they're seeing. We wanted a system that emphasizes consideration over impulse. We want you to consider more than that person's profile photo," Nathan Sharp, Facebook Dating's product manager, told TechCrunch.
The dating service can even give you date ideas in a way. Facebook can match users going to the same event, but you have to "unlock" the event to see who's going.
Facebook said it doesn't have plans to launch a standalone app.
TechCrunch reported that Facebook Dating wasn't a good idea because of the insecurity surrounding privacy and data. Facebook's "algorithm" only leaves users open to further data violations. With a slew of other dating apps and services available, it doesn't seem necessary for Facebook to jump into the game.
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Updated 9/24/18, 4:15 p.m.
- Facebook Dating launched in Colombia yesterday, offering users the potential of finding true love instead of just a one night stand.
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- Online dating study says you're aiming out of your league (CNET)
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