At the first day of its annual F8 conference held on May 1st in San Jose, California, Facebook announced a slew of updates to its existing products and platforms. The social media giant has decided to take on Tinder through its own dating app Facebook Dating. Facebook Dating will be an integral part of Facebook app and will be available as an extra feature and not a standalone app. The Verge has reported that; four months after its announcement Facebook has begun its trial run of Facebook Dating service in Columbia yesterday(September 20) and users in the Country aged 18 and above will be able to create dating profiles and browse for matches located within 100 kms. Unlike some other apps, you won’t be able to change your virtual location to browse for matches elsewhere. Instead, if you’re visiting a new place, you’ll have to verify your location again within Facebook Dating.
When searching for matches, the company takes into account signals like your location, shared page likes, similarities between your Facebook profiles, and mutual friends. When browsing, you’ll see a selection of people you can “express interest” in by tapping a photo or an answer to a question prompt. Like Hinge, you can then add a note and send it to the person you’re interested in. The recipient can then either send a message back or ignore it. As per the report, one will be able to find some matches when a certain number of users start using the service and it is said to be tailored for those users who are looking for meaningful long-term relationships rather than hookups.
Facebook Dating reportedly breaks away from the swiping model that Tinder popularized and many other dating apps also adopted. Instead of swiping mindlessly, it will ask users to answer some questions and start conversations based on similarities that two people share in their profiles. Facebook Dating will also benefit from its integration with Groups and Events and other features of the social media platform to expand the dating pool and encourage users to meet in public. “Dating has been a behavior that we’ve seen on Facebook for a really long time,” product manager Nathan Sharp said in an interview with The Verge. “We want to make it easier and more comfortable for people to engage in. We just thought that now was the right time.”
As per the report, while setting up the dating service on Facebook, only the first name and age of a user are imported from their Facebook profile. They are then asked to write a short introduction for themselves and to state what the person is seeking. The dating profile is said to include photos and answers to Facebook’s question prompts, such as “what does your perfect day look like?” and one will be able to select from up to nine photos and answers on iOS, and up to 12 on Android. The images can be carried over from the user’s Facebook account, Instagram or one can choose to upload them from their device.
Facebook Dating won’t be currently available on desktops and can be accessed only by app users . One will be able to access it via the hamburger menu that is on the upper right corner. The service is currently tested in Columbia as a free service without any ads or premium features. Facebook often experiments with new features and apps for a year or longer as it searches for a winning formula. If Dating takes off in Colombia, it could be promoted to a more prominent place within the app, or even to an app of its own.