Nearly a year after Facebook began testing in Colombia, Facebook Dating launched in the US on September 5.
Available to users 18 and older, the product will appear as a new tab within the Facebook mobile app. People who choose to opt in to Dating, can create a separate profile from their main Facebook profile. The tool has been touted as a simple way to meet romantic partners among their friends of friends or, if you choose, completely outside of your existing friend network. The social media company hopes the new service will help users start meaningful relationships based on shared interests, events and groups.
The new product will also include a variety of other key features including Secret Crush, which allows users to choose up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you’re interested in. The crush remains secret unless it’s determined by Facebook to be mutual. Facebook Dating also allows users to include Instagram posts to their profiles in an effort to build more effective dating profiles.
Facebook Product Manager Nathan Sharp emphasized that safety, security and privacy are at the forefront of this product. He specified that they worked with experts in these areas to build protections into Facebook Dating from the start, including the ability to report and block anyone; prohibiting people from sending photos, links, payments or videos in messages; and by providing easy access to safety tips. These features and others give you more control and peace of mind.
Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer said, “A feature on Facebook that people don’t trust isn’t going to be successful. We built in privacy from the ground up.” For additional peace of mind, users also have the option to share their live location with friends when they are out on a Facebook Date. CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated that the goal of Facebook Dating is to build meaningful, long-term relationships in lieu of hookups.
With the launch, Facebook Dating is now available in 20 countries. In addition to the United States, it’s now live in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Facebook will roll out the product in Europe early next year.