Facebook Dating was initially announced last year, but during this year’s F8 conference, the social media giant disclosed more details and enabled it in 14 more countries. One of the most important details is that it’s supposedly built for privacy. The company strives to build a dating network which won’t create awkward situations with friends and family.
“People have told us that they believe there is an opportunity to explore potential romantic relationships within their own extended circle of friends,” Facebook said in a statement. “ So now, if you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends who you want to express interest in.”
Facebook Dating is now available in 19 countries, and a U.S. launch is expected by the end of the year, according to TechCrunch. Facebook Dating will also add a new feature called Secret Crush, which goes beyond classifications of “strangers” or friends-of-friends. Facebook will enable its users to choose up to nine friends to express a romantic interest in. If those users opt to use Facebook Dating, they’ll be notified if one of their friends lists them as one of their crushes. If that person adds the other back as a Secret Crush, they can start chatting on Messenger.
“I have 2,000 Facebook friends. I’m not best friends with all 2,000 people, and there’s a good chance that one of that could be a really good match with me,” Facebook Dating Product Manager Charmaine Hung told TechCrunch. “ I trust them, I appreciate them and I know we’re compatible. The only thing missing is knowing if we’re both interested in being more than just friends without the fear of rejection if you were to do this in real life.”
Facebook announced the Dating feature at F8 last year, and the feature initially launched in Colombia in September. Users first must enable the feature and then are allowed to browse different Events and Groups to find matches. Users are able to send a text message to others’ Dating inboxes, and if any of them respond, they can continue communicating or even meet up. Facebook Dating is set to open in the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and Suriname.
Facebook Dating’s Secret Crush feature might come with some concerns for people who don’t want to receive spam messages, like from those who constantly add and remove people from their list of crushes just to find a match. Facebook addresses this issue by allowing users to remove or add only one person per day after the original list of nine people is full.
Facebook won’t monetize Dating, at least for now. Hopefully the feature will prove useful when it comes to socializing or even finding your soulmate. After a long period of scandals for the company, it now must regain people’s trust.