Sixteen months after it first announced its plans, Facebook has today launched its Dating service in the United States. Aside from becoming available for those in the U.S., the company has said it’s now possible to integrate Instagram posts directly into Facebook Dating profiles – the firm now lets you add Instagram followers to your Secret Crush list, in addition to your Facebook friends.
With today’s launch, Facebook Dating is available in a total of 20 countries in Asia and the Americas. In early 2020, the wait will finally be over for those in Europe too. To use Facebook Dating, you must opt-in and create a separate Dating profile. You must be running the most recent version of Facebook and the feature will only be available if you’re 18 or over.
By default, Facebook will not show you the profiles of people in your Facebook friends circle, instead, it will match you with friends of friends or those not in your circle at all based on your preferences, interests, and other Facebook activity. The optional Secret Crush feature will let you select up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers you’re interested in; you’ll be able to interact if they match with you too.
It should be interesting to see how much of a dent Facebook makes in a market where the dating app, Tinder, is very popular. Facebook has approached the dating question differently, putting less emphasis on swiping to match before you can begin chatting. With all the scandals that Facebook has been involved in, such as the one involving Cambridge Analytica, people may be slow to trust Facebook with dating. The company has promised that dating activity will remain separate from the rest of Facebook.