Are American Facebook users ready to trust the social media giant, with a known history of privacy mishandling, with their dating lives? The company certainly hopes so, with the launch of Facebook Dating.
As Tech Crunch reports, on Thursday Facebook launched the long-expected dating feature in the United States, after already having rolled it out in 19 other countries. The feature allows users to integrate their Instagram posts into their dating profile, and to add their Instagram followers to a "Secret Crush" list. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
How It Works
As Forbes explains, as of this writing the feature is only available on mobile devices, and doesn't require any further downloads. Simply access the menu in the top right (or bottom right, depending on which version of the app you're using and on which device) on your existing Facebook app and select "Dating," in the same way that you would select "Marketplace" or "Groups."
From there, users who want to make use of the app to find possible love connections can fill out a dating profile, and select what information they want shown in their dating profile. Users can show as much or as little as they want: they can either show only their first and last names (which are auto-populated), or they can show everything there is to share about them, or something in between.
And of course, users can select whom they're interested in dating, be it cisgender men, cis women, transgender men, transgender women, or nonbinary.And rather than swiping left or swiping right, users will click a heart to express interest in a possible match, or can pass by hitting X.
Finally, the procedure can be updated to integrate Instagram; users can add their Instagram photos, but not their Instagram user ID, to their Facebook Dating profiles.
"From this point on, Facebook Dating looks nearly identical to other dating services," says Forbes writer Michael Nuñez.
Tech Crunch writer Sarah Perez, noted that Facebook has had more than its share of negative media attention (and lawsuits, and fines) over its handling of user privacy. However, she added that the company has taken several steps to make sure that users' profiles are kept private.
For example, none of the people who are already your Facebook friends will see your Facebook Dating profile, or indeed, even know that you have one. Further, you can opt to be shown only people with whom you have no friends in common. And, you can exclude people preemptively, so if you don't want your ex knowing you're back out in the market, you can preemptively block him or her from seeing your Facebook Dating profile.