Watch Out Tinder: Facebook Dating May Help You Find Your Perfect Match

IMAGE Elyssa Christine Lopez

It has long been rumored, but really, it was only a matter of time before Facebook played matchmaker and turned its user base into more than “friends.” And while the rest of the Philippines was asleep, it did the inevitable.

On May 1, Facebook announced the Philippines is one of the first 19 countries to use its dating app service. Facebook Dating is the social media giant’s biggest iteration after a slew of privacy issues in recent months. With the newest feature, Facebook takes on some of the dating app industry’s top players like Tinder and Bumble. With more than 200 million people on Facebook listing themselves as “single,” it could easily become a market leader.

Already, and as expected from a new industry entrant, it wants to set itself apart from the rest of the dating app services with its thrust on making “real connections.”

“For a long time now, we’ve seen people use Facebook to connect with old friends, family. But we also started seeing people using Facebook to meet new friends, and to meet for romantic purposes,” Facebook Dating technical program manager Charmain Hung said in a press briefing late April.

“And we know that not everyone who lists themselves as single wants to date and not everyone who wants to date wants to date online, but we do think it’s an incredible opportunity to help people here... Our goal is to make Facebook the single best place to start a relationship online,” she added.

Separate Facebook Dating App

Before going crazy at the thought of having random people asking you out on a date on Facebook, know that the social media giant’s dating service is only optional, meaning, if you don’t want to get into it, you won’t have it. The service will have a separate space inside the Facebook app. This also means that those who wish to use the service has to create a separate and dedicated profile for it, too.


Hung says this will help users to create and curate a profile that may be more appropriate for the dating world. “We understand that the profile you want to show to friends and family may not be the same as when you’re in a dating app,” Hung said.

The only details the Facebook Dating app will lift from the original Facebook account are the user’s name and his or her age. Hung says this is to ensure the safety and privacy of all users.

So how does it work? Unlike some of the biggest dating app services, there are is no swiping done on Facebook Dating. Hung says, the company took away “the games” and made “what’s good about dating offline translate to online dating.”

When you open the Facebook Dating app, the home page will only show “suggestions,” people you may be interested in based on the “preferences, interests, and things you do on the app.” This is where Facebook’s large network base and features get handy, as users may also choose to see “suggested” people based on the events they go to or the groups they are part of.

On that note, the dating app will only show people who aren’t in your network, so no worries about being “matched” with your mom or sister. Still, if you wish to be suggested to friends of friends, it’s an option that can be easily turned on in the app settings. But never will the app suggest a friend in your network.

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Once you find someone who may be of interest to you, just click his or her profile and send a message. If he or she replies, then it’s a match, and both of you may continue to the conversation on Facebook Dating’s separate messaging space.wkeep you apart from those you may have interest in, too. After all, you are already friends on the platform.

For those who are too chicken to ask a Facebook friend out or to make the first move, Facebook Dating has the “Secret Crush” feature. This allows you to select up to nine Facebook friends you have a secret crush on. By placing their name on the list, you may find out if they have a crush on you, too, as Facebook notifies the other party (if they are on Facebook Dating that is) that a friend has a crush on them. If the other person has also placed you on their Secret Crush list, then it’s a match. Otherwise, they will not be notified, so no worries having awkward interactions afterward.

Note, however, that if you do sign up on Facebook Dating today, May 1, the app will show no suggested people as Hung says it will take a few days before the database collects a sizeable user base. As Phil Collins said, you can’t hurry love.

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Elyssa Christine Lopez
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Esquire. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz
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