The company isn’t using data from the dating profiles for ad targeting
Nathan Sharp, product lead for Facebook Dating, said in an interview that the company built features to protect user privacy and safety. New accounts and those who repeatedly violate the site’s rules aren’t allowed on Facebook Dating, he said. You can block or report a profile. Users can’t send photos, videos, payments or links through the dating feature’s messaging service, which could help prevent scams and unwanted images.
“Facebook Dating’s chat service is like a trust sandbox, where you understand whether or not you trust the person enough to take it off to your (messaging service) of choice where you can share things like photos and videos,” Sharp said.
Users of Facebook Dating are able to share when they’re going on a date and their live location with friends or family on Messenger. That could help them feel more comfortable about meeting strangers for the first time.
“One of the things that we’ve learned is that people take safety incredibly seriously in online dating, and for good reason,” he said.
How Facebook Dating compares
When Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg first unveiled its dating service, he said the feature was “going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups.”
Sharp said Facebook Dating has helped users form relationships, but declined to share what percentage of users were in a relationship for longer than a month or six months, or got married.
The company is building Facebook for everybody, Sharp said, even though some features might appeal to users of certain ages. The average age of a Facebook Dating user is younger than the average Facebook user, he said.
Sharp wouldn’t give specifics, but according to eMarketer, Facebook’s US users skew older. The biggest percentage of Facebook users in the US is the group between 25 and 34 years old, at 23%, followed by those in the 35-44 range (19%). About 12% of US Facebook users are between 18 and 24.
Facebook will let you share your live location with friends and family on Messenger before you go on a date.
Unlike its competitors, Facebook chose to release the feature within the social network instead of creating a separate app. Users are able to opt into the feature on its main menu next to other services such as Groups and Events. Your dating profile is separate from your Facebook profile and you’ll see potential matches with friends of friends or others who use the service. The social network suggests matches based on your interests, preferences and other activity on Facebook.
Julie Evelyn Joyce, a 36-year-old Canadian who writes romance novels, said that when the dating feature first launched, she thought Facebook would do something “innovative.” She’s already on the social network so on the plus side she didn’t have to download a new app.
Other users said they were wary about signing up for Facebook Dating because they worried their friends would discover they were on the service.
Seeing mutual friends can help spark a conversation, but Joyce also thinks Facebook Dating doesn’t stand out in a unique way. Joyce has used other dating apps including eHarmony, Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel.
Facebook said its dating feature won’t match you with friends unless you use the Secret Crush feature
On Facebook Dating, you fill out basic profile information such as your city, job and where you went to college and answer ice-breaker questions like what your perfect Sitio de citas vietnamita date looks like. Instead of swiping on profiles like you do on Tinder and Bumble, you tap on a heart icon if you like the person or an X if you don’t. Facebook Dating will show users who liked you. You can also turn on a feature that lets you see if you’re in the same Facebook groups or attended the same concerts or events as other users.