Facebook is launching a dedicated app within an app — just called ‘Dating’ — which is targeted at matching people up to find love. When you take into account that the entity known as Facebook started out as FaceMash, a ‘hot or not’ ranking website, it’s strange that Zuckerberg’s service hasn’t delved into the dating scene sooner.
Facebook executives have made it clear that this newest addition to their platform won’t be aimed at proposing hookups, but rather at finding ‘real love’. Which isn’t that far-fetched an idea. We all know a few people who have found love online. It’s a safe(ish) space to find and connect with people who have similar interests, regardless of what you were told as a youngster. Provided you’re not silly about it, that is.
This move, however, comes at a very strange time. Facebook was recently exposed for sharing the personal data of unsuspecting users, making the timing for Dating’s release especially odd. The new app will deal in very sensitive data concerning romantic partners and specific interests when it comes to finding those romantic partners. Concern for the data that the Dating will require is only natural at this point.
On the other hand, it makes complete sense for Facebook to delve into this industry, since most people already look for connections on Facebook. But how will Facebook’s Dating work?
Users will be able to keep the two versions of their Facebook profiles separate. The Dating profile will only use a first name, and existing Facebook friends won’t appear as potential matches. Dating will also have a dedicated inbox in which you won’t be able to send photos or links — everything will be text (and emoji)-based, as a safety measure.
And here we go with the scary word — algorithm. A unique algorithm will be used to match you with potential dates, based on “dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends.” If you are attending an event, you will be able to ‘unlock’ your profile to view all the other singles — those who match with your interests — attending. This will allow you to link up with one of them and meet them there.
Facebook will start testing Dating later this year, and (apparently) they won’t be using information from Dating to target ads — because that’d just be unethical. Obviously.