FACEBOOK BEGINS PUBLICLY testing its online-dating product, called Dating, in Colombia today. The service was first announced at the annual F8 conference in May this year, and will likely be available in other locations in the future. For now, users aged 18 and older in Colombia will be able to create dating profiles and, once those reach a critical mass, find some matches. WIRED got to preview an early version of the service, and it looks promising—especially for users looking for meaningful long-term relationships rather than hookups.
In other words, you can expect to find exactly zero swiping.
Facebook enters the dating-service market years after competitors like Tinder and Bumble, but it starts with a huge advantage: Most people already have Facebook accounts. And while Dating works only on mobile right now, it doesn’t require downloading an additional application to your phone. But in the US at least, younger—and more likely to be single—people say they’re using the social network less. It’s not yet clear whether Dating would be enough to lure them back to the social site preferred by their parents.
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As Facebook announced in May, users will create separate profiles just for the Dating service. The only information ported over is your age and first name; you will need to manually fill out additional required information including your verified location, gender, and the gender(s) of the people you’re interested in matching with. You can also specify your height, religion, job title, where you work, where you went to school, and whether you have children.
You can round out your profile with up to nine total photos or ice-breaker questions provided by Facebook. Currently, there are 20 questions to choose from, like “What does the perfect day look like?” For now, you can’t write your own.
Once your profile is set, Facebook will use a unique algorithm to match you with potential dates, based on factors like things you have in common and mutual friends. You won’t see anyone you’re already friends with on Facebook, nor will you see people you’ve blocked. You can also report and block users with the same tools available elsewhere on the social network.
Facebook restricts potential matches to people located less than 100 kilometers away (there will be a different metric-system equivalent when the product rolls out in the US). Like other dating apps solution, you can also choose only to match with people who live nearby, have children, share the same religion, or fit into a specific age or height bracket.
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“We’re trying to connect people that are open to getting to know each other in the future,” says Nathan Sharp, a product manager at Facebook. “It’s all about opting-in and making sure that people are really intentional.”
As part of that mentality, Facebook Dating doesn’t have a right-or-left swiping mechanism. To sort through potential matches, you’ll need to tap “Not Interested.” Facebook Dating users won’t be able to start a conversation by simply saying “Hey.” Just like the dating app Hinge, users will instead need to respond directly to one of a potential date’s nine photos or questions, like “Was that has taken in Morocco? I’ve been there too!”
Original content share on wired.com
Images Source: Facebook.com