Will Facebook’s Graph Search Affect Online Dating?

General News
  • Friday, February 01 2013 @ 09:44 am
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We all know the power of social media, especially Facebook. Which is why it's interesting that Facebook has developed its own service similar to an online dating search, helping people to connect with each other.

While Facebook has generally tried to distance itself from online dating in the past, Graph Search seems to be a move in that direction. Graph Search is a search engine (like main competitor Google), which harnesses the power of Facebook information. So you can search for recommendations for people, places, and businesses and gather information about them. For dating purposes, you can type in "friends of my friends who are single and living in Boston," and in theory the service will provide you with some choices and basic information.

Traditionally, people have used Facebook to find and "friend" people they know. But with Graph Search, people can find others outside their social circles and potentially connect.

Some online dating sites have already taken advantage of Facebook's social connections by harnessing the power of Facebook itself, like CoffeeMeetsBagel and Circl.es among others. When you sign up, the services pull information from your Facebook page and match you with friends of friends, so you stay within your particular networks. But with Graph Search, the field can open up. You can search for other single users and filter the results based on their interests, education, age, hometown, and current city for example.

Of course, online dating sites do have an advantage over Facebook's Graph Search: the people who join online dating sites are definitely interested in dating.

Facebook can filter lists of people who are single to contact, but that doesn't mean these singles are in the dating market. If you don't want to be approached by virtual strangers for potential dates, Graph Search might be a motivation for you to shut down your Facebook profile if you start getting unwanted messages. With online dating sites, everyone is there for the same reason, so it's easier to approach people and to get responses.

Another benefit of online dating sites is the ability to cater your profile specifically to romantic searches. People use their Facebook pages for a variety of reasons - some personal, some professional. Facebook "Likes" don't equate with a detailed profile on a site like OkCupid where you can list your favorite music and movies, or write a description of yourself in a flirtatious manner that your mother or boss won't be able to read.

Either way, it's good to have more choices available to meet people and widen your social circles. Let's see how Graph Search will evolve when it comes to online dating.

Once Facebook Graph Search is out of beta and available to the general public we will have to update our dating review for Facebook to include this new tool.