Facebook Dating Announces ‘Secret Crush’ Feature

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Got a secret crush on someone in your friend circle? Facebook now has a feature for that. At its annual F8 developer conference, the social networking company unveiled the newest addition to its dating product: Secret Crush.

Secret Crush allows users to select up to nine Facebook friends they want to stealthily express interest in. Each user who is selected will receive a notification saying “A friend added you as a secret crush.” The sender’s name will not be revealed unless the recipient also puts the sender on their Secret Crush list. If a mutual crush occurs, Facebook will make the match and reveal the names. If their feelings are not reciprocated, the secret admirer’s identity will remain a secret.

Wired contributor Louise Matsakis expressed reservations about the new feature. “It’s not hard to imagine how Secret Crush could go wrong,” she wrote. “You could easily prank or even bully someone by adding them to your crush list under false pretenses.”

Matsakis also called attention to the fact that Secret Crush is not the first feature of its kind. “Other modern dating apps haven’t tried it, but that doesn’t exactly mean Secret Crush is innovative,” she noted. “One of Facebook’s oldest social media competitors, Friendster, introduced a similar feature way back in 2012. The dating site GoodCrush, first launched at Princeton University in 2007, also had a nearly identical premise.”

What Facebook has that its predecessors and competitors do not is a staggering amount of data on its users. Perhaps that will give it an edge as a matchmaking service, or perhaps that will make users too wary to sign up. Facebook’s numerous high-profile scandals in recent years do not inspire confidence about the company’s attitude toward privacy and consumer data.

Facebook currently has no plan to monetize dating and insists it will not use data from Dating or Secret Crush to make content or advertising decisions. “All activity that occurs in FB Dating stays in FB Dating and will not be shared externally,” a spokesperson said.

If you’re dying to know which of your friends are secretly infatuated with you, sign up for Facebook Dating to receive Secret Crush notifications. Facebook initially rolled out its Dating service to Canada, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina. The company announced it will be expanding to 14 new countries at the F8 conference, including Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and Suriname. Facebook Dating is not yet available in the United States.