Facebook’s New Dating Service: Here’s How it Works

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Facebook Dating recently launched in Colombia, months after the company announced the new service at its developer conference in May. There’s been a lot of speculation, but now the first users are getting a taste of how the service will work.

According to Mashable, Facebook Dating is completely separate from your traditional Facebook profile, so you can feel free to search for potential dates without your activity showing up on your main Facebook page. Users can opt-in from the main menu where you find groups, Marketplace, and events. Then you can create a profile by adding photos and information, like where you went to school.

One of the main differences of Facebook’s service (as pointed out by Business Insider), is that Facebook is not matching people within their social media circle like other apps, so there’s no concern you’ll be matched directly with your online friends, which was an initial concern among users. Instead, Facebook Dating is connecting users according to interests and activities. Based on these attributes, Facebook by default will include friends-of-friends as well as strangers unless you only want to see people with no mutual connections.

In fact, Facebook execs believe that utilizing “events” and “groups” in the dating process will be a key factor in competing with other dating apps. As CNET pointed out, if you’ve RSVP’d yes to a music festival, you can connect with someone else going, too. There is also a missed connections feature, where you can connect with someone who attended the same event you did last week, for example.

A second major departure from other dating apps is that Facebook is not utilizing the swiping model. Instead, oversized photos of potential matches are front and center, along with their ages, first names, locations, and how many Facebook friends you may (or may not) have in common. If you tap on a profile, instead of matching, you can see additional photos and answer questions like: “What does your perfect day look like?”

In fact, there aren’t “matches” per se with Facebook Dating; instead, you are able to see who has expressed interest in you regardless of whether you’ve shown interest in them. You can answer questions or “like” their photos (similar to dating app Hinge), rather than swiping left or right. Facebook puts a cap on how many people you can show interest in per day (currently at 100), encouraging users to engage with each other rather than checking out their other options.

Messaging works differently, too. First, it’s kept separate from your Facebook messages, so no need to worry about mingling. Also according to website Mashable, you can only message potential dates over Facebook Dating when you have acknowledged something in their profile, for example answering a question or liking one of their pictures. And if you message someone first? You aren’t connected until that person messages you back.

Facebook hasn’t yet announced when it will be rolling out the service to more markets. For more information on this service you can read our Facebook Dating review.