Standing out can be a challenge when it comes to the world of online dating. There’s “High There!” for cannabis enthusiasts, “Farmers Only” for singles who are wary of weeding out so-called city folk and also, “Gluten Free Singles” for people trying to find a like-minded match both in the alimentary and romantic sense.
Apparently plain in comparison, yet much more widespread in scope, Facebook has also launched Thursday its own Internet matchmaking service, “Dating.” Although it’s not as niche, the app expects to be a bit safer in a time when talking to strangers online is a norm.
It is simpler for users to connect with that special someone with “Share Your Plans” which includes a location-sharing feature. More importantly, it also lets users share their live location with friends or roommates for a certain period of time so they can trace them if their date is a person they haven’t previously met or turns out to be a fraud.
The in-app messaging feature is text only for the same reason, much to the relief of anyone who has received an unwanted, inappropriate image during a typical texting conversation.
Charmaine Hung, a product manager at Facebook Dating, told CNN, “We know (these) can really ruin peoples’ dating experiences. So we want to make sure that you can build trust with someone before, of course, moving into your chat service of choice afterward.” He added that the company is “definitely playing around with the timing” of location sharing, ensuring that people aren’t revealing their live location longer than originally intended.
Also, the app turns away from the tiring motion of swiping through different profiles. Rather, users must give a like to a person’s profile and directly respond to one of their photos or start a conversation with something like, “What does the perfect day look like?”
If users do not like the potential partner, they can go for the “Not Interested” option. If they do it by accident or are simply unsure, users can check a person’s profile again with the “Second Look” feature.
The app comes as a separate tab on Facebook’s main menu, so it won’t be shown if they are using it unless they want to. An intriguing segment of the app is the “Secret Crush” which encourages users to encourages users to enlist nine of their Facebook friends they might be interested in. If they are also on their friends’ list, then they will be matched in an unexpected pairing that some doubt could also go terribly wrong.
Alex Berg tweeted, “Yeah, I definitely want to give Facebook Dating access to my ‘Secret Crushes’ and the last bit of personal, intimate data they haven’t already collected on me. What’s not to trust?”