Facebook is diving into the dating pool!

Earlier this year Facebook announced that they would be adding a dating feature to its platform. It’s simply called, ‘Facebook Dating’.

Testing has begun in Columbia, I’m not sure why it’s starting there but fingers crossed all will go to plan and if you are single and ready to mingle, you could find your perfect partner on Facebook soon.

This time last year, I would have happily been a guinea pig for their new dating feature. If internet dating was an event in the Olympics, I would stand a good chance of a gold medal and if I hadn’t found happiness this year, maybe I would have booked a flight to Columbia by now.

Fancy a trip to Columbia?

If you are a serious online dater, now might be a good time to take a vacation to Columbia. It is a country at the northern tip of South America marked by coffee plantations, rainforests and the Andes mountains. Please choose your destination carefully, I hear there are a few places you really shouldn’t rent an Airbnb.

Are you looking for love and think that the new Facebook feature might be for you?

Well, you have plenty of time to get yourself ready for it so it might be good to give your Facebook account a spring clean just in case you ‘friend’ a potential partner that you find on Facebook Dating.

Make sure your profile is squeaky clean, remove the photos of you at the office party sitting on the photocopier or holding your friend’s hair back whilst she throws up! (Don’t worry, Facebook won’t be showing your profile to a potential partner it’s only if you gel with someone and ‘friend’ them)

From what we have read, there won’t be any swiping on the Facebook Dating feature and Facebook is hoping to integrate the feature into groups so as to open up the opportunities and encourage people to meet up.

Facebook is excited about its new feature and this is what they had to say:

“Dating has been a behaviour that we’ve seen on Facebook for a really long time,” product manager Nathan Sharp said in an interview with The Verge. “We want to make it easier and more comfortable for people to engage in. We just thought that now was the right time.”

Here are some key things that you should know about the new Facebook Dating feature:

  • The Facebook Dating feature lives entirely within Facebook’s mobile app
  • It won’t be available on desktop
  • To access it, you’ll have to tap into the hamburger menu (☰)
  • It’s only available to users 18 and over
  • It will be free to use and doesn’t include any ads or premium features at the moment
  • You won’t be part of Facebook unless you opt-in to use it
  • If you do, you’ll be asked to create a separate Dating profile that includes a much more limited amount of personal information about you
  • Only your first name and age are carried over from your Facebook profile, giving you some measure of privacy
  • When you create your Dating profile, you’re asked to write a short introduction to your profile that describes who you are and what you’re seeking a partner
  • Your Dating profile includes a mix of photos and answers to Facebook’s question prompts, such as “what does your perfect day look like?”
  • You can include up to nine photos and answers on iOS, and 12 on Android
  • The photos can come from your camera roll, Facebook uploads, or Instagram photos that you’ve cross-posted to Facebook
  • As an effort to thwart catfishing attempts, you will also have to input your location, which Facebook will verify through your phone’s GPS
  • You can browse for matches within 100 kilometres
  • Unlike some other apps, you won’t be able to change your virtual location to browse for matches elsewhere. Instead, if you’re visiting a new place, you’ll have to verify your location again within Facebook
  • Once you start browsing, Facebook will exclude your existing friends from your pool of matches
  • You’ll only see friends of friends or people to whom you don’t have any connection at all
  • If you’ve blocked someone on Facebook, they will also be excluded from the dating pool
  • But if you’ve unfriended an ex, that person could still show up in Facebook’s match suggestions
  • When searching for matches, the company takes into account signals like your location, shared page likes, similarities between your Facebook profiles, and mutual friends
  • When browsing, you’ll see a selection of people you can “express interest” in by tapping a photo or an answer to a question prompt
  • You can add a note and send it to the person you’re interested in
  • The recipient can then either send a message back or ignore it
  • Unlike some other sites, you can send a message to anyone
  • If a person responds, a new chat thread will open in a separate part of the Dating feature
  • Your messages are limited to text and emoji, there are no photos or videos in Facebook Dating messages
  • To accomplish this, Facebook Dating uses its own messaging interface, not Facebook Messenger
  • Facebook says its goal is to promote actual conversations between people
  • Sharp said the company is focused on promoting meaningful relationships
  • You can express interest in up to 100 profiles per day
  • You can send an unlimited number of messages to people you’ve already matched with
  • You can expand your dating pool by using Facebook Groups and Events
  • If you’re part of a Group where you expect to find good matches — a popular campus group for sharing memes, for example — you can opt-in to show your Dating profile to members of that group. The same goes for Facebook Events, where the feature is enabled for both upcoming and past events

Facebook often experiments with new features and apps for a year or longer as it searches for a winning formula. If Dating takes off in Colombia, it could be promoted to a more prominent place within the app, or even to an app of its own.

Facebook said, “Our goal is to make Facebook the single best place to start a relationship,”.

Watch this space…

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