Long before mobile dating apps like Tinder became super prevalent for helping singles find a mate, Facebook was kind of a quiet, unsung hero of digital dating. Think about it: Though not expressly meant to ignite romantic sparks, the social-media network has connected countless people who went to the same college or met at an event or had a mutual digital friend. (It’s even how I initially started talking with my now-fiancé!). Now, Facebook is acknowledging its potentially unintended yet long fruitful matchmaking function with a new feature designed specifically to help users find a soul mate.
Facebook just announced it will add an optional dating layer to the mobile app that looks similar to other dating apps, the Verge reports. The feature launch date hasn’t yet been shared, but it will reportedly roll out after a testing phase later this year.
So what separates the Facebook dating feature from the other apps crowding the love-seeking market? There will be a heavy community focus that integrates events and groups already on the platform, so users will have conversation starters or even foolproof first-date ideas to suit both parties. Daters will also be able to chat with potential suitors in a thread that’s separate from Facebook Messenger.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships—not just for hookups.” —Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships—not just for hookups. We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. (But considering the data breach that led to Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony in April, this bit is only somewhat comforting.) “Your friends aren’t going to see your profile, and you’re only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends,” he adds, pointing to how tough it can be to meet people who are actually new to your social sphere.
So, who knows? Once the feature launches, you might just find your one and only via none other than Facebook—and then change your status from “single” to “in a relationship.” And since your “define the relationship” conversation might yield nuanced language, maybe the platform will update those offerings next. “It’s complicated” to find your match, after all.
Here’s why most eligible singles say it’s important that a potential S.O. exercises regularly. Also, find out why men struggle with being single more than women do during the holidays.
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