Tech

Facebook is Launching a Dating App in the U.S.

By Ernest Hamilton , Sep 17, 2019 09:06 AM EDT
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Facebook announced early in September that it will be rolling out its latest service in the U.S.: a dating platform. Known as Facebook Dating, the platform can be accessed via the Facebook app.

Users will be required to create a new dating-specific profile in order to use the service. The platform then connects users with potential matches based on their preferences, location, groups, attended events and a variety of other factors. 

Facebook Dating will also be integrated into Instagram where users can access a feature called Secret Crush. With Secret Crush, users can create a list of friends that they're interested in. They'll be matched with their crushes if their crushes also include them on their list.

Facebook Dating is late to the game and has been criticized for not offering any innovative features. The platform will face a great deal of competition from other well-established singles and dating services, like W4M and Tinder.

The social network giant has touted new security and privacy features within the app. Users have the ability to share their locations and plans with a select group of friends when going out on a date. They also have the option of hiding dating profiles from friends of friends to keep sensitive information private.

Facebook Dating will allow you to open Messenger from the Dating platform, and share the name of the person you're dating as well as the location of the date. Fifteen minutes before the date, the trusted friend will receive a reminder of your date as well as access to your live location. 

Critics worry that these security and privacy features won't live up to their expectations. Facebook has been plagued by privacy scandals. In fact, the announcement of Facebook Dating comes just days after admitting that more than 419 million user IDs and phone numbers had been exposed in June 2018, and that 14 million private posts were made public. The platform also announced another data breach in September 2018 which compromised the data of more than 50 million users. 

Privacy advocates are concerned that Facebook will use their dating platform to glean more information about users. The social network has a history of using personal information to target users with more personal advertisements, such as promoting baby products to pregnant women.

According to Facebook, dating profiles will be separate from Facebook activities and won't be used for ad targeting. 

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