Facebook appears to be testing a new feature that lets users meet up with friends. "Meet up," here, refers to a date.
A notification pops up, saying: "[Name] and [number] others may want to meet up with you this week," followed by photos of those profiles. The notification then asks if the user wants to meet up with any of them. The other person can't know the response unless both parties say yes, Tinder style.
Facebook Suddenly Wants To Become Tinder
Motherboard was the first to notice the odd new notification, which had never appeared before. By the looks of it, Facebook seems to be in the early stages of incorporating a dating element into its main app. While bare bones and plain, the user interface works similarly to that of Tinder, which also requires both parties to "swipe right" to start connecting.
According to Motherboard, only a few people have confirmed the notification's existence thus far. Speaking to The Verge, Facebook has confirmed that it's indeed testing a way for people to meet more efficiently.
"People often use Facebook to make plans with their friends. So, we're running a very small test in the Facebook app to make that easier. We look forward to hearing people's feedback," said Facebook. The test is currently underway in New Zealand and Toronto.
Anyhow, it remains unclear how the feature would actually work as a dating app since it seems the feature only connects the user to people they're already friends with on the platform. This means Facebook is telling the truth. This could indeed be used just as a way for friends to chill and hang out.
Facebook vs Snapchat
Anyhow, the move looks very much like Facebook copying other apps's features again. One can argue Instagram Stories originally came from Snapchat. What's amusing is the copy has managed to eclipse the original and it isn't great for Snap Inc., which for months has suffered as a public company. Instagram Stories has since been ported to Messenger, the main Facebook app, and even WhatsApp as "Status."
Integrating a hangout or dating element into Facebook can potentially take audiences away from Tinder; however, Facebook doesn't seem to want that to happen — at least not yet. There are many ways to set up a meeting with friends, just a simple message will do. How useful this feature remains unclear, but its potential dating aspect can't be ignored.
Watch out, Tinder.
Do you think a dedicated meet-up tool integrated into Facebook would be useful? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!