Previously, it was reported Facebook was planning to enter the dating game by releasing a standalone dating app in the vein of Tinder, but now, it's reportedly going to incorporate it into the main Facebook app instead.
The dating features aren't ready for public rollout yet, but company employees are now reportedly testing them, although they're being cautioned against dating their coworkers.
Facebook Is Testing A Dating Feature
TechCrunch has posted several screenshots showing the features in action, pulled from the Facebook app's code by mobile researcher Jane Manchun Wong. It gives a sense of Facebook's approach to dating, which seems to be focused on finding a serious partner instead of fleeting one-night stands.
The report mentions that users who opt-in to Facebook Dating will only be visible to other people who've toggled it on as well, and their activities won't be shared to the news feed. Users may also choose if friends of friends can view them or not, and Dating profiles offer non-binary and transgender options for sexual orientation. Facebook will generate matches based on the data it knows about users, and if two people express interest over each other, they'll be able to connect via Messenger or WhatsApp.
Facebook is internally testing Facebook Dating. I can't go past the signup screen because they are not activating all non-employee Dating profiles because, well, it's "pre-launch" ;) pic.twitter.com/VQFHUJIkuX — Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 3, 2018
Facebook is also apparently considering how many people a user can express interest in, according to TechCrunch, which would prevent someone from, say, approving everyone willy-nilly. Blocking someone on the Dating section won't automatically block them on Facebook, though that hasn't been finalized.
Facebook says it has no plans to monetize the dating features, which means no paid subscriptions or premium features will be launched in the foreseeable future. It might reconsider this later on, though, presumably if enough people engage.
Why Is Facebook Suddenly Into Dating?
It's not certain why Facebook is trying to penetrate the dating market, although it's hard to argue against it being the perfect venue for such an activity — it is the biggest social networking app in the whole world as it stands, and adding the ability to date other people within the app itself seems like a no-brainer.
However, Facebook appears to be taking careful steps toward its rollout of Dating. It doesn't seem interested in releasing a big, flashy app but instead wants people to make meaningful connections with others that could hopefully turn into healthy, loving relationships. In an era where casual hookups have become prevalent, it's nice to see a major company still prioritizing long-term relationships over one-time trysts.
It's not clear when Facebook plans to roll Dating out, but make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.