When people have a platform to communicate with others, they can’t help but eventually start saying how they really feel. There are plenty of apps designed specifically for dating, but who among us hasn’t been thirsty enough to slide into a DM on LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, or, yes, Facebook. Facebook Dating tries to split the difference. It’s explicitly a dating app, but one that takes full advantage of the social features its social media parent company has to offer. Plus, it’s totally free. However, if you want to find love without the threat of Zuckerberg looking over your shoulder, we recommend paying for one of our Editors’ Choice picks, Match or Tinder.
Getting Started With Facebook Dating
Many dating apps give you the option of setting up an account through Facebook. Facebook Dating is already Facebook. You don’t download it as a standalone app. Instead, it’s a part of the existing Facebook Android and iOS mobile app that you have to opt into to start using. I tested on an iPhone 11. Currently, there’s no desktop version.
Turning your Facebook profile into your dating profile immediately sets off privacy alarm bells. The European Union forced Facebook to delay the launch of the service so regulators could take a look at security measures. Who can blame them considering Facebook’s history of privacy failures, from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to settling lawsuits with civil rights groups about microtargeted ads.
However, Facebook claims that your Facebook Dating data is kept separate from the rest of Facebook. I braced myself for the embarrassment of stumbling across a close friend looking for love, of accidentally revealing my (test) relationship status to family. Thankfully, every profile I encountered was a total stranger. Awkwardness avoided.
Besides, Facebook Dating doesn’t need your data, it just needs your body. To survive, Dating apps require a large thriving community of singles and love seekers. Facebook already has an unfathomable number of users-a huge strength Facebook Dating wants to leverage. If even a fraction of the Facebook audience converts, then Facebook Dating won’t ever need to worry about running out of potential matches.
Because Facebook Dating is already Facebook, building your profile with your existing Facebook information and Instagram photos is a breeze. The app might already know basic details such as where you live, where you went to school, and where you work. You can change these answers after the fact. Don’t worry about it altering your regular Facebook information. Still, it’s nice to be able to skip a few steps. The downside is, unlike in other dating apps, here it’s basically impossible to be anonymous. Your name is taken from your Facebook profile and can’t be changed just for dating. That might be inconvenient for some and downright unsafe for others.
Facebook Dating might also already know what genders you’re interested in whether it’s men, women, or everyone. However, when setting up your profile, you enter more detailed preferences such as age range, children or no children, distance, education level, height, language spoken, and religion. The only other dating-specific data to plug are answers to personality questions such as “The best thing I can cook is…” or “The song that always gets me on the dance floor is…”
Interface and Profiles
Facebook Dating’s interface looks like Facebook. Again, it’s just one part of the same Facebook mobile app. You get to the Facebook Dating section by tapping the heart-shaped button on the overflow menu at the bottom-right corner of the screen, which also takes you to other parts of Facebook inside the app. Everything blurs together a little too much, and it’s too easy to accidentally wind up on your newsfeed when you thought you were swiping on promising dates.