Facebook Launches Dating App

Published on September 6, 2019

Is there anything more romantic than finding love online? Of course. But millennialls are hyper-aware of their anxieties and social anxiety is at the top of that list. We grew up on AIM and MySpace, so forming lasting relationships through the veil of the internet just seems more comfortable. As if we needed another reason to be tethered to Facebook, the company released its first dating app in the United States on Thursday.

How Facebook Dating Aims To Be Different

When Facebook was forced to essentially rebrand following the major data breach scandals of 2018 it looked at what its platform was primarily used for. Where Instagram and Twitter are used to connect individuals with shared interests, Facebook was mostly used—at the time—to connect people with their real-life peers. It was then that the company began focusing on its communities—what makes social media so addicting in the first place.

Today Facebook is putting more emphasis on its group features and its ability to connect individuals. In this regard, the platform aims to attract users that are interested in using it for meeting new people that share similar interests within their area (or not, as many groups are international), rather than keeping people connected with their real-world peers online.

Facebook dating aims to leverage its massive catalog of users and its new focus on connecting strangers with similar interests. Where other dating apps, such as Tinder or Bumble, aim to spark interactions based on physical attraction and a small blurb about the user, Facebook Dating connects users based on interests that they may share and the nuances of a users personality. At its core, Facebook Dating hopes to create more meaningful interactions that could potentially lead to more meaningful relationships.

Consumers Are Concerned, However, About Their Privacy

As is the case with anything Facebook seems to do in recent years, consumers and users are concerned about the safety of their data and information as the company expands its range of services. Many Facebook users are wary to trust Facebook with their private life to such an extent. Especially considering that user data is still not fully protected, even after the drama of the Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in one of the largest data misuse fines in history.

Facebook claims that its plans for Facebook Dating are fairly innocent. The company has no plans to roll out subscription services (in the way that competitors Tinder and E-Harmony have), and it even says it will not place ads in the platform in the foreseeable future. Experts, however, point out that the majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from data mining, which would only become more easily accessible if the company were able to mine data about your love life. The platform will also help Facebook merge Instagram into the platform by encouraging users to link their profiles to be used in the dating app.

Facebook Dating allows users to integrate their Instagram photos into the platform by merging their Facebook information and interests with their Instagram profiles. Users have always been able to link their profiles so that their Instagram posts appear on their profiles, but until now there has not been a major incentive to do so. Regardless, Facebook users don’t seem too excited at the prospect of integrating their dating lives into the same app that they use to keep in touch with their parents.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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